What Are the 5 Stages of Addiction Recovery and How Long Do They Take?

The process of recovering from addiction is never a clearly defined path with set timelines since everyone’s substance abuse treatment has to be tailored to fit his or her needs. Some people may progress much faster while others can take longer to fully recover. However, there are specific stages each person will move through on the way to completing rehab and moving into ongoing aftercare to manage the addiction.

Stage 1: Acknowledgement of Addiction

At this stage, the addict realizes he or she has a problem. Addicts may continue to abuse drugs or alcohol because they have not yet accepted they need to take action and that they truly need help. This particular stage is a learning experience where the addict stops denying they have a problem, moving toward wanting to do something about it.

Stage 2: Awareness of Addiction

Once they are accepting of their situation, addicts will start to become more aware of how their behavior and actions have hurt family, friends, their jobs, and so on. While they may not have fully given up using substances, they are gradually realizing how their addictions are ruining their lives.

Stage 3: Recovery Exploration

Initially, some addicts feel they can wean themselves off a substance. They may cut back and try to abstain from using. However, after some failed attempts, they eventually will realize they cannot do it alone. This is when an addict will start to seek outside help, either by starting to attend support group meetings or checking themselves into a qualified treatment program.

Stage 4: Start Addiction Recovery

This stage is sort of a risky time for addicts. They are just learning how they can survive without using their substance of choice. They are also attempting to mend relationships they damaged because of their addiction.

Substance Abuse TreatmentIt is not uncommon for addicts to have a relapse when they first start addiction recovery. Yet, once they are able to accept mistakes can happen and realize the main thing is to carry on, then they can start to learn new coping skills and healthy dietary habits, and start to focus on living a substance-free life.

Stage 5: Ongoing Aftercare and Recovery

Kicking a substance abuse habit does not stop once you are no longer using. It requires ongoing aftercare to avoid relapsing. At this stage, you will have developed better coping skills, have identified what triggers your addiction, and have built a solid support network to turn to when you are having difficulties in maintaining a drug-free lifestyle.

Even at this stage, relapses can still occur, so addicts should not fool themselves. Recovering addicts must work just as hard as they did at the other stages in order to continue enjoying the new life they have built.

Recovery is much more than giving up drinking alcohol or abusing drugs. It requires a person to be truly committed to undergo a complete transformation of body, spirit, and mind. If you are ready to take the first steps to recovery, or are struggling and need a strong support network, please feel free to contact BlueCrest Recovery Center in NJ at 888.292.9652 today!

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