What Happens During Addiction Recovery?

What Happens During Addiction Recovery?Shape

Addiction recovery is a process based on four key stages that help patients attain abstinence. The Forge is here to help, call us today for more info!

For those who have never experienced it, drug & alcohol addiction recovery is just a broad term that means leaving behind a life of addiction and substance dependency for good. But how exactly does it happen? 

Does addiction recovery mean the same thing for everyone? What are the steps involved in making sure a person never resorts to touching the same substances again? How long does recovery take? 

What Exactly Does Drug & Alcohol Addiction Recovery Entail?

Addiction recovery is the process of healing the mental, physical, and spiritual wounds caused by substances. Most often, this involves a set of treatments, therapies, and behavioral changes that are practiced for a duration of time based on the nature and severity of the addiction. 

Treatment is the first step in recovery for many people. Addiction treatment often involves exercises, mindfulness, cognitive therapies, and even medication to help individuals recover from drug abuse’s many neurological and physical manifestations.

What Are the Different Stages of Addiction Treatment at Facilities?

There are four main stages of treatment at most leading addiction recovery centers across the United States. Each stage is made up of different therapies and techniques focused on abstinence and helping the mind, body, and spirit heal. 

The four stages of treatment include:

  • Treatment initiation

  • Early abstinence

  • Abstinence maintenance

  • Advanced recovery

What Is Treatment Initiation, and What Does It Involve?

The first stage is less about “treating” the addiction and more about early counseling. Counseling plays a vital role in helping individuals remain motivated and focused throughout the otherwise long and often difficult journey.

During initiation, therapists mainly focus on helping patients see all the damaging effects of the substance. These effects can affect one’s social, personal, professional, and daily life and overall health. 

Therapists also encourage patients to speak openly about their feelings regarding the problem. When feelings of guilt, denial, and negativity are vented out of the system, it becomes easier to focus on recovery and all the steps it takes to get there.

What Does Early Abstinence Mean?

Early abstinence is often a challenging stage. At this point, an individual may start experiencing withdrawal symptoms, intense cravings, emotional triggers, elevated levels of stress, and psychological dependency.

During this stage, therapists typically encourage clients to participate in healthy activities, either independently or in support groups. Alternatives to drug use and alcohol consumption are also practiced and explored during this stage. 

Therapists also note the different environmental triggers that can lead to early relapse and help clients recognize them.

What Happens During Abstinence Maintenance?

After the second stage, clients move to the third stage, abstinence maintenance. Clients who have been receiving residential treatment for their addiction until this point can now receive continued therapies and counseling in the form of an outpatient program.

As the name suggests, the third stage is all about focusing on maintaining abstinence and practicing all necessary measures to prevent relapse. The focus shifts slightly to help patients see the larger picture: life is more than just staying away from harmful substances. 

Life is about cultivating healthy habits and virtues to improve your mental, physical, and spiritual wellbeing. Clients are encouraged to participate in activities that help with:

  • Anger management

  • Balanced dietary intake and proper nutrition

  • Employment ethics and strategies

  • Effective and responsible money management and financial planning

  • Understanding the importance of physical therapies and exercise

  • Development of a lifestyle free of drugs and alcohol

What Does Advanced Recovery Involve?

Advanced recovery is the fourth and final stage of the journey. It takes everything that clients have learned during the previous stages and helps them apply those principles in daily, practical lives. 

The fourth stage is all about strategizing, and the general focus is condensed on:

  • Constantly creating and achieving personal goals

  • Working on establishing a healthy routine to be followed on a daily basis

  • Engaging with individuals who do not use addictive substances or consume alcohol

  • Actively participating in sports or other social activities

  • Practicing faith, religion, or spirituality for a healthier mind and body

  • Getting back on track with education or employment

  • Reestablishing relationships with parents, siblings, spouses, and friends

  • Contributing to one’s community and becoming a better citizen, neighbor, and human being.

Is a Person Considered Fully Recovered After the Fourth Stage?

The fourth stage may be the final one, but it is a process that demands a whole lifetime of dedication, commitment, and focus. The four stages are merely there to help individuals see life beyond substance abuse, but to live by these principles is easier said than done. 

Close friends, family members, and community therapists have a vital role in helping those who struggle with addiction and drug abuse remain sober and committed to their goals.

Addiction recovery occurs when an individual stops using drugs and alcohol and takes steps towards healing their mind, body, and spirit. For many, this journey begins in addiction treatment.

At The Forge Recovery Center, we understand that addiction affects every single person differently. There is no set treatment that will work for all patients in the same manner, which is why we specialize in tailoring treatments based on an individual’s needs, symptoms, and nature of addiction.

Addiction treatment is anything but textbook, which is why we have hired professionals from varying backgrounds and specializations. Our combination of group and therapeutic connections helps our clients master themselves, forging new, fulfilling lives, and achieving their dreams.

Based in Orange County, CA, The Forge Recovery Center is a drug and alcohol rehab provider which establishes strong foundations for long-term drug and alcohol recovery for you or your loved one. For more information, call The Forge today.

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Written by

brian-mooreBrian Moore

Content Writer

Reviewed by

jeremy-arztJeremy Arzt

Chief Clinical Officer

April 22, 2022