The 5 stages of Addiction Recovery

Taking the first step is always the hardest part of any new journey. The fear and anxiety of the unknown can cause us to avoid doing the things that can greatly improve our lives if we just took that first leap of faith. For those struggling with addiction, the best way to help yourself get into treatment is by informing yourself on the realities of rehabilitation. The more you know, the more clearly you’ll see the finish line, which can help take away the understandable fear and anxiety you may feel towards this journey.


Here are the 5 stages of addiction recovery, so you can stop wondering and start healing.

1. Pre-contemplation During this stage, the individual does not see their substance use as an issue. Often, the reason someone turns to drugs and alcohol is to help them cope with an emotionally stressful situation. In the pre-contemplation stage, an individual will actually find their use of substances to be a positive addition in their lives. That is because of the temporary relief it will provide them from their feelings of anxiety, stress, sadness and so forth. At this point, it is too early for the negative effects of substance abuse, such as withdrawal, to show itself as a warning sign that perhaps there is a problem starting. 2. Contemplation This is the part in an addicts journey where it becomes apparent to themselves and those surrounding them that there is a substance abuse issue. Their habits have likely started to affect their everyday life both at home and work wise. Their relationships with friends, family and/or partners will also start to be negatively effected because of their drug use. At this stage, it can be productive to intervene and discuss the options available to help this person overcome their addiction. The contemplation stage means the individual is aware enough of their issue to begin thinking about changing. However, it is possible to either regress back to the pre-contemplation stage, or to remain in the contemplation stage for years. 3. Preparation This stage is one of the most significant in an addicts’ recovery as it is the time when they have actively made the choice to make the changes needed to lead a sober life. By this point, the addict understands and has felt the negative side to substance abuse, which seriously outweighs any of the “positives” they once thought made it worth it. With that comes the desire to get back to a clean lifestyle, so the addict is extremely open and committed to treatment at this time. Look up drug rehabilitation centers near you, such as “drug rehab service in Los Angeles” if you or a loved one feel it’s time for a change. 4. Action This is the stage where talk meets action. The addict has started their recovery journey by potentially seeking out medically assisted detox, entering rehab and/or starting their inpatient care if needed. 5. Maintenance Maintenance involves any kind of efforts you seek out daily, weekly etc such as sober living homes, after care support groups (AA or NA). This is the final stage, and it is essentially a lifelong endeavor, but do not be overwhelmed by this statement! It is just to say that recovery is a lifelong journey. So long as we are humans, there will good days and bad days, which means we will continue to be faced with trying situations that test our ability to stay on the good path. However, with proper maintenance, you can do it!