In 2019, there were 70,630 reported deaths caused by overdose in the US.
Many Americans are struggling with addictions to drugs, alcohol, porn, etc. Addictions may start slow but quickly consume a person’s life. They affect their physical health, mental stability, jobs, and interpersonal relationships.
Recovery is possible, but it’s not easy. With the right support and education, individuals struggling with addiction can find freedom.
Below is a guide on the steps of recovery from an addiction. As you read below, keep in mind everyone’s journey is different, but these are steps toward success everyone can look to.
The Precontemplation Stage
This stage of the addiction recovery process doesn’t include actual formal treatment. People in the precontemplation stage are subtly aware they have an addiction problem, but they haven’t taken the first step of seeking treatment.
Characteristics noticeable in this stage include defensiveness and isolation. Those struggling with addiction become irritated when others show concern. They start to feel vulnerable.
This vulnerability causes them to isolate themselves from the people around them. They may not return your calls or meet you for your weekly lunch date. They’ll also start blaming outside influences for their addiction, such as a stressful marriage.
It’s extremely possible they feel ashamed or ‘dirty’. Many people get stuck in this phase if they aren’t informed about recovery options or if they’ve relapsed from past recovery.
Moving to the Contemplation Stage
As people move from precontemplation to the contemplation stage, they start slowly shifting from hopelessness to hope. They’re aware of their addiction, and the benefits addiction recovery will bring.
The contemplation stage might be one of the most frustrating stages of recovery for those on the outside. It’s difficult watching someone who knows they should make a change but continues to stay in their cycle.
Family members, friends, and medical professionals shouldn’t force someone into recovery, but this stage is crucial for encouragement. Gently encourage your loved ones to seek drug addiction treatment.
Don’t point fingers or throw blame. Let them know you see how it affects them and that you’ll be there alongside them in their recovery journey. Remind them of the silver lining.
The Preparation Stage
The preparation stage brings about excitement regarding recovery and anticipation of a brighter future. They’ve made a pledge to themselves to recover.
While they aren’t necessarily in active recovery in this stage, they are doing what they need to do to make it possible. The families are reaching out to local treatment centers and contacting available therapists.
The individual in recovery often figures out temporary living arrangements. It’s suggested to be in a stable, supportive environment during active recovery.
Time to Take Action- The Action Stage
In the action stage, the recovering individual is actively participating in healing habits and recovery. They’re most likely surrounded by a team of professionals, such as a therapist and doctors.
Struggling individuals may be attending a local support group, participating in outpatient treatment, or be living at a rehab center. The level of support they need depends on the intensity of the addiction.
Relapse is possible in this stage, but individuals should be encouraged to seek professional help if it happens. They should also reach out to counselors in the case of being tempted to relapse.
Strict lifestyle changes are crucial in this stage. Those recovering may refuse to be around other people who are drinking, or they may decide to move back home if it’s a stable environment.
The action stage also brings about mental and emotional change. Because the addiction may have been prolonged through self-doubt and other negative emotions, mental health counseling is imperative.
Last but Not Least: The Maintenance Stage
The maintenance stage is the longest-lasting stage in the addiction recovery process. It could only last a few months, but it could take several years.
The recovered individual is doing their best to avoid relapse. They’re relying on the healthy habits they’ve built to keep clean. Many individuals have started creative hobbies, joined a gym, found a support group, or started proper medication.
Their confidence and self-acceptance have grown throughout the process, and it truly shows in this stage. If you’re close with the recovering individual, offer plenty of support and encouragement.
Avoiding relapse and addiction is a lifelong journey for some people. It’s important to avoid complacency to stay happy and healthy.
Many people actively choose each day to carry on the healthy habits they’ve built to avoid falling back into a negative cycle. There are several ways individuals can avoid complacency.
The most important tip in steering clear of complacency is finding long-term support. Getting involved in religious organizations, establishing close-by friend groups, or volunteering in the community are all great ways to find support.
Paying attention to your mental and emotional health is also crucial in keeping clean. Find a therapist and/or psychiatrist to promote healing in your life.
Continue to set goals for yourself. Tell yourself you’re going to run a 5k, or you’re going to finish 5 books in the next few months.
Recovery is Possible
Whether you’re struggling with recovery or know someone who is, remember recovery is possible. It’s not easy and effortless, but it’s worth it.
Explore your local treatment options. Go on Google and search for local inpatient centers or outpatient programs. Chat with a trusted family doctor if you have any questions about the next step.
Do what you need to do for yourself. Self-preservation and self-soothing are crucial in the process.
The 5 Stages of Recovery From an Addiction
The process of recovery from an addiction is long, but it brings about a world of positive change. Make sure to fully read the above guide to understand the different steps.
The five stages include the pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance stage. Encouragement is needed every step of the way for those recovering. Whether it’s you or a loved one struggling with an addiction, we are here to offer the help and support you need. Check out our different treatment programs, and contact us today.