Five Stages Of Addiction Recovery

Are you battling an addiction that you feel is taking forever to leave you? The truth is you are not alone. Recovering from addiction is a tough task, and the recovery process can vary from person to person.

It’s important to recognize that addiction is not a life sentence. You can heal from it. The journey may be challenging, but it will be rewarding. This journey comes with different stages, each of them having their peculiar challenges and features. Knowing these stages can help you understand the process and help you navigate it with support. Every stage of addiction recovery will equip you with the necessary tools to recover from addiction.

1. Precontemplation Stage

Sometimes, we all get stuck in a rut, and it can be hard to see how our habits might affect us. This is the stage where you have not thought much about your addiction, or maybe you do not see it as a problem yet.

You feel you do not need addiction therapy because you are not aware that the constant pattern of behaviour has gotten control of your mind and body.

This is when you need to dwell on the impact of the addiction in your life. Think of the embarrassment it has attracted to you, the opportunity you have lost, and the people who have distanced themselves from you. These are enough validation that you have an addiction.

2. Contemplation Stage 

In this stage, you have now recognised the addiction and are beginning to consider moderating it or completely freeing yourself from it. You are open to learning the possible harmful effects of the addiction and how to control it. It is a chance to check in and see if you need to move to some shade. In this case, the “shade” is taking a look at how addictive behaviour is impacting your life.

This might involve asking yourself some honest questions. Is substances or behaviour affecting your health, relationships, or work? Do you feel the need to hide or lie about it? If some of these questions resonate with you, you’re starting to think about making a positive change, and that’s a decisive first step.

However, there is no action yet to make profound changes. But you find reasons to stick to the status quo or embrace changes. For instance, some smokers think they cannot be energetic enough to work until they take drugs. The fear of quitting can make them stuck.

3. Preparation Stage

Think of this stage as training for a marathon. You’ve decided to run the race, and now you’re getting yourself prepped for success. This stage is all about putting together your toolkit for kicking addiction to the curb. You may have been researching different treatment options like outpatient and inpatient treatment or joining a support group focusing on your needs. This is the moment you think about things that might trigger your cravings. It may be hanging out with some people or being in specific places. This is your plan to avoid those triggers and find a healthy alternative.

This is the moment you think about building a support system. These loved ones will cheer you,  offer you a shoulder to cry when the journey gets tough, and hold you accountable. Remember, this stage is about putting the pieces in place for a smooth transition into an addictive-free person.

4. Action Stage

Imagine it like finally deciding to climb a mountain you’ve been eyeing for a while. This is where you put those plans you made into motion. It can be to quit on your own or through rehab programs like attending regular therapy sessions or joining a support group. You will be actively learning new coping mechanisms to deal with cravings and triggers that might pop up along the way.

It is a stage of complete healing and growth, and prolonged abstinence is expected. We recognise that it is like learning a new skill; there will be moments of frustration, but with practice, addiction recovery gets easier.

Sometimes, addiction can stem from unaddressed mental health issues. However, when these underlying issues are solved, it becomes easier for you to rewrite your story and build a life you love.

5. Maintenance Stage

Now that you have taken the steps to free yourself from the damaging addiction, you will start to see significant changes in your mental health. You need to maintain positive changes and work hard to prevent relapse. Keep strictly to the new lifestyle you embrace during the recovery process. To manage the changes, adopt a positive lifestyle, such as regular exercise, good sleeping hygiene, and recreational activities. This will boost your physical and mental health and bring you genuine pleasure away from the addiction that steals your joy.


Taking action against addiction is a huge step. You should be proud of yourself for getting this far. Remember, conquering that mountain takes time, and there will be ups and downs, but the view from the top is incredible. With proper support and deliberate preparation, your action stage will be full of force. It won’t be so challenging to maintain your actions if you quickly substitute addiction with a new positive lifestyle.

Think of your addiction recovery journey as an investment in yourself and a chance to reclaim your life.  Begin each stage with determination, embrace the transformative power of recovery, and remember that you have the strength to overcome anything.

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