According to experts, addiction is a condition where one’s use of substances such as drugs and alcohol is compulsive and interferes with the normal life of the affected individual.
When one is addicted to a drug or substance, he or she is dependent on it. As a result, individuals focus more on the consumption of the drug or substance even at the expense of their social lives, family relationships, work and sometimes even health.
Addiction recovery is often a hard and daunting task that requires time, patience, resilience and most of all, determination.
The fact that addictions are different from one person to another also makes the recovery process unique in that different addicts may go through various stages of recovery. Nevertheless, five stages of addiction recovery are typical in most situations;
1. Realization And Acceptance
The very first stage of recovering marks a move away from denial and into realization and acceptance of the existence of an addiction problem. Awareness may arise from;
- Conversations with friends, family members or even co-workers
- Developing complex health problems
- Financial difficulties
- Work-related or even legal problems.
However, it is important to note that in this stage, the addict may continue engaging in the addictive behavior and may not even have made any progress towards recovery.
This is the very first step towards recovery. This addiction recovery stage is marked by an increased willingness of the addict to not only learn more about the addiction but also look back on how the addiction is negatively affecting the addict’s social and familial relationships.
Simply put, the user begins to look beyond himself/herself and instead looks at the addiction in the context of his/her external environment. It is this reflection that addicts will get the drive to move in the direction of recovery.
3. The Exploration Of Recovery
By this stage, the addict has accepted the problem, seen how it is affecting his life as well as the life of others and ultimately made a decision to seek recovery.
The recovering addict mat starts exploring more about moderation and possibly even sobriety. The exploration may see the addicts consulting other people who have recovered from addictions in the past as well as a search for information regarding the available treatment or recovery options.
It is also at this stage that the recovering addict may get confident enough to enroll in an addiction treatment program or any other similar program meant to help the addict recover.
4. Early Recovery
Recovering addicts have gone beyond exploration and taken things into their hands. As a result, they may have ceased using the substances or drugs to which they were addicted and may also have stayed sober for a relatively long time.
Furthermore, the recovering addict may pursue long-term recovery by letting go of people, activities, and behaviors that are detrimental to the recovery process.
Unfortunately, this is also one of the most difficult addiction recovery stages because recovering addicts have not yet developed the skills and confidence to prevent them from relapsing to addiction.
As a matter of fact, experts agree that this is where most recovering addicts fail and ultimately backslide into addiction.
5. Active Recovery And Perpetuation
The last stage of addiction recovery is the culmination of hard work and determination. The recovering addict recognizes the fact that he/she needs to actively regulate their activities, behaviors, relationships and thoughts for them to remain on track.
Recovering addicts may also develop and maintain a support system to help them through the recovery journey. It is essential to continue instilling new skills in the recovering addicts at this time so as to help them remain sober.
At this stage, recovering addicts may also have started living more normal lives (including finding work, spending more time with family, and exercising)