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5 Stages of Addiction Recovery

woman smiling after going through the 5 stages of addiction recovery

Substance use disorder is a challenging condition that affects each person differently. Some people can summon the inner motivation to quit and get their life back, while others go through long periods of abstinence and relapse. Still, others may never seek change and slowly go through a downward spiral until they hit rock bottom or succumb to addiction.

Why do some people look for help treating addiction while others accept their disease as inevitable? The stages of addiction recovery can help shed some light on how addiction affects different people and where some may get stuck, and others choose to move on to sobriety. Understanding the addiction recovery process is vital to helping patients move through each stage. Addiction case management can ensure nobody slips through the cracks or remains stagnant in their recovery.

At Midwest Center at Youngstown, we understand that the recovery process for addiction is not always a straightforward journey. We are here to help you through each of the stages of recovery, no matter how long it takes. If you or someone you love feels stuck in a repeated pattern of sobriety and relapse, reach out to us at 844.544.0502 to get the support you need for long-lasting change. 

While addiction treatment professionals must be well-versed in the recovery process for addiction, it is also beneficial for people struggling with substance use disorder to learn about the different stages. It can provide some insight into what you or a loved one is going through and how you can advance to the next stage instead of feeling stuck. 

5 Stages of Addiction Recovery

Below are the five stages of addiction recovery:

1. Precontemplation

During the first stage of the addiction recovery process, a person is not ready for addiction treatment and will usually deny there is a problem. If you try speaking with them about the possibility of addiction, you may be met with defensiveness. As a result, any attempt to encourage the person to get help will be futile. When a person is in the precontemplation stage, you cannot force treatment on them since they are not ready for change and will only go through the motions if put into a program involuntarily. Instead, time is best spent helping guide the person toward the next stage—contemplation. 

2. Contemplation

When a person reaches the contemplation stage, they begin to consider the consequences of their addiction. They may not be ready to enroll in treatment, but they are thinking about it. You may be able to discuss their substance use disorder and go over treatment options. However, it is still best not to push treatment on them or become accusatory. Stay open-minded and gently encourage them to continue contemplating the pros and cons of remaining in addiction or getting professional help. 

3. Preparation

Once a person starts turning a corner and making plans to address their addiction, they have entered the preparation stage. This may or may not involve enrolling in addiction treatment. Sometimes, the person chooses to try quitting cold turkey or cutting back on their substance use. Regardless of how they decide to address addiction, this stage is all about planning and preparing for a change.

4. Action

The action stage is when a person takes their plans for change and puts them into motion. They may do the following:

  • Enroll in a treatment program
  • Attend therapy sessions
  • Remove substances from their home
  • Actively seek out healthy activities that support a sober lifestyle

Taking advantage of the positive momentum of the action stage helps propel a person into true, long-term recovery 

5. Maintenance

The maintenance stage usually begins upon completion of an addiction treatment program. Recovery is not guaranteed after the program ends, and it will require continual work to maintain the hard-earned sobriety. A patient should take advantage of alumni or continuing care programs that provide additional support and guidance during this stage. This may include group therapy, individual counseling, and support groups to help you navigate your new sober lifestyle. 

Midwest Center at Youngstown: Guiding You Through the Addiction Recovery Process

At Midwest Center at Youngstown, we realize that treating addiction effectively requires a deep understanding of the stages of addiction recovery. We can help you move toward a healthy recovery, regardless of which stage you are currently in. Reach out to us at 844.544.0502 to get the help you need to move forward toward the sober lifestyle you deserve.