It’s great that you or someone you love is ready to be on the journey to overcoming addiction. Treatment and recovery help to stop the progressively worsening symptoms of addiction to support your goals of improving your health, relationships and other aspects of life.
Once you are ready to stop using the addictive substance, there are certain stages of addiction recovery that are likely. Knowing this can help you stick to this path, or help your loved one through the process.
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Stages of Addiction Recovery
Here are the four addiction recovery steps:
Stopping the use of the addictive substance may lead to a withdrawal stage as your body adapts to the drug leaving it. You may experience symptoms of withdrawal during this time, which vary by the type of substance you use. Also, the withdrawal stage can cause different experiences due to other factors, such as the severity and duration of the addiction.
Many of the symptoms you may face during this time are difficult to experience and could encourage relapse. They may include cravings for the substance, irritability, trouble sleeping, and other symptoms.
Part of this stage may include entering a treatment program, such as a medical detox that helps support your needs as you go through symptoms of withdrawal. You may enter an inpatient addiction treatment program.
2. Early Abstinence
This stage is also known as the “Honeymoon” stage because it is characterized by more optimism and overconfidence. It’s important to realize that you’ll likely still go through difficult symptoms during this stage, such as mood swings and trouble with concentration and memory.
3. Protracted Abstinence
Also referred to as “The Wall,” this stage is when you may face cravings again and go back to previous behaviors. During this time, you may face anger, depression, emotional swings and other difficult symptoms and experiences. Nonetheless, making it through this stage can also start to show you positive changes from recovery. It can be a time of making lifestyle changes toward a life of abstinence.
This stage is when you continue forward on the path of recovery and stick with positive lifestyle changes. You may feel accomplished with the progress you are making. Part of this process involves an understanding and acceptance of recovery as a continuous process throughout your life.
It’s important to keep up with a healthier lifestyle and check for signs of relapse to prevent it. Also, it can help to face and work on the underlying problems that may contribute to relapse, such as mental health concerns, negative thoughts and feelings, unhealthy relationships, and lifestyle.
Tips to Stay Sober
The stages of recovery each come with risks of relapse, such as triggers that may encourage you to want to start using an addictive substance again. Here are some tips to stay sober:
- Be aware of what you’re likely to go through during each stage and address it as you go.
- Consider an addiction treatment program, such as inpatient addiction treatment.
- Reach out to others for support, including loved ones and peer support groups
- Seek help from addiction and/or mental health professionals, including support to face co-occurring mental health disorders that may contribute to the addiction.
- Create plans to handle triggers you may face and ways to avoid relapse.
How to Support Someone in Recovery
Knowing the four stages of addiction recovery can guide you in supporting your loved ones as they go through these stages. It can help you be more understanding and patient if you are aware of difficult changes the person is likely to go through, such as irritability and mood changes. You can associate these symptoms and changes with recovery rather than taking them personally.
Also, you may be able to help the person overcome some of the risk factors that could lead them to relapse. For example, if you have relationship problems or family dynamics that may trigger the person, you could work together to address these problems and consider couple therapy or family therapy for support.
Al-Anon Family Groups explains that loved ones may be able to focus on their own behaviors that make life harder for the person. You could try to use healthier strategies of relating to the person and responding to their behaviors. Al-Anon meetings help you find ways to support your loved one like this while supporting yourself as well.
Hopefully, being aware of the four stages of addiction recovery can help you guide your own journey of recovery or better support someone in recovery.
Get Quality Addiction Treatment
If you’re ready to commit to recovery, 1st Step Behavioral Health can provide quality, caring rehab. We offer a variety of addiction treatment programs that guide you through the stages of addiction recovery including:
- Inpatient care
- Outpatient programs
- Intensive outpatient programs
- Partial hospitalization programs
- Dual diagnosis treatment
- Relapse treatment
- Sober living programs
Don’t lose your life because of addiction. Get the help that you deserve to regain control. Call us at (855) 425-4846 now to learn more about our programs.