What Are the 5 Stages of Recovery?

Addiction recovery is a long journey. It is certainly not a linear process but rather one with bumps along the way. Based on research and holistic treatments, generally, there are a few distinct stages to address challenges in recovery. They are known as “the stages of recovery.” These stages help highlight the different factors that influence the onset of addiction and recovery and maintenance. 

Additionally, it is a life course perspective that offers hope and motivation. Understanding these different stages can help you manage your recovery expectations and, therefore, navigate your journey more effectively. Let’s take a closer look at the stages of recovery and how they can guide you through the most critical turning points of healing.

 Does Recovery Happen in Stages?

Recovery is a life-long journey. However, as human beings, we have certain fixed behavioral patterns that unfold over time. Sometimes these behavioral patterns are healthy; sometimes, they become unhealthy. Therefore,  you can aid your recovery journey using the different stages to cultivate healthy behavioral habits.  

Addiction recovery involves a dynamic relationship between your willingness to seek treatment and medical professionals and treatment centers that offer help. Your success has much to do with how reasonable your expectations are during this process. A combination of factors shapes the process; therefore, recovery can happen in a few stages because of this interactive nature with professionals and your expectations and motivations.

Precontemplation Stage

The first phase of addiction recovery is known as the precontemplation stage. The precontemplation stage is when you are not yet considering any treatment. You might also still be actively using substances to self-medicate. It is also likely that in this stage, when approached by loved ones to seek help, you can be defensive and further isolate yourself. Ultimately, you have not awakened to the realization that substance use is negatively impacting your life. 

Additionally, you might think that your situation won’t get that bad. However, if you are not careful, you can become stuck in this phase for years. You can succumb to the thought that the benefits of using far outweigh the risks. 

Contemplative Stage

The second stage is called the contemplative stage. The contemplative stage is when you begin to consider seeking treatment. Often, it is in this stage when you realize that addiction is too costly, and the joy of using is no longer present. You use substances because you don’t know otherwise. The onset for change often begins with feelings of anxiety and stress because you are finding that substances are ruling your life. 

In this stage, you might consider reaching out to friends and family for help. You might also consider entering a detox program. Ultimately, this is the stage when you begin to consider treatment and evaluate your current relationships. It is also a pivotal stage to establishing the foundations for sobriety and eventually recovery. However stressful or intimidating it might seem, seeking help is always the best choice. 

Preparation Stage

The third phase of recovery is the preparation stage. Here, you will have chosen to enter treatment and therefore have a stronger sense of urgency or desire for sobriety. In addition to preparing for treatment at a facility, you will also be learning about self-remedy skills, including: 

  • Exercise
  • Mindfulness Meditation
  • Journaling
  • Breathwork

Action Stage

When you finally begin treatment, this is considered the action stage. You are now committed to working with health professionals and peers alike. The action stage requires humility, self-knowledge, and trust to rebuild relationships with yourself and others.  

Although the action stage is crucial for helping you toward the road to recovery, it won’t completely stop addiction. However, it will help you develop the tools necessary for managing your addiction. Therefore, once you finish treatment, the success of your long-term recovery will rely on how well you maintain the healthy routines and relationships necessary to aid your recovery. 

Maintenance Stage

After treatment, you will enter the fifth stage, maintenance. Arriving at this stage means that you have been managing your sobriety successfully. Further, you have also likely repaired relationships with loved ones. It is also likely that the relationship skills you have developed allowed you to end unhealthy relationships. Overall, in this stage, your lifestyle has likely changed to include more self-care and relaxation practices

However, like its name, you need to remain persistent in developing growth in your recovery. It includes building up skills that you use at home and continuing to seek help from local 12-Step programs such as AA or NA. It is preventative care that will continue to help you manage cravings and impulses to use substances.  

As with any stage of recovery, self-care and honesty are very crucial. Further, you need to be vigilant until both your physiological urges and behavioral patterns become stabilized in a healthy way. However, if you are currently struggling to manage your addiction, then the time to get help is today. At Laguna Shores Recovery, we support you through every stage of addiction recovery. We understand your needs which is why we offer a variety of conventional and alternative treatments and therapies. Our counselors, therapists, and staff are motivated to find the best care that meets your individual needs. We are focused on helping you rebuild your relationship with yourself and others within a safe, comfortable and inspiring environment. Our ongoing support system also includes a 12-Step program, mental health diagnosis, and medical treatment plans. With 24/7 admissions, there is always the opportunity to get help. Find out more and call us today at (866) 906-3203