Overcoming an addiction to drugs can be a long and difficult process, but it’s not impossible. Recovery goes through various phases, and each builds off the previous one to ensure that you can maintain your sobriety as time goes on. Use this guide on drug recovery stages to understand what to expect during each phase of your treatment plan.
Stage 1: Precontemplation Stage
This stage is before the person is ready to stop abusing drugs. They may have not even thought about it, or it’s something they do not want to think about. This phase can last a few hours, days, weeks, or months. It all depends on what triggers that person to be ready for drug recovery. It might take a health scare, legal problems, life-threatening addiction, fear of death, etc.
Stage 2: Contemplation Stage
Drug recovery is a lifelong process, and in the beginning, it can be hard to know where to start. The second stage in the recovery process is the contemplation stage. This is when you most likely feel confused, scared, and unsure about what to do next. It’s time for you to take control of your addiction. Here are some steps you can take in this stage:
- Get educated about addiction
- Find support from people who have been through addiction
- Seek professional help if necessary
- Build an addiction-free lifestyle with healthy habits
Stage 3: Preparation Stage
In this stage, the addict will plan for drug recovery and begin to organize their life for sobriety. They are trying to do all they can to prepare themselves for their new lifestyle. In this phase, the addict is still not ready to make a change in their life. This means that the addict can relapse during this stage without any consequences or guilt.
Stage 4: Action Stage
Also called the rebuilding stage, this is the stage where you take action to change your life for the better. You could make new friends, find a job, or start going to a support group. You are taking steps that will improve your life and strengthen your sobriety.
The addicts at this stage have made significant changes in their lives and are moving forward on the road to recovery. They have replaced many negative habits they once had with positive ones. They have learned more about themselves and have begun developing self-respect. They might still slip up from time to time, but it is now infrequent instead of constant.
Stage 5: Maintenance Stage
In the maintenance stage, you will be free from cravings, withdrawal symptoms, and other physical manifestations of addiction. If you are committed to your recovery program, this phase can last for years. The maintenance phase is characterized by a feeling of contentment and balance in one’s life. It is crucial that you stay vigilant in this stage, as relapse rates are highest due to the lack of physical manifestations of addiction.
Despite building a sense of urgency through the stages, there is always a chance for relapse at every stage of drug recovery. Some people may find that as time goes on, they’re less likely to lapse into addiction because they have learned from their mistakes. However, others may find it more difficult to stay sober due to external factors like relationship difficulties or stressors at work.
For some addicts who know how easy it is to relapse back into addiction when certain triggers present themselves, it may be necessary to avoid those circumstances altogether if there’s no way around them.
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