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Understanding the Stages of Recovery

Addiction is a chronic condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It can be challenging and rewarding for those ready to begin the recovery journey. Recovery is not a linear process; it varies from person to person. It's essential to recognize that recovery is a long-term journey that involves several stages. Understanding these stages can help you manage expectations and prioritize self-care. Here's what you should know:


Pre-recovery is often the stage where the individual becomes aware of their addiction and begins the process of contemplation. They may have hit rock bottom, fallen ill, or experienced significant consequences due to their addiction. During this stage, the individual may feel overwhelmed, anxious, and confused about how to move forward. It is crucial to acknowledge how brave it is to consider recovery and that seeking help is the first step towards a healthier life.

Tips for the Pre-Recovery Stage:

  • Acknowledge the problem: Admitting a problem is one of the most challenging aspects of the pre-recovery stage. It's important to face it head-on, regardless of how difficult it may seem.

  • Identify triggers: Recognize triggering situations or people and come up with a game plan ahead of time to avoid them.

  • Seek support: Reach out to a supportive friend or family member, attend a support group, or seek professional help.

Active Recovery

The active recovery stage is when the individual begins the recovery process, which can be a challenging and rewarding experience. During this stage, individuals will learn healthy coping mechanisms, strategies for dealing with triggers, and accountability for their actions. Active recovery is a time for healing, growth, and self-discovery.

Tips for the Active Recovery Stage:

  • Practice self-care: Engage in self-care activities such as exercise, a healthy diet, meditation, or mindfulness.

  • Attend therapy: Work with a therapist to address the root of the addiction and develop coping mechanisms.

  • Identify healthy habits: Find healthy habits, such as starting a new hobby or spending time in nature, to replace unhealthy or destructive ones.

Long-Term Sobriety

The final stage of recovery is long-term sobriety. This stage often involves maintaining positive changes in active recovery and living without addiction. Long-term sobriety requires a continued commitment to healthy habits and utilizing the coping mechanisms developed in active recovery.

Tips for the Long-Term Sobriety Stage:

  • Practice daily gratitude: Focus on the positive aspects of life and practice gratitude for your progress.

  • Continue therapy: Work with a therapist periodically, as needed, to continue your mental and emotional growth.

  • Surround yourself with positive influences: Spend time with a supportive community, attend support groups, and engage in meaningful relationships.

Recovery is not a quick fix, but a lifelong journey. Each stage requires patience, commitment, and self-care. Understanding the stages of recovery can help you recognize progress in the travel and approach each stage with an open mind and willingness to grow. Remember to acknowledge your progress, seek support when needed, and practice gratitude for the journey ahead.

If you have questions about treatment, our programs, or anything else, reach out to us at (678) 940-7873, and we can get you the answers you seek.