Four Stages of Rehab

common responses to addiction and rehabilitationThe path to getting clean after admitting to having a drug or alcohol addiction is a well-traveled one. Many people have gone before, and many will follow. You can take comfort in knowing that you or your loved one are not alone in this – and you can also  learn a lot from the experiences of others who have been there.While of course everyone’s journey is different, there are certain responses that are common during the different stages of the rehabilitation process. Being able to recognize and understand while going through them can be invaluable and really help with recovery.According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, there are four main stages of rehab: treatment initiation, early abstinence, maintaining abstinence, and advanced recovery.  Here are the common responses that people experience during each one.

bigstock_Road_To_Recovery_Sign_4438546Treatment Initiation

The first stage of recovery begins when you first reach out for professional help for your drug or alcohol addiction, regardless of if you took this action voluntarily or were forced into doing it for legal or other reasons. During this stage, many people are ambivalent or even resistant to giving up their drug of choice permanently. You may be in denial that you really have an issue or that it’s bad enough to require treatment. These feelings of ambivalence and denial are often the biggest hurdles in the early days of rehabilitation.Treatment Initiation is also one of the most emotionally fragile stages.  For this reason, most rehab facilities will focus on helping you get clean, manage cravings, and prevent relapse during this time.  Issues that tend to be more emotionally charged, such as coping with family issues, are usually saved for later in treatment. Instead, treatment staff will concentrate on trying to give you hope, bonding with the rest of the group, and helping you to identify with others.

Early Abstinence

This stage occurs when you’ve made a commitment to continue your treatment. You recognize that you have a problem, and you actively want to overcome it. Depending on the substance you are abusing, this is often the hardest stage to get through since you may be experiencing extreme withdrawal symptoms, psychological dependence, and physical cravings. During Early Abstinence, you will work on developing coping skills to allow you to continue abstaining once you leave the rehab facility.Many people also experience a feeling of loss as they grieve over the fact that they won’t be able to use their substance of choice anymore.  You or family members may find this surprising. Many people feel unsure about how to manage their emotional lives. In rehab, and with the help of group therapy and support from loved ones, you’ll work to develop healthy substitutions for what drove you to drugs and alcohol in the past.

Maintaining Abstinence

roadtoadvancedrecoveryAfter you’ve been sober for 90 days, you are considered to have moved into the third stage of recovery: maintaining abstinence. This is often the time that you will move from an inpatient program to outpatient treatment, which can involve group therapy or meetings with a counselor.You may experience a wide range of emotions, such as guilt, uncertainty, shame, and anger.  It’s important to continue seeking help, and also to watch for warning signs of a relapse. Since you’re no longer in a facility and are re-exposed to “real world” stresses, there are more opportunities for returning to your substance of choice.

Advanced Recovery

The final stage is often defined as starting after five years of abstinence. It occurs when you are able to use the coping tools and skills you’ve learned to have a satisfying and fulfilling life. The goal is for you to deal in healthy ways with all aspects of your life – as a spouse, a parent, a child, a worker, a neighbor, and a citizen.Many people feel a greater sense of independence and accountability in this phase of addiction rehabilitation and recovery. Sometimes people feel driven to give back to their community as well.At this point, some choose to stop going to outpatient therapy, but it’s important to remember that one slip can put you back into a dire situation and the need to start the rehabilitation process all over again. For this reason, it can be beneficial to continue treatment on a less frequent, but ongoing basis.Call-Today-for-Addiction-HelpBack to

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