Recovery from any form of addiction is not a simple process. The progress is not necessarily the same for every case and therefore the stages of the recovery process aren’t necessarily linear. Some will sell quickly from one stage to the other whereas others will take time in moving ahead step by step. Also, many may move to and fro in between steps.
Help comes in many forms. There are rehabilitation programs, AA meetings, and other recovery and detox regimes that help in achieving sober living. However, they all base their treatments on the basic 5 steps of recovery. An understanding of these steps is important also for those affected by addiction so that they can self-assess during the course of treatment.
The 5 Step Guideline for Recovery Programs
The Pre-Contemplation Stage: This is the very first stage and this is not when the recovery program should start. There is a tendency to justify one’s behavior. There is a lack of insight into the negative impacts of alcohol and drug use. There is also a heightened focus on the seemingly positive impacts of the substance of addiction. Pre-contemplation may be a result of ignorance. It could also be a result of the failure of recovery programs.
The Contemplation Stage: This is when a patient graduates to readiness. He now seems aware of the advantages of sobriety and the acute negatives of addiction. This is a very important stage. This is when recovery initiatives like AA meetings or rehabs should kick in. A halfway house in California may also be sought at this time for ensuring a disciplined regime for quick action. It is important for recovery initiatives to steer clear of judgments and accusations during this stage. A wrong move here can push the patient back to stage 1.
Preparation Stage: This is when the individual is developing a sense of urgency for becoming sober again. They have already started making healthy changes in their lifestyle like joining a gym and looking for a detox program. They might also be trying to look for halfway houses they can shift to for the interim period. Often, people would go without substance abuse for a day or perhaps a couple of days even. However, the base of abstinence is still flimsy at this time and it is perfectly normal for them to drop back to the contemplation or pre-contemplation stage. One simple trigger is all it could take.
Action Stage: This is when significant changes are made in the addict’s life and he or she succeeds in remaining committed to the changes. There are long periods of abstinence; there is an attempt to reach out to counselors, mentors, and sponsors. There is even an urge to follow the rules of a halfway house. Constructive changes are visible in lifestyle and behavior. Self-understanding and self-care become apparent. However, high-grade counseling is required to keep them on track.
The fifth and perhaps the most important stage will be the Maintenance Stage where exercising sleep hygiene, attending support group meetings and recreational activities have a role to play. This is when the period of abstinence and the success or failure of the recovery program is determined.