All About the Stages of Addiction Recovery

Dealing with and overcoming addiction isn’t an easy process—it’s a journey full of unknown roads and obstacles before you reach your final destination. Those who are going through substance abuse recovery often aren’t aware of the entire process, but understanding the concept may help you or your loved one find the right treatment to follow.

In 1994, psychologists John Norcross, James Prochaska, and Carlo DiClemente published a book that explains the recovery process called Changing for Good. In the book, they broke down each recovery level into six stages, which is referred to as the transtheoretical model. This model analyzes and deciphers the rehabilitation process, making it easier for the reader to understand the recovery journey.

If you’re curious about the stages of addiction recovery, keep reading. In this article, we’ll guide you through the six stages of addiction recovery and help you understand each step.

Stage 1: Pre-Contemplation

The first stage is pre-contemplation, during which the person is aware of the weight of their addiction, but is in denial, and justifying their actions, or minimizing them. Although they are aware that they need treatment, in this stage, they’d rather stay active with their addiction rather than seek medical treatment.

Stage 2: Contemplation

In this stage, the person struggling with addiction realizes that the consequences of their actions are more severe than what they’ve previously thought. The person is aware of the addiction’s adverse effects on their lives but is unsure about the gravity of the abuse compared to their enjoyment of the substance.

Although the person isn’t willing to stop immediately, they are more open about addiction recovery treatment.

Stage 3: Preparation

In the preparation stage, the person suffering from substance abuse recognizes that the negative aspects of their addiction outweigh the benefits and that there are steps and treatments they could take to get better.

Aside from recognizing the need to get help, at this stage, the person will also accept support from family, friends, and other vital relationships. With that, the person struggling with substance abuse becomes more proactive about their recovery and starts researching to help create an actionable plan to get better.

Stage 4: Action

After the person prepares themselves for recovery, they reach the action stage of the journey. During this stage, the person with a substance abuse problem walks through the whole recovery process, including the treatment program, joining a support group, and utilizing various resources for rehabilitation.

The action stage is more than just getting sober—for some individuals, this stage of the addiction recovery process can be quite tricky because they are committing to making a significant lifestyle change way different from what they are used to. But if they understand that this will make them healthier, more productive, and rebuild relationships, they’ll know that this journey is well worth it.

Stage 5: Maintenance

After completing the action stage, one of the most challenging steps is maintenance. Here, the person must assume responsibility for remaining sober. Unfortunately, many individuals find this stage incredibly challenging and relapse is common during this stage.

Fortunately, there are countless resources to help people successfully get through the maintenance stage and practice living a life of recovery. These include support groups, alumni programs, and more.

Stage 6: Termination

Lastly, the final chapter of the addiction recovery journey is termination, where the recovery process is complete. Although staying sober is the lifelong challenge former substance abuse victims are willing to face, the individual has most likely regained their health, have better relationships, a stable career, and is more confident about the way they live.

The great thing about the six stages of recovery is that an otherwise complicated process is now a simple, straightforward, and concise look into the whole recovery journey. Also, it is shown that each stage is meaningful on its own, therefore allowing the individual to appreciate their efforts along the way.

Get Professional Help

We understand that going through recovery can be complex—however, the results are rewarding and worth all the time and effort. To help you go through recovery, it’s best to work with professionals who address physical, mental, and behavioral issues. Remember, you are not alone in this process, and you have a team behind you supporting you on this journey!

Addiction Recovery Treatment in Havertown, PA

If you’re thinking of starting your addiction recovery journey, work with American Treatment Network for immediate access to care. We offer an integrated approach to treating patients who have physical health issues, mental and behavioral issues, and provide medication-assisted treatment (MAT). Get help today!


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