The 6 Phases Of Addiction Recovery


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The process of recovering from a medical condition that's been eating you alive is not easy. If you're anyone eager to learn, do the research first. You might even turn to Google and type "What does it mean to be sober?" or "What are the phases of recovery?" The most straightforward way to sum things up would be to say that it is a big decision and demands a massive lifestyle change.

However, a life free from addiction may feel like a long shot for someone who is in recovery or considering treatment. But once you are ready to stop using such harmful substances, you will have to go through a few phases of addiction recovery. It is essential to understand these phases aren't just a 'fling.' They were identified by SAD researchers Carlo DiClemente and James Prochaska. Each of these phases will encourage you or a loved one to foster a positive change and help create a more defined path towards recovery.

So without further ado, let's take a closer look at the six phases of recovery and what each stage entails.

Phase 1: Treatment initiation

When you seek help from a professional rehabilitation program, such as the program offered here at Honey Lake Clinic, you enter the first phase of your regeneration - treatment initiation. In the early days of your rehab, you will have mixed feelings about indefinitely abstaining from your drug of choice. You may also believe your issue is not as severe as others. Be cautious of this attitude. In the early recovery phases, hesitation and denial can be your worst enemies.

At this point in treatment, the goal is to assist patients in deciding to participate in treatment activities and recognize that abstinence is the primary objective. Change may appear intimidating to someone contemplating or in this phase of recovery. However, long-term recovery is possible. Facilities such as the Fusion Recovery Centers offer a series of personalized treatments suitable for all addiction levels.  Furthermore, a patient's substance abuse history will help during this phase. The treatment program will work with the patient to cultivate a plan.

Phase 2: Pre-contemplation 

People are uninterested in seeking help during the pre-contemplative phase of change because they are not considering the need for change. At this point, an addict is likely to become defensive and rationalize their substance use. When working with patients in the pre-contemplative phase, the recovery team assists them in moving towards contemplation by shifting their emphasis on control. This involves helping them become more mindful of the actual penalties of their addiction. The treatment team will also employ psychosocial interventions to assist the patient in contemplating the possibility of a transformation.

Phase 3: Contemplation

Patients in the contemplative phase are aware of the personal implications of their addiction and spend time reflecting on it. At this point, an addict may be open to discussing the impact of their addiction. Still, they are hesitant to make a change. The treatment team will continue to use motivational interviewing techniques to assist the patient in envisioning new options for their life and potential steps to gain freedom from active addiction during the contemplative phase.

Phase 4: Preparation

During the preparation phase, the person's vitality grows, making realistic plans for their recovery. This can include them promising to stay abstinent or even entering rehab. This phase is all about preparing for recovery and devising a strategy to achieve it. The person can progress to the next stage by selecting a specific day, month, or year. They may have mixed emotions about making these arrangements. Still, once they commit to taking action, the next step usually goes quite comfortably.

Phase 5: Action

At this point, real change – that is, a behavioral change – begins. Many addicts start the action phase in a residential or detox treatment center, where medical professionals guide them through the early stages of recovery. At this phase, a patient will seek treatment for the underlying causes of their addiction. Individual and group therapy help people apprehend addiction and themselves better. In contrast, alternative or complementary therapies encourage holistic wellness and aid in recovery. The action phase will also provide patients with healthy, proactive coping strategies for dealing with triggers and stress, allowing them to progress through the last stage without relapse.

Phase 6: Maintenance & termination

Every change requires time and dedication to maintain. A person begins to adjust to their new substance-free lifestyle during the maintenance and termination phase. As patients regain control of their lives, reverting to old habits becomes less of a threat. After maintenance, the ultimate goal is termination. A person with substance use disorder no longer perceives their substance of choice as a threat. At this point, they are comfortable and confident living a life free of addiction.


Safe to say, addiction recovery is a lengthy process that demands commitment and changes in many aspects of a person's life. These six phases of recovery can help people with substance abuse disorders find the motivation to change their habits, learn the benefits of recovery, and be on their way to becoming a new person. It is also essential to know you are free just because you've gone through the phases of recovery. Like heart disease or diabetes, addiction is a chronic condition that demands continuous control. To develop a thorough aftercare plan, go to AA meetings, build a support network, discover some new hobbies, or do anything that keeps you away from a relapse.

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