Addiction Recovery - Sobriety

What Are the Stages of Addiction Recovery?

The stages of recovery can be frightening, challenging, and lonely. Luckily, The Edge Treatment Center is here to help. Call today to learn more!

What Are the Stages of Addiction Recovery?

Table of Contents

Written by

Brian MooreBrian Moore

Content Writer

Reviewed by

Jeremy ArztJeremy Arzt

Chief Clinical Officer

January 13, 2022

The Edge Treatment Center

The road to long-term recovery can seem like walking around half of the earth. It may feel untraversable, lonely, and frightening. However, if you can commit to yourself and your treatment, you can conquer all the trials and tribulations that lay before you  

Going through the stages of recovery is an exciting time that marks a significant change in your life. By understanding these stages, you can learn what to expect and handle what lies before you. 

Think of it as a roadmap for recovery. 

The Stages of Addiction Recovery 

Prochaska, DiClemente, and Norcross created the Transtheoretical Model in 1983 to help people quit smoking. Since then, this model has been used as a general structure of how individuals progress through recovery. Although this isn’t necessarily a linear model, it gives you a good idea of what to expect on your journey. 

Stage 1: The Precontemplation Stage 

During the precontemplation stage, individuals may not identify with or realize they have a problem. Individuals may not consider their behavior to be problematic, or they might defend their bad habits. These individuals may also be reluctant to take and hear advice. This stage is comparable to the denial stage of the grieving process. 

This reluctance to listen to advice and recognize a problem might not be the individual’s fault. Individuals may lack the necessary information or resources to learn about their issues and behaviors. These individuals could also feel so hopeless and consumed by their behavior that they believe there’s no way out. Be patient with yourself or your loved ones, as this problem is much more significant than it seems. 

Stage 2: The Contemplation Stage 

During this stage, individuals are starting to realize the consequences and effects of their actions. They may begin to consider the possibility of changing their behavior or habits.  

A person at this stage might be on the fence or feel a sense of unease on how or when to make a change. They may also be weighing the pros and cons of their behavior and seeing how it affects their lives. Individuals will be more open to receiving advice, support, and guidance during this stage. 

Stage 3: The Preparation Stage 

During stage three, individuals have fully realized the negative impacts of their actions and are committed to making a change. Individuals will start saying or thinking phrases such as “I’ve got to do something about this” or “Something has to change. What can I do?” 

This is where individuals begin to take responsibility for their actions and behavior. An individual may start doing research and testing the waters. They may begin calling treatment facilities or searching online to find solutions to their problems. 

The preparation stage is an essential step as it provides the individual with the proper information to make a practical plan. 

Stage 4: The Action Stage 

During the action stage, individuals are actively working and making changes in their life. They make overt efforts to control their bad habits, behaviors, and lives. 

People explore different plans and treatment options at this point. Some of these treatment options may include detox, inpatient care, or therapy. In the action stage, individuals are committed to their plan and type of treatment. Individuals are also more open to receiving advice, guidance, and support. 

Stage 5: The Maintenance Stage 

During stage five, individuals have achieved a change in their lives and are actively working to maintain and improve upon it. Individuals may enter other treatment programs, such as an Intensive Outpatient Program, during this stage. 

Individuals in the maintenance stage are constantly learning new skills and strategies to handle their newly found lives. Individuals will understand and resonate with the meaningful progress they have made and will work to keep it at all costs. Even though individuals may feel tempted to return to their previous behaviors, they will understand the importance of what they’re striving for. 

What’s After Stage 5? 

Ideally, living a sober lifestyle that is meaningful and exciting! 

What’s after the maintenance stage is up to the individual. Whatever goals, dreams, or ideas a person wishes to accomplish are all at their fingertips. 

Moving through the stages of recovery is more than just a point A to point B process. After stage 5 a person has learned more skills, gained more confidence, and created lasting relationships which allow them to take on the world at large. 

We’re not going to sugar-coat things. Transitioning through the stages of addiction recovery can be scary, nerve-wracking, and incredibly challenging. At times it can be had to recognize problems, and then it can be even harder to figure out how to solve them. If you or a loved one are ready to progress through your journey of recovery, The Edge Treatment Center is here to aid you. 

Whether you’re in stage one or stage five, we can support you along the way. We believe everyone is unique and requires different treatment and guidance. At The Edge Treatment Center, we fully believe your treatment should be personalized and filled with enjoyment. We will provide you with the support, advice, and structure to reach stage five and beyond. 

If you or a loved one is ready to take the first step, call (800) 778-1772 for more information.

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