The 5 Stages of Addiction Recovery

The 5 Stages of Addiction Recovery

Addiction recovery can be separated into five distinct stages. Understanding these stages can help someone to identify addictive behaviors in themselves and others; it can also help them on the journey towards recovery. In the article, we cover the five stages of recovery and some of the qualities needed to work through them to achieve a healthier and more prosperous lifestyle

Precontemplation Stage 

At the pre-contemplation stage, an individual will enjoy their intoxication and lifestyle; they might defend their drug use and justify their behavior. Someone in the pre-contemplation stage is not ready for a treatment center. They might be difficult to talk to and reject attempted interventions. 

Someone at this stage might lack information about addictive behaviors, and they might not view themselves as an addict. Conversely, someone can become stuck in this stage once again following failed attempts at recovery. They might have more information but choose addiction.  

Contemplation Stage 

In the contemplation stage, it is easier for family members to engage with the individual about their addiction. The individual will be aware of the advantages of being free from addiction, but they still see many of the benefits of the substance. It’s a suitable stage for a family intervention.

People in the contemplation stage have noticed the adverse effects of the drug and their lifestyle. While they might defend themselves to an extent, they can see the wisdom of other perspectives. With the right approach, they can be guided to the next stage of recovery. 

Preparation Stage 

In the preparation stage, an individual is taking steps toward recovery. They have recognized the need to move away from the drug and might avoid it from time to time. At the same time, they might experience some of the positive effects of coming off the drug of choice, like opioids. 

During the preparation stage, an individual might experience some opioid withdrawal as they move away from the drug in the direction of treatment. It can be useful, therefore, to have a  timeline for opioid withdrawal. This helps individuals to navigate their preparation withdrawal.

Action Stage 

When someone reaches the action stage, they have more control and autonomy over themselves and the substance. If they feel the effects of withdrawal or sense they are in danger of relapsing; they are more likely to turn to a loved one or professional for the help they need. 

Additionally, someone in the action stage is likely to avoid destructive lifestyle behaviors in general and engage in self-care strategies that enhance and benefit their lives. They might even be some feeling of regret about the trials they put their body through during the addiction phase.

Maintenance Stage 

Addiction is not something someone deals with once and walks away from; it is a chronic condition that influences them for the rest of their life. Relapse is always a concern for an individual with addiction issues, and they have to work hard at maintaining their health. The maintenance stage involves a continual effort to remain clean and prevent any relapses.