RSS Feed

Related Articles

Related Categories

The 5 stages of addiction recovery

16th July 2017 Print

Behavioural change isn’t easy, particularly when a person has come to depend on something in their everyday life. Those struggling with addiction will go through a difficult process that will put a strain on both their physical and mental wellbeing. Here you can find out about the five stages of recovery that need to be followed in order to get well again. 


Every addict will go through a phase during which time they will deny that they have a problem. For those that are still able to function on a daily basis, the denial stage can go on for a long period of time, encouraging their addiction to grow. Most of the time, it takes a certain event, such as being caught driving while drunk or the breakdown of a relationship, to shock an addict into the next stage of their recovery process. 


It’s true that the hardest part of the recovery process is accepting that you have a problem. At this stage, an addict will no longer try to deny or conceal their problem and instead learn to discuss the issue and be persuaded to get the help that they desperately need. 


During this stage, the addict will begin to consider ways in which they can get help. This is both an internal and an external process in which they will reflect on how they became addicted and how they can quit. This is an important stage for those who are helping with the process of rehabilitation, as it is vital that the addict knows they are making the right choice to begin a better life


The first few weeks of recovery will bring about a mental clarity that can come as a relief to the addict. They will begin to realise the effects that the drugs or alcohol have had on their life and how much they will improve it by completing a full recovery. The longer this process continues, the more their brain will learn how to heal, improving mental well-being dramatically. 


It will be common for addicts to experience a continuous back and forth conversation in their heads as they battle with the process of staying drug or alcohol-free. No matter how strong they may seem, there is always a risk of a relapse, and it is important for professionals to understand this and prepare for it. Commitment can be kept up through ongoing therapy or a relapse prevention program either individually or in a group.  

These stages of recovery are not always linear. It is possible that an addict will move back and forth between the stages and even relapse. Even so, it is important to see this as a renewal in determination rather than a failure as negative thinking such as this will only encourage further damaging behaviours. 

With professional help from the right rehabilitation centre, those struggling with an addiction to either drugs or alcohol won’t have to go it alone and will have a support network in place in the event of a relapse.

More Photos - Click to Enlarge