June 17, 2024

The 5 Stages of Alcohol and Drug Rehab Recovery – 2024

Alcohol and Drug addiction is one of the most debilitating illnesses that tear apart the lives of millions of Americans every year. Sadly, most people fail to recognize how complex and unpredictable overcoming this disease can be.

Every addicted individual, no matter what form of substance abuse he or she is suffering from, has unique needs and therefore needs a different treatment approach. Still, many of them are hesitant to go for professional treatment due to the myths about rehab. They are probably confused about the exact treatments they will get there, different stages of rehab, etc.

The reality is, yes, the addiction recovery process is complicated. However, many substance abuse experts are now considering new trends and stages to offer the utmost comfort for addicted individuals on their way to recovery.

Each stage of addiction needs a variety of strategies to get the best outcomes for every recovering addict. Therapists and healthcare experts emphasize these stages of addiction recovery for a reason. Generally, there are 5 fundamental stages of alcohol and drug rehab recovery and those are:

  • Pre-Contemplation
  • Contemplation
  • Preparation
  • Action

There is another terminology for these and that is early, mid and late stages of alcohol and drug rehab recovery. Addicted individuals in the contemplation stage are in their early phase of recovery. In this stage, the utmost priority is given to developing effective strategies that focus on patients’ immediate concerns such as relapse prevention, abstaining from drug or alcohol abuse, and suppressing cravings.

On the other hand, the priorities of the later phases of recovery revolve around reconstructing patients’ damaged relationships.

5 Addiction Recovery Stages


Mostly, the people in the pre-contemplation stage are yet to recognize their drug or alcohol addiction. The chances are, most of them are facing not-so-bigger-problems legally, professionally, socially, etc but they have not yet recognized the severity of their problem.

During this period, addicted individuals tend to avoid conversation related to their addiction. They also try to stay from the people who bring up such conversations. Even if their loved ones stage an intervention during this stage, they are more likely to deny their addiction. Such addicts often blame the outside factors such as stress in work life, family life, etc for their substance abuse. This is the time when addicts hit the rock bottom and later recall it as the most hopeless time of their life.


During the contemplation stage, they admit that they are struggling with drug or alcohol addiction. However, they don’t understand the root cause of the issue and how to tackle it. It is vital to choose professional help in such situations. For example, when you realize that your alcoholism is affecting you in all ways and you can’t do much about it, find the best alcohol rehab near you ASAP. In this stage, you may notice that you cannot enjoy substances like before, regardless you are now taking more. The end of this stage is categorized by frequent episodes of excitement and anxiety.


Addicts in this stage are those who have made their minds about the recovery. They are now ready to undergo alcohol detox and rehab programs for their alcoholism. If they are into drugs like cocaine, heroin, or else, they now know what treatment they need to live a substance-free life. It is common to see addicts in this stage having a feeling of commitment to the right plan of action.


This is a self-explanatory stage where patients begin to change physically. By this we mean, they start their physical process of recovery by either changing their behavior or surroundings. In most cases, this process of physical change begins at a reputable recovery center. Such changes provide them the sense of accomplishment and often help to build confidence in them. While the action stage is the most important stage of all, it requires the most effort as this is the solid foundation of lasting recovery.


Unfortunately, maintenance is one of the most underrated stages of drug and alcohol recovery. Most people fail to understand that long-term recovery is the result of patience, dedication, and inner strength. When the course of treatment for an addict is over, he or she shifts into this stage and they generally move back to their homes. When they are in their usual environment, they may face the same events that once pushed them into substance abuse. Therefore, it is very crucial to attend sober living programs like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA). They can also consider choosing sober living homes to engage themselves in a healthy and sober community.

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