Addiction is a disease that affects a person’s brain and behavior. Things like alcohol, drugs, and opiates, in some way, change the brain structure and function, which leads to changes that persist long after you cease these vices. Although addiction can have too many negative consequences for you and your environment, it’s curable.
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There is no single approach to addiction treatment that is suitable for everyone. Rehab depends on the severity of this condition and the patient’s characteristics. Finding the proper treatment is crucial for recovery and returning to normal life. Still, what all addicts have in common is going through certain stages of recovery.
It all starts when you acknowledge the problem. And you should believe you’re capable of change and motivated to engage in the recovery process. You learn about coping techniques and relapse prevention as you proceed through recovery. Ultimately, you’ll feel better about your life. But you must go step by step.
Acknowledging the addiction issue is not the first phase of recovery. The precontemplation stage comes first when people still can’t admit their problems. Instead, they find excuses and reasons for substance abuse and negative behavior. They often avoid discussing their addiction with anyone.
In this stage, addicts may be going through the motions, feeling pressured to keep their lives normal, and unaware of how severe their condition is. It means they’re still not ready for treatments. But they quickly become aware of their trouble, most often after they hit rock bottom. Once they’ve acknowledged that they have a problem, they can begin seeking help.
Contemplation means looking deeply into something. In the context of addiction recovery, the Contemplation stage is when a person realizes that their behavior and actions are unhealthy and wants to change or quit them. Addicts can come to this knowledge independently or due to pressure from others.
At this stage, individuals are aware of the consequences of their behavior. So they begin to consider ways to improve their situation. However, they may still not be convinced of the decision to start rehab. Many people remain in this stage and even go back to the Precontemplation stage. They still weigh all the pros and cons of their addiction and addiction-free life.
People with a strong will and motivation will slowly slip into the Preparation phase. It happens when the periods of vice non-use become longer, and the addict takes some positive steps towards treatment. But leaving addiction may leave them feeling empty and unfulfilled, so it’s crucial to have support from family and friends. That’s a safe path toward the Action stage.
The Action Stage
The Action stage of addiction recovery involves taking concrete steps to achieve the goals you set out for yourself. These changes may come in small, gradual steps or be a complete life overhaul. Regardless of your approach, quitting will be a very stressful time. Here’s what you should know before starting recovery.
The action stage is when the changes made in the previous recovery steps become a reality. It will take time to adjust and build new habits, as this phase often brings pressure, stress, and excitement. So you need to find ways to cope with the stress.
The benefit of this stage is that some positive changes in your life can make you more willing to proceed. Also, you’ll be ready to work on self-care and understanding. But you need professional counseling to stay on track. So it might be the right time to ask for professional help or visit rehab clinics.
The way you transition from this stage depends on your course and the amount of preparation you’ve done. For instance, if you’re cutting back on substance use, you may incorporate more coping skills and community resources. But suppose you’re looking to make more substantial changes. In that case, you may need an inpatient stay at an addiction treatment center or an intensive program.
In the maintenance stage, individuals work to maintain the lifestyle changes they’ve made while attending support groups and practicing good habits. At this point, they no longer feel the urge to relapse nearly as frequently as they did during the preparation and action stage. As their sobriety increases, they also develop more confidence and belief that they can maintain sobriety for the long term.
But, this is one of the most challenging stages of addiction recovery. Even though you get used to a life without vices, the desire for them may return. Maybe you just want to see if you can resist them. That’s exactly the trap. You may think a lapse in behavior won’t make a difference. Still, in reality, it will cause you to relapse into old patterns and behaviors.
You need tremendous dedication and willpower to endure. So keep yourself busy and engaged in various activities that don’t remind you of life before recovery. Find an alternative to vices and involve the family in relapse prevention. The whole process will be much easier when you have someone by your side.
The Relapse stage in addiction recovery is the point when your abstinence efforts can fail. At some point, you could believe that you’re no longer threatened. So you might think that a small slip-up to your addiction trigger won’t make a big difference, as you’re clean and vice-free.
But that’s a mistake that can ruin all positive changes you’ve made so far. So experts from Loveland rehab centers suggest you to stay focused on the goal of sobriety to avoid the relapse stage. Even if you succumb to these challenges, it’s easiest to get back on track at this stage.
Recovery means paying close attention to the intent behind substance abuse and adjusting your lifestyle to avoid relapse. Its success will also allow for improvement and regression, which is essential given that addiction is never a simple disease. So, it’s important to go step by step toward overcoming this problem.