According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the harmful consumption of alcohol contributes to around three million deaths per year worldwide. That makes alcohol consumption one of the most dangerous addictions globally. Most people develop drug and alcohol addiction due to environmental, social, or personal issues. No matter the reason behind addiction, the good news is drug and alcohol addictions are treatable.
No person can develop an addictive behavior overnight. A person’s intake of alcoholism or drugs increases daily. As a result, some chemical changes start to develop in the brain. That is why recovery from addiction is also a stepwise process. Keep in mind; some patients might go through the different stages of recovery quickly. However, others might find it challenging even to motivate them to take action against their addictive behavior.
Recovery from alcohol addiction requires a person to change their lifestyle and habits completely. Therefore, the famous alcohol use disorder researchers introduced the Transtheoretical Model – Stages of Change.
Are you an addict but want to change your ways and live a sober and best quality life? In that case, you can get help from any rehab center located around your area. For instance, people living in Florida can consult Delphi Behavioral Health Group that identifies the root cause, and offers a unique plan to their clients. No matter at which stage of addiction you are, the well-trained professionals are ready to help you till the last stage of your sobriety. Although many people usually go in order through these stages. However, sometimes a person may undergo back and forth these stages. Whatever your case might be, it would be helpful to learn the five stages of drug and alcohol recovery:
Stage 1 – Precontemplation
In the initial stage, a person with addiction may not observe any change in their behavior. However, chances are, the person may have the slightest bit of an idea of what their addictive behavior is costing them. Still, they are unwilling to accept it or even find excuses to defend their addictive behavior. Moreover, they might avoid any conversation or people who encourage them to change their drug and alcohol addiction habits. Or worse, they become defensive or argumentive about their addiction. Some people in this stage try not to take any action since they are hopeless about the results. Others step into treatment centers only because of the pressure from their friends, family, or court notice. Unfortunately, at this stage, the only help a friend or family member can offer to the patient with addiction is to identify and guide them with the pros and cons of their negative behavior. In this manner, a person may accept that the problem exists and move on to the next stage.
Stage 2 – Contemplation
In this stage, a person is most likely to achieve a significant milestone in terms of acceptance. Although, they have accepted their addiction as a problem and want to work on overcoming it. However, as the name of this stage suggests, they are still just contemplators. As a result, they might make plans to change their addiction practices, but in reality, they are still indecisive about it. For instance, they may plan to get professional help in the next few months but don’t set any definite timeline. Some people at the contemplation stage even decide to cut back on their drug and alcohol consumption on their own. Or they start to do their research on addiction and treatment plans, but they are not ready to take the actual step towards change. At this moment, family or friends’ non-judgmental support can help them move forward in their recovery process.
Stage 3 – Preparation
The preparation stage helps the patient take meaningful steps towards the change. As a result, the person is no longer procrastinating and has a solid determination to get treatment. However, people at this stage are more likely to start with small steps. For instance, they might inform their family or friends about their intention of getting help. Or they might formulate a plan with a definitive timeline, such as three months from now that they promise to follow. Yet, there still might be some part that remains unsure of their decision in this stage. Thus, a best practice is to make a detailed, achievable plan that helps them stay committed to a sustainable recovery.
Stage 4 – Action
At this point, the patient is willing to take action for the treatment plan they have been preparing themselves for the sober lifestyle. The person starts to execute their plan either by changing their environment or changing some negative behaviors. The best part of this stage is that the person begins to have a positive feeling and builds confidence. The first step of the action stage involves going through the detoxification phase. The withdrawal symptoms might be life-threatening. So, it is recommendable to detox in a medically supervised environment. Once the person completes their detoxification step, chances are they might suffer from psychological or behavioral issues. Thus, the next step is to consider treatment programs such as seek therapy, residential, and outpatient programs.
Stage 5 – Maintenance
The addiction recovery process doesn’t end at the action stage. The next stage prepares individuals to how to maintain their recovery even after a long time. But, let’s be honest; it is pretty easy to slip back into the habit of addiction. And when this happens, the entire effort or recovery process might fall by the wayside. Therefore, learning how to sustain the achievements from the action stage is a must. Thus, people at this stage learn the skills and coping strategies to avoid relapse. Consequently, most patients at this stage mainly focus on changing their lives for the betterment rather than giving in to the temptation of going back to their addictive behavior.
There is no denying that the road to addiction recovery is no walk in the park. It requires significant willpower, effort, and time dedication to let go of addiction from the patient’s end. However, the outcome you get walking down this challenging path is worth it in the end. Furthermore, even a simple understanding of the different stages of the recovery process can help you walk easily through your journey. Ultimately, individuals can only reach the stage of sobriety if they identify the causes that push them into addiction and take positive action for living a productive and fulfilling life.