Addiction Recovery

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Recovery refers to a process of change that people use to improve their wellness and health while self-directing their lives to reach their full potential. Even individuals with severe or long-term alcohol or drug use can achieve this stage with the help of professionals and loved ones. Recovery from addiction usually has multiple meanings; for example, some may believe it to be abstinence from all substance use, while others associate it with managing negative feelings every day without using substances to cope with them. Regardless of which definition you choose to go forward with, recovery from addiction is essential to living a healthy and normal life.

Types of Addiction Recovery Programs

Addiction recovery community usually provides the following types of treatment programs for clients to recover:

Recovery-Oriented Systems of Care

The programs included in this category use the chronic care model of management to tackle severe substance use disorders. Some elements of these programs include outpatient care, recovery coaching, management checkups, and recovery housing.

Recovery Support Services

These services highlight community-led services that provide practical and emotional support to help people live in remission. Some components of this program include recovery coaching, recovery management, mutual aid groups, recovery-based education, and recovery community centers.

Social & Recreational Recovery Infrastructures & Social Media

This program benefits people in recovery by helping them enjoy various recreational activities and connect with others. The substance-free interactions these people have as a part of this program may occur in recovery-led cafes, creative arts programs, and sports leagues.

The Five Stages of Addictions and Recovery

Regardless of whether you choose to get self-help or join an addiction recovery center, there are five stages you may need to go through before achieving sobriety. Not every person may go through all these stages in the right order; however, the majority seem to follow them. The stages include:

Precontemplation Stage

People in the first stage of addiction recovery are not ready for any treatment program. Hence, they may seem defensive and are willing to provide consistent justifications for this behavior. Such people lack insight into how their addiction is enhancing the negatives while suppressing the positives of life.

Many people get stuck at the precontemplation stage as they lack information about addictive behaviors or are facing disappointments due to previous failed attempts at recovery. They may believe that recovery is not possible for them while, in reality, anyone can recover from addiction no matter which stage they are in.

Contemplation Stage

In this second stage, most individuals are ready to change their future by acknowledging the pros of a drug-free life. At the same time, some of these people may consider the potential benefits they perceive from their drug or alcohol addiction which may stop them from moving forward.

Contemplation is a critical stage not only for the addict but also for their family members and treatment experts. This is because a client at this stage is more likely to listen to others or reason with them without accusations, judgment, or blame.

Preparation Stage

At the preparation stage, individuals are busy establishing a sense of urgency regarding their wish to practice a sober life. By this time, most people usually have a plan of action in mind to reinforce their target, such as seeing a counselor, joining or gym, or attempting to break the addiction cycle on their own. Many people who reach this stage can quickly go for multiple days without using drugs or alcohol. At the same time, many more relapse and return to their substance use or even move back to the former stage, i.e., the contemplation stage.

Action Stage

Until the action stage, most people have made noticeable changes in their daily lives with high commitments to change. This stage of change includes long-term maintenance of abstinence while inclining towards seeking professional help to prevent relapses. The change in the action phase not only halters the destructive addiction behavior but may also impact other aspects of life. Self-understanding and self-care remain two critical parts of this stage.

Maintenance Stage

During this last stage of addiction recovery, individuals focus all their energy on preventing relapse. They also strive hard to keep up their lifestyle changes, such as getting exercise regularly, staying sober, improving sleep hygiene, and participating in healing recreational activities. People in this stage do not feel the need to relapse as much as the ones in the action stage, which boosts their confidence. This high confidence also makes them realize that they have the ability to maintain long-term sobriety.

The maintenance stage for addiction recovery may last from six months to five years, depending on how severe the addiction is, along with other genetic and environmental factors. Most people, however, need to commit to an addiction recovery center for at least one to two years to break their addictive patterns while solidifying a positive change truly.


What does being in addiction recovery mean?

When someone says that they are recovering from addiction, it normally means receiving treatment from an addiction treatment center. In reality, recovery is a broad term that covers plenty of territories but is usually used to describe being in a remission phase. What this means is that when a person is in recovery, they are not actively suffering from addiction, even though the addiction continues to affect them in many ways. Sometimes, people stay in addiction recovery for an entire lifetime as there is no cure for this disease. Such people can sustain treatment and recovery for a long but cannot end the problem with a magic pill.

What are the impacts of being in recovery in addiction rehabilitation centers?

Practicing recovery can be a challenge for addicts on a day-to-day basis. They constantly need to make choices to uphold their sobriety which requires a lot of determination and concentration. Holding onto this new-found sobriety every day can easily seem daunting to anyone. At the same time, recovery also means taking one step, one day at a time. Consider it a process that you have to experience to truly appreciate its meaning deeply. Addiction recovery will likely touch all parts of your life and will serve as a reminder to enjoy what you currently have. You may consider sharing this experience with others while lending them an ear to make the process easier and more bearable for everyone. That said, when you are in recovery, you may:

  • Make decisions depending on how they may impact your recovery
  • Feel a connection with those who are in recovery as well
  • Try never to let your guard down
  • Adult relationships and friends based on how they affect recovery

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