What Are the Stages of Rehab?

Struggling with alcohol or drug addiction can be crippling. It can interfere with your relationships, your job and many other aspects of your everyday life. However, once you have hit rock bottom and realized that you can no longer live this way, it’s the first big step toward getting help.

Once you have found the right rehab center to get the treatment you need, you might wonder what to expect. This is normal, and like anything else that’s worth waiting for, it takes time. However, you can expect to go through these stages of rehab as you head on your journey toward a clean and sober lifestyle.

How Many Stages of Rehab Are There?

There are four stages of rehab treatment: treatment initiation, early abstinence, maintaining abstinence and advanced recovery. They were developed by the National Institute on Drug Abuse for the purpose of providing information to health care providers on drug counseling. However, the model is also helpful for individuals who are going through treatment for substance use disorder to drugs or alcohol. Rehab takes a serious commitment on the part of a person who is struggling with addiction and recovery is considered a permanent process.

Treatment Initiation Stage

The first stage of rehab is treatment initiation. At this stage, you are seeking help for your substance use disorder by choosing a rehab facility to curb your addiction. This occurs first in treatment regardless of whether you voluntarily enter a rehab center or are forced into one. At the beginning of the treatment initiation stage, you might have feelings of reluctance. You may psychologically want help and your sobriety back, but you might be too physically addicted to the substance.

It’s even possible to have the mindset that your problem is not that bad and that you can quit on your own whenever you want. However, denial is one of the worst things about the earliest stages of your recovery. During treatment initiation, you enter a rehab facility and go through the intake process, which involves a full history being taken. This includes assessments of physical and mental health and meeting with a counselor who will help to create a personalized treatment plan that could work for you.

Early Abstinence Stage

The early abstinence stage means that you are working on having drugs or alcohol eliminated from your body and your life. Often, this is a difficult stage, but it’s also considered one of the most important for your ultimate success. You may notice withdrawal symptoms, physical cravings and psychological dependence on the substance. At this stage, triggers may be present that try to force you into a relapse.

However, it’s also during the early abstinence stage that you regularly meet with a counselor who can provide you with essential tools to help you walk on the right path toward continuing sobriety. Instead of falling off the wagon and using again, you can learn better, healthier ways to react to certain situations so that you don’t lose step with your treatment. You also get the opportunity to participate in groups that offer continuing support and learn to recognize triggers that lead to cravings to use again and can find ways to avoid them.

Maintaining Abstinence Stage

The maintaining abstinence stage begins around 90 days after you have successfully avoided drugs or alcohol. At this point, you will progress to continuing treatment to maintain your newfound sobriety. If you were in an inpatient program, you might move to outpatient treatment and continue with your therapy sessions to keep you on the right track.

The main purpose of the maintaining abstinence stage is to continue with what you have learned up until this point to avoid relapsing. You can put the helpful tools you’ve learned to good use by maintaining your sobriety. This stage teaches you that in order to live a clean lifestyle, it takes more than not abusing drugs or alcohol. You will learn how to live a healthy lifestyle and build healthy relationships, how to avoid substituting your addiction for another, anger management and job and finance skills. Typically, the maintaining abstinence stage starts around three months into your treatment and lasts until you are around five years into your sobriety.

Advanced Recovery Stage

The advanced recovery stage is the final stage of rehab. By this time, you are able to use all the skills you’ve learned throughout your time in treatment so that you can use them in your everyday life to live sober. In this stage, you can create long-term goals, form relationships with people who don’t drink or abuse drugs, engage in activities that are healthy and maintain a consistent schedule in your daily life. You can also find other ways to continue feeling happy and fulfilled. This can include religion, social activism, hobbies and other activities. If you’re ready to get help, we’re here for you. Call today at 833-820-2922.

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