Alcoholism is a dangerous disease and one of America’s most preventable causes of death. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly one in three motor vehicle deaths is caused by drinking and driving. Some may not be aware that they suffer from alcohol dependency issues until the signs of addiction begin to impact daily life. Alcohol addiction often begins as a progressive action where causal drinking can advance into misuse and dependence over time. Unfortunately, alcohol use disorder (AUD) is often progressive. Due to factors of AUD, the stages of alcohol rehab are different for everyone.
Dealing with these issues requires some form of rehabilitation. Alcohol treatment options are vast and may depend on individual needs and lifestyle factors.
People develop alcohol use disorder for different reasons, but recovery requires time, mental health support, and guidance depending on individual situations. Regardless of the cause or timeframe of addiction, treating this disease requires the individual to follow a gradual pattern. Here are some of the stages of alcohol rehab.
Five Stages Of The Addiction Cycle
Understanding alcohol addiction is critical to being able to approach alcohol rehab in stages. Addiction can take time to develop despite how a person gets introduced to alcohol. Alcoholism goes through five stages before it becomes full-fledged. Here’s how the disorder is categorized:
The pre-alcoholic stage is when the person’s drink intake is mainly for stress relief. The more alcohol the person takes during this stage, the more they build tolerance and require more drinks to reach the same effect.
Alcohol influences several aspects of a person’s daily life, including their jobs and relationships. During the early alcoholic stage, the user suffering from these disruptions feels guilt and shame and attempts to evade it by drinking more. It’s also critical since the alcohol intake only alleviates and worsens it.
With the continuously increasing drinking, the person in the middle alcoholic stage may try to hide or rationalize their drinking. There can also be several attempts to quit, only to fall back to drinking again.
It becomes harder to control drinking at the end-stage alcoholism stage. People at this stage can exhibit physical symptoms of prolonged alcoholism and suffer from withdrawal when they attempt to quit drinking. Some withdrawals lead to body reactions like nausea, shaking, and, in extreme cases, tremors or seizures.
When a person with AUD decides and takes steps toward getting help, they are in the recovery phase. It can begin with detoxing under medical supervision. Most people suffering from alcoholism tend to hit rock bottom before making the decision to seek help.
Recovery can include medication-assisted treatment (MAT) and other processes to approach underlying mental health concerns like trauma and depression. Contact AspenRidge Recovery for more information on Colorado alcohol rehab at 855-281-5588.
Stages of Alcohol Rehab & Recovery
Treating alcohol addiction requires a deep commitment that can be broken down into six stages. For most people, overcoming alcoholism can take weeks, months, or even years. Since the recovery process is not subject to a specific timeline, it’s not easy to know where you are in your journey toward lifelong sobriety. Learning the stages of alcohol recovery helps to visualize and maintain the path to recovery.
Alcohol dependence and misuse can result in a variety of impactful hardships including problems that surround:
- Career & Employment
- Legal Issues
Once these start happening, the person feels stressed and may even begin to rely again on alcohol to deal with their state. Bottom line is alcohol ruins lives.
Other physical symptoms of alcohol abuse can include:
- Bloated appearance
- Weight gain or loss
- Alterations in skin complexion
- Sleep issues
- and more
During the initial stage of change, the person realizes the negative effect of their addiction and how it’s impacting their life. But they tend to be defensive and can even be in denial about the alcohol use being beyond their control. The stage is about becoming aware of the disorder, legal issues, or intervention until they realize they have an alcohol use problem and can move to the next step.
When an individual reaches the contemplation stage, they start changing some habits and wanting help. They are in between their decision to quit alcohol and to procrastinate. During this stage, they can become more receptive to information on addiction and may develop vague plans that may not pan out. It’s a stage where they need to hold onto their loved ones for honest nonjudgmental conversations that encourages them to change. Contemplation can often be overwhelming, but it’s crucial that they feel capable and willing to take the next step.
The improvement in preparation is that they move from doubts to becoming committed to change. The stage involves tightening loose timelines, taking progressive steps away from harmful habits, and treatments becoming a reality. Although people in the preparation stage still drink, they can open up to family and loved ones about their choice to stop drinking, get treated, and form accountability.
Planning and understanding what it entails to recover from alcoholism make it easier to follow through—for instance, getting ready for the severe physical effects of the detoxification process and complicated emotions like anger, depression, bargaining, denial, and acceptance. Therefore, researching alcohol recovery and preparing a detailed action plan is also necessary to improve the potential of beginning a successful treatment.
With a thorough plan in the preparation stage, taking action, committing the body, and following through is necessary. Taking action for most people begins with actively seeking support and going to alcohol rehab for addiction centers for a medically assisted detoxification process.
The detox process involves evaluation, stabilization, and transition. While this happens, some embrace new, healthy habits, make new friends and rediscover hobbies. The psychological side of treatment can start when the alcohol is out of their system, and they have physical stability. It involves different types of therapy and counseling.
Learn more about how to help an alcoholic here.
As Colorado alcohol treatment rehabilitation progresses, the focus shifts from learning about the sober life and recovery tools to applying and practicing these techniques daily. In the maintenance phase, the recovering person integrates new skills and discovers freedom in making better choices they never thought they could. As recovery works the emotions back to normal, it can seem like a rollercoaster, and they may still be battling the temptation to drink, staying focused becomes the goal.
Since alcohol recovery is not solely about abstaining from drinking, the process involves changing your entire life and finding ways to socialize without alcohol. Although there’s a likelihood of relapse in recovery at any stage, if it happens at the maintenance stage, remember it’s only temporary, and it doesn’t mean the recovery isn’t working.
The final step in the path to recovery is often a debate among experts, but most see it as the stage where a person can confidently say they have overcome their addiction. At this stage, they no longer practice their old habits or lifestyle and are fully sober with no craving for alcohol or significant risk of relapse. There’s no set time frame to reach this stage, but it involves daily commitment to change. In the transcendence stage, the person can still benefit from ongoing treatment to stay stable in sobriety.
AspenRidge Recovery: Alcohol Rehab in Colorado
AspenRidge Recovery is Colorado’s leading alcohol addiction recovery center helping thousands to overcome excessive drinking and alcohol use disorder. Our various programs aim to treat AUD using different approaches, including dual diagnosis therapy, substance misuse help, cognitive therapy, holistic approaches, group therapy, and more.
The Joint Commission also certifies our center, and our licensed counselors are trained, specifically, in substance misuse and addiction. We offer the following programs:
We can help guide you through the different stages of alcohol rehab and next steps. It’s also critical to understand that treatment is different for everyone and, therefore, a tailored treatment approach is important. Contact us today for more information about Colorado alcohol rehabilitation at 855-281-5588.