Recovery takes time and commitment. It’s important to keep in mind that recovery is a step-by-step process. Each stage requires a new set of skills. Effective substance abuse treatment programs teach life skills and coping mechanisms with real-world applications.
Having a top-notch team of doctors can make a big difference when it comes to getting your life back on track. Addiction treatment programs in Maryland promote integrated wellness that treats the whole person, both the mind and the body. Medical doctors work alongside mental health counselors to individualize treatment plans for each client. Clients who come to a relapse prevention program learn the necessary skills to navigate high-risk triggers in everyday life. These essential addiction treatment options help clients maintain lasting sobriety.
Understanding the Stages of Recovery
Recovery begins even before a person decides they are ready to stop abuse and seek help. The first of the stages of recovery is pre-contemplation. During the pre-contemplation stage, a person has become aware that they have a problem. This could be for a number of reasons. Often, it’s because a person has tried to reduce or cease use and discovered they are unable to do so on their own.
In this stage, a person may remain in denial of their situation. They may be trying to convince themselves that living with their addiction is reasonable and manageable. Finding justifications for using drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism and minimizing the side effects or problems in their life as a result of addiction is common. Seeking medical treatment is scary. It requires admitting to yourself that you can’t solve this problem on your own.
It’s important to note that during these early stages, a person who is close to the individual with a substance abuse problem or addiction may be able to nudge them to see a therapist or related counselor. Once in counseling, a person may be more inclined to address their problem and seek additional treatment.
Another of the stages of recovery is contemplation. In the contemplation stage, a person typically becomes more aware of the destructive nature of their abuse and addiction. They see that drugs or alcohol result in negative consequences and are trying to decide how to proceed. At this stage, a person is not yet ready to stop their drug abuse immediately, but they may become more open about the possibility of entering a treatment program.
At this stage, a person has become aware that the adverse effects of drug abuse and addiction outweigh any positives. They may be willing to seek help from professionals in substance abuse treatment programs at this point. This is a time when an intervention is more likely to be successful. Support from loved ones, friends, and colleagues could go a long way once a person is ready to confront their situation and the repercussions.
This stage is when a person has accepted that recovery is needed. They are ready to take the next step and engage in a treatment program or related medical intervention. This is a good time for someone to consider reaching out to an anonymous group for additional support.
It’s essential to keep in mind that the action stage is more than simply “getting sober.” Part of what makes this stage difficult is that a person must be prepared to change their behaviors and, in turn, their lifestyle. Learning to make healthy choices can be difficult for some more than others. A good treatment program can help promote ideas for a healthy and positive lifestyle that can begin during treatment and be carried into sober living.
In treatment, people in recovery will learn to mend damaged relationships, broaden their safety net, and find new ways to engage that can help them avoid making negative choices that could result in problematic behaviors. Recovery is an ongoing journey.
Once a person reaches the maintenance stage, it is their job to take personal responsibility for maintaining a healthy and positive lifestyle. There is a lot of preparation that you want to take to make sure a solid safety net is in place to avoid relapse.
In some instances, this may require having frank conversations with employers about limiting work stress. This may mean making new friends who engage in healthy behaviors and have hobbies that do not put a person in high-risk situations.
Regularly seeing a counselor, attending anonymous groups, and seeking a sober sponsor are all options that can help maintain lasting sobriety.
Maintaining sobriety is a lifelong journey. There comes a point, though, when all of the pieces are in place for a person to move forward with a healthy and positive life that is nothing like their life before recovery.
At this stage, a person ideally has developed:
- Improved physical health
- Improved mental health
- Improved self-confidence
- Developed a healthy lifestyle
- Improved personal relationships
- Found and maintained stable employment
- Developed positive connections with supportive individuals
- Found enjoyable hobbies to fill idle time
Everyone has moments when they hit bumps in the road. If you are in recovery and feel you are struggling, do not feel embarrassed. There is no shame in asking for support whether you have been sober for one day or ten years. There are outpatient therapy options and relapse prevention programs available to help you stay on the right track.