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5 Steps to Recovery

Drug and alcohol abuse can rip families apart. It can also transform the sweetest people into lonely, desperate and angry indviduals. While the impact of addiction certainly is devastating, that doesn’t mean there isn’t hope for anyone. In fact, millions of people have already received addiction recovery treatments and you can, as well. 

Here today, our Southeast Addiction Center TN, wants to share 5 steps to recovery. Hopefully, by knowing more about these steps, you can increase your chances of creating a recovering lifestyle that works out amazing for you.

Before Discussing the 5 Steps to Recovery

Before we discuss the 5 steps to recovery, it is crucial to know that these steps aren’t always linear. In fact, some people may take these steps out of order. Some people may take them slowly and others more quickly. Each person’s progress is measured by their own success and meeting of their goals. 

If you or a loved one needs to get into recovery, we want you to reach out to our Southeast Addiction Center TN team right away. 

Five Steps to Recovery Coming Up

There are 5 steps to recovery from an addiction which are:

  • Precontemplation
  • Contemplation
  • Preparation
  • Action
  • Maintenance

Keep reading to learn more about each of these steps today. 

Step 1: Precontemplation 

Those who are in this stage of recovery aren’t quite ready to enter an addiction rehab center program. They are endlessly justifying and defending their behaviors. They don’t yet have the insight into their addiction and how it is causing chaos in their life. At this point in recovery, the user also doesn’t see how many positive experiences they can receive from getting clean and sober. 

The length of time that someone stays in this stage of recovery can vary greatly. Most of the time, people stay in this stage for so long because they don’t have the information or help needed to overcome their addiction. Another reason some people are in this stage for so long is because they previously attempted to get sober and relapsed, so they think it isn’t possible for them to be in recovery. The truth is that all people who struggle with an addiction can recover and create a better future for themselves. 

Step 2: Contemplation

The second step of recovery is called contemplation. At this point in recovery, the person is starting to think about or contemplate making changes in their life, but aren’t quite ready to do so right now. Unlike with the precontemplation step, during contemplation the user does know how beneficial a substance-free lifestyle would be for them. However, they also still feel they are getting benefits from their drug and alcohol use. 

If you have a loved one who is in the contemplation stage, this would be a great time to hold an intervention, as they are more likely to hear you and other family members or friends out. If you can avoid accusations, judgment and blame, you may be able to guide your loved one to the third step in recovery. 

Step 3: Preparation

The third step in recovery is known as the preparation stage. During this stage, the individual is starting to feel a sense of urgency when it comes to getting clean and sober. They may have already taken some steps to develop a healthier lifestyle such as:

  • Joining a gym
  • Going to therapy
  • Trying to quit using drugs and/or alcohol on their own

During the preparation stage, it is normal for people to stop using drugs and/or alcohol for a few days. However, they are often back to using substances again soon due to tough emotions, triggers or other difficulties in their life. 

If you or your loved one are in this stage of recovery, don’t let it keep bringing you down. You can get more help, so that you can move further into recovery, instead of backward into an addictive lifestyle. 


Step 4: Action 

Step 4 is known as the action stage. This is when a drug or alcohol user makes positive changes in their life. They are committed and motivated to making these changes and will go for long periods of time without using alcohol or drugs. They will also turn to professional addiction recovery specialists for help before they relapse. Most of those who do relapse during this stage will admit they need more help and reach out, as well. 

During step 4, the recovering addict will also be more self-aware, self-understanding and take better care of themselves in all aspects of their life. If you or a loved one are in this stage of recovery, it is important that you continue going to therapy and receiving other addiction treatments to help ensure you stay on the right path in recovery. 

Step 5: Maintenance

The final stage of recovery is maintenance. This is when the recovering addict works hard on preventing a relapse. They also continue making and sticking to positive lifestyle changes such as:

  • Going to substance-free recreational activities
  • Regularly exercising
  • Staying sober
  • Getting plenty of restful sleep
  • Going to support groups and/or recovery meetings

Most people who are in this stage have better control over their triggers and have a much lower chance of relapsing than those who are in the action stage. For this reason, people who are in the maintenance stage are usually more confident in their recovery and sobriety. 

With this being said, most people need to be sober for at least 6 months before they reach this stage. Usually, after being sober for 6 months, most people won’t want to go back to their addictive lifestyle. However, for others, it may take a few years to truly overcome their addiction and improve their chances of staying sober.

Aftercare is Important

It is truly important for everyone who is in recovery to participate in an aftercare plan. After they have reached the maintenance stage, they still need to work on their recovery in order to stay clean and sober. Just like with physical health conditions, addiction is a chronic disease that requires people to continue sticking to significant lifestyle changes to manage the condition. 

For this reason, you must continuously make an active effort to stay sober and keep working toward your next goals. To help you with this, our Southeast Addiction Center TN works with you to create an aftercare plan. This is a plan that will help you to keep on track in your recovery. It will also help you to use the things you have learned while in our rehab center out in the real word. Whether you are using things you learned during support groups, individual therapy, 12-step treatments, inpatient programs or outpatient programs, we are confident that these resources can help improve your chances of staying sober and in recovery for the long haul.

Follow Along with the 5 Steps to Recovery Starting Today

Do you or a loved one have an addiction to alcohol or drugs? If so, we would like to encourage you to follow along with the 5 steps to recovery starting today. Here at Southeast Addiction Center TN, we will be with you every step of the way.
Contact us today to take the first step into your recovery.

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