The 4 Main Stages of Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Recovery

When you choose to go to a rehabilitation center for alcohol or substance abuse, you make a bold and empowering step toward a sober and clean life. Rehab facilities offer the most comfortable and safest procedures of achieving sobriety and a higher chance of maintaining a sober state. However, most people aren't aware of the treatment process that happens in rehabilitation centers. The treatment isn't a one-size-fits-all procedure as each individual has unique care based on various factors such as the particular drug they are addicted to, co-occurring disorders, and personal preferences. When you begin the recovery journey, you'll have to go through the four different stages of rehab recovery. These four stages were made by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, where they referred to recovery as a lifelong process.

Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Recovery

First Stage: Treatment Initiation

Treatment initiation is the early recovery stage when you reach out for help from professional drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs. This stage is the same across all boards, whether you've reached out willingly or forced by circumstances. During the first few hours or days, you'll most likely have ambivalent feelings where you might feel that your problem isn't as bad as others. Denial and ambivalent feelings are dangerous and can be dangerous during the first recovery days. 

Second Stage: Early Abstinence

When you agree to commit to the treatment of your condition, you'll then enter the second rehabilitation stage, referred to as early abstinence. This is one of the hardest steps to cope with due to several factors. These factors include physical cravings, withdrawal symptoms, psychological dependence, and many other triggers that can pull you into a relapse. It's during this stage that professional counselors will start teaching you the skills you need to start and lead a sober lifestyle. The tools you'll learn during this stage are the tools you'll use during the entire recovery journey.

Third Stage: Maintaining Abstinence

After around 90 days of continuous recovery, you'll transition from early abstinence to the third stage of maintaining sobriety. If you began in a residential program, you'd progress to the follow-up or continuing counseling stage of the rehabilitation program on an outpatient arrangement. In this stage, you'll learn more about the warning signs that can trigger a relapse. You'll also learn advanced life coping skills and tools to help lead healthy relationships, manage anger, employment, money management, developing a drug-free lifestyle using exercise and nutrition, among others. This stage begins at about three months into the program to about five years clean and sober.

Fourth Stage: Advanced Recovery

After around five years of continuous abstinence, you'll get to the fourth stage of advanced recovery. It's during this stage that you employ all the learned skills and tools to live a fulfilling and satisfying life. You'll not only remain sober and clean, but also become a better spouse, a healthier person, a better parent, a good neighbor, a productive citizen, and a productive member of society. 

The recovery process is more than just staying sober and clean. It's a process of learning to live better through the skills and tools learned during rehab counseling. You can check Florida Centers for more information about the rehabilitation recovery process.

Daniel Kruger

    Daniel Kruger

    A senior academic researcher, reviewer, and editor, Daniel Kruger is also an internationally accredited psychotherapist. He earned his PhD in Psychological Counseling and Guidance, and in the years since, he has taught in the Department of Psychological Counseling and Guidance himself.He has also authored papers that have gone on to appear in such world-renowned journals as the European Journal of Psychological Assessment, Psychological Reports, the Scandinavian Journal of Psychology. Asia Pacific Psychiatry, and Computers in Human Behaviour.