Did you know that alcohol is the third most common preventable cause of death in America? In fact, an estimated 88,000 people die from alcohol abuse each and every year. While there’s no denying that this is a significant problem in America, it doesn’t have to be.
If you feel that you may be suffering from alcohol addiction, it’s best to be honest with yourself and seek help before it’s too late. After all, there are countless programs available to make the path to recovery more achievable.
For those entering recovery, it’s important to understand that recovery takes place in stages. Understanding what’s to come in these various stages is the best way to take control of your addiction for good.
We’re outlining the four most common alcoholic recovery stages users can expect to enter.
1. Treatment Initiation
When you reach out for professional help, you are officially beginning the first step of your recovery.
This first stage in recovery is characterized by starting a professional treatment program. This program is administered by professionals and is the best way to overcome addiction.
More often than not, these treatment facilities take place in rehab centers such as The Hope Treatment Program in Abilene Texas.
In these programs, users work alongside training professionals to overcome their addiction. As opposed to working through your addiction alone, individuals are able to work with a team that is available along the way.
In most cases, the early stages of the treatment program will include therapy as well as the process of detoxing. This therapy will help users understand the basis of their addiction and how to overcome it.
Individuals can expect to be in a controlled environment that helps to minimize the pain and stress of disengaging with alcohol.
2. Early Abstinence
Once you have made the decision to commit to a sober lifestyle, you will enter the second stage of recovery. This stage is known as the early abstinence stage and is perhaps the most difficult stage for recovering addicts.
This is due to many factors including intense withdrawal symptoms, continued cravings and an array of triggers.
Because of these withdrawal symptoms, recovering addicts often face mental challenges during this stage. This is anything from depression and anxiety to irritability and self-doubt. It’s also common to experience difficulty in sleeping at night and difficulty staying awake during the day.
This is also due to the fact that individuals are in a controlled environment and away from their usual routines. Near the beginning of this stage, individuals may have trouble adjusting to a new schedule and feeling so far from home and regular life.
To help counteract this, one-on-one counseling and therapy sessions take place often. Patients will also continue to be mentally evaluated during this time.
It’s during this stage that councilors will teach addicts how to best cope with their cravings. These coping mechanisms are the basis for how addicts will cope with continued cravings throughout the recovery.
3. Maintaining Abstinence
After approximately 90 days of continued sobriety, you will move into the maintenance stage of your recovery.
During this stage, individuals can usually expect to be in an outpatient treatment program. Think of this as the follow-up stage of recovery.
The main focus of this stage is to continue your sobriety while preparing to transition back into your regular life. Here you will learn how to cope with cravings in the real world.
You will also continue counseling to determine how to best incorporate back into your usual routine. This will include best strategies for family life, relationships, work life and social settings.
Here you will learn the necessary coping skills and tools for developing a realistic alcohol-free lifestyle. These skills will also target areas such as:
- Money management
- Exercise and nutrition
- Stress and anger management
- Healthy relationships
- Employment opportunities
This stage typically commences after 90 days in a rehabilitation program. While the length of this stage varies from person-to-person, recovering addicts normally fall into this stage for up to five years.
Once this stage is over, the individuals will notice that their cravings have almost entirely subsided. They will also begin to feel more confident and happy in their sober lifestyle decision.
4. Advanced Recovery
The final stage of recovery often commences five years after abstinence.
It’s usually during this stage that individuals report feeling more happy and confident in their sober lifestyle.
While many individuals in this stage still attend AA meetings or regularly speak with their sponsors, they can look forward to life feeling more normal. At this point, cravings are to a minimum and occur rarely. The individual has also developed enough coping mechanisms and tools to combat sudden urges.
Former addicts can look forward to once again becoming contributing members of society and leading a healthy lifestyle. And, best of all, learning to love a life free from addiction.
It’s all better from here!
Preparing for Alcoholic Recovery Stages
If you’re entering the recovery stage of your addiction, it’s best to understand the various alcoholic recovery stages. It’s also important to remember that these stages are a totally normal and expected part of recovery.
And, considering that 1 in 8 Americans is an alcoholic, there’s no need to feel any shame in your addiction.
There’s no denying that these stages are difficult. But, inpatient and outpatient treatment programs exist to make the transition to the sober life less challenging. These programs provide recovering addicts with the emotional and physical support they need to increase their chances of success.
To learn more about programs such as this in Abilene Texas, be sure to visit our website for more details.
The path to alcoholic recovery is never an easy one, but you don’t have to do it alone.