Alcohol Abuse

Road to Sobriety: The 5 Stages of Recovering from an Addiction

Alcohol AbuseComplete recovery from a substance or alcohol abuse problem never happens overnight. It takes a long process to let go of a bad habit. Sobriety will require a person to go through different phases of recovery before walking away from it all for good, regardless of the cause of addiction.

Not everyone is aware of how this process pans out, though. Here is a quick look at the five stages of recovery so that it is easier to understand:


PsychCentral considers denial as a symptom of addiction. In most cases, this is also the last hurdle before going sober. Recovery, after all, begins with the person knowing and accepting that there is a problem and that finding a solution is in order. Still, during this stage, the addict shows no signs of initiating action to solve it.


Consideration is where simple awareness gains an element of action. At this point, the addict takes time to look beyond their own needs and wants. This is the start of understanding the concern that comes from family members, friends, and peers.


Exploration takes place after mulling over a plausible action to cure the addiction. This is when the addict has sufficient motivation to overcome the problem. Small steps such as abstaining or moderating the intake of alcohol or drugs may not seem like much, but these are important to a patient’s recovery.


Early recovery comes next – and at this point, the patient finally stops using the substance. This is a moment to be joyous about, but it is also a time when the addict is vulnerable to relapse. It is important to take proper care during this phase to avoid going back to the old habit.


Oklahoma-based treatment center Vizown says the last stage is maintenance and eventual termination. It is one thing to get sober; it is quite another to stay that way. This is why maintenance is necessary to ensure no relapse happens. Over a protracted period of maintenance, the addict finally gets rid of any desire to commit the abuse again.

The time spent in each of these stages is indeterminate. Some phases might take long for some, while others may find it easy to complete. What’s important is that we all know about these five stages. At the end of the day, we can only understand what an addict goes through when we’re aware of the recovery process.

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