Understanding the Five Stages of Recovery


Overcoming substance abuse is a process that takes time. How long a person’s recovery journey is depends on their individual needs and circumstances. Addiction develops over a period of time and there is no overnight cure. Here we take a look at the five stages a person experiences as they heal from substance abuse in recovery.

1) Pre-contemplation Stage

The first stage of recovery is when a person first recognizes they have a problem. However, before they reach this stage, an addict commonly maintains a state of denial to perpetuate substance abuse by making excuses or apportioning blame on other parties. A pre-contemplator will find any reason for their substance abuse to avoid being confronted by others and generally, they seek rehab as a result of a family intervention.

2) Contemplation Stage

This is the point where an addict recognizes that they clearly have a problem with alcohol or drugs. They may make initial attempts to reach out to loved ones or friends for help getting them treatment. It is important to act quickly when a person has reached the contemplation stage.

3) Preparation Stage

People in the preparation stage have taken steps to make changes in their lives which are essential for recovery from substance abuse. Although they will be ready to attend rehab, they may still need some convincing.

4) Action Stage

The individual is much more proactive in their treatment in the action stage and have started to make conscious behavioral changes or lifestyle modifications.

5) Maintenance Stage

The final stage of recovery involves making a strong commitment to maintaining sobriety. It is very important a person recognizes the potential for relapse so that they remain vigilant of the triggers for drug or alcohol use.

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Read More on the Blog: The Stages of Behavioral Change in Recovery