Addiction is an all-encompassing disease that affects the person suffering as well as their loved ones. It often progresses over time and, as a result, the journey to recovery can be incredibly challenging. It often requires a complete lifestyle change and unlearning habitual behavior that can be life threatening. The stages of addiction recovery differ for each individual, but with support and guidance, a person is capable of finding long-term sobriety.
The road to recovery begins with an individual making a decision to move away from substance abuse. Unfortunately, substance use disorder (SUD) is not easy to overcome and often requires tailored treatment and ongoing mental health support. Recovery from drugs and alcohol is frequently referred to as the five stages of change.
This post will help you or your loved one recognize the process of addiction recovery from the beginning to the end. If you require support and guidance through addiction treatment, AspenRidge provides compassionate care that can help individuals and families face the challenges of discovering sobriety. Contact us today for addiction support and help at 855-281-5588.
Five Stages of Addiction Recovery
There are five stages of addiction recovery and change when it comes to the process of overcoming addiction. For some, these stages are represented as a cycle, whilst others may bounce between stages. Substance use disorder is characterized as a spectrum and therefore it makes sense that individuals dealing with addiction go through the stages of change in their own way.
Stage 1: Precontemplation
At the precontemplation stage, it’s common that the person suffering from the addiction has not yet recognized or considered their behavior caused by SUD to be a problem. This stage can be particularly difficult for family members and friends as the person dealing with the addiction has not yet experienced the negative or even dangerous effects of their actions and behavior.
It’s common at this stage for the person with the addiction to express bouts of denial about their behavior and are therefore likely not forthcoming with listening to advice to seek help to recover. At this stage, they may continue to use substances.
Stage 2: Contemplation
The next among the stages of addiction recovery is when a person dealing with addiction begins to see the negative consequences of their behavior. This stage is characterized by an individual who is dealing with a substance use disorder begins to contemplate changing, cutting down, or even quitting their behavior.
This stage is considered a window of opportunity for the increased support of family and loved ones as the person dealing with the addiction is more likely to be receptive and open to receiving information at this point. Addiction specialists have found that the best approach to tackling substance abuse is the collective energy of everyone involved, not just the person dealing with the addiction. Overcoming substance abuse is a collaborative process between loved ones coming together to support a person they care for by providing non-judgemental information and encouragement instead of confrontation. If you are supporting someone to overcome their addiction and you’re not sure how you can provide the best support, learn more about supporting someone dealing with addiction here.
Whilst the stage of contemplation may offer a window of opportunity to offer support, people dealing with addiction can be in a stage of contemplation for many years as they have not yet committed to change. It’s important that if you recognize this stage in yourself or someone you care for, you act to move forward to the next stage.
Stage 3: Preparation
The preparation stage is characterized by a person who has moved from a stage of thinking about changing their behavior to moving forward to plan and prepare for the changes. This stage is essential to the success of recovery as thorough planning can prove to be effective.
SAMHSA states that this stage is a pivotal moment for the person dealing with the addiction as they have moved from a stage of consideration to a stage of commitment towards beginning a move toward recovery. During the preparation stage, it’s common for a person dealing with addiction to begin making a recovery plan, to obtain the necessary resources needed, to remove triggers, and to start putting support structures in place.
The important part of this stage is for the person dealing with addiction to continue to work on strengthening their commitment to recovering. This is another stage where the support and motivation of loved ones are crucial to the success of recovery.
If you or a person you care for are in a stage of preparation, a great way to continue to strengthen commitment and boost motivation is to help amplify the idea that there’s a life beyond the disease of addiction. A great way to do this is by embracing positivity in the form of affirmations. Positive affirmations and mantras are a constant reminder that you or your loved one are moving in the right direction. Find more information on positive affirmations and mindfulness here.
Stage 4: Action
The action stage is where change begins to happen. This is the stage where a person dealing with addiction begins treatment, supported by professionals through the early stages of recovery.
Whilst this stage involves the move towards recovery, for many, discontinuing an addiction can create stress and feelings of emptiness. The change toward recovery isn’t a process that happens overnight. If you or someone you care for are in a stage of action, be sure to find ways in which the person dealing with addiction is getting the support they need to cope with the stress as excessive stress can lead to setbacks and trigger a relapse.
Changing a lifestyle can be challenging as it involves a person being taken out of their comfort zone. The action stage of recovery can become overwhelming. Substance use disorder and mental health are linked. It’s common for people dealing with addiction to also experience mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety. Learning to manage stress is critical to achieving and maintaining sobriety. Find more information on how to deal with feelings of overwhelm here.
Stage 5: The Maintenance Stage
The final stage is the maintenance stage. This is characterized by a continuation of the progress made in the action stage. This stage required continued motivation and commitment to maintaining sobriety. The maintenance stage requires resilience, persistence, and effective stress management as this is a stage where complacency can set in which may lead to a lapse. Having a great support system and being offered the right guidance can be a great way of avoiding setbacks to help you, or your family member stays on track.
AspenRidge Can Help With Addiction Care
AspenRidge Recovery works to help clients not only recover from addiction but to also examine and address underlying mental health/ co-occurring disorders. We offer a range of programs designed to help guide and support clients and their families through each stage of addiction recovery. Not only do we offer treatments, we also offer comprehensive mental health support as well as continued support for clients and families.
We help treat:
- Alcohol addiction
- Heroin addiction
- Opioid addiction
- Prescription drug addiction
- Cocaine addiction
- Marijuana addiction
- Methamphetamine addiction
- Benzo addiction
- Xanax addiction
Clarity Comes With Sobriety
Achieving sobriety is a remarkable achievement and is something to be immensely proud of. Achieving sobriety comes with a level of clarity that holds the potential to drastically impact different aspects of your life, from improving relationships to improving your mental and physical state.
If you or someone you care for are thinking about quitting or are finding it difficult to stay sober, give us a call on 855-281-5588 to get in touch with our recovery team and treatment centers in Colorado. We will help you find the right treatment for you or your loved one.