6 Common Stages of Drug & Alcohol Rehab

Alcohol and drug rehab centers are like hospitals: They’re under pressure to save lives, no matter what. And the stakes are high — not only in the lives of drug or alcohol abusers but also in the lives of their family members, friends, and coworkers behind them.

When people enter a rehabilitation center, they enter a new phase of life. For some, it’s a moment of profound self-awareness and change. For others, it’s just another temporary fix that will make them feel better but not last in the long term.

Here are six common stages people go through during their addiction treatment journey at a drug and alcohol rehab facility.

1. Precontemplation Stage

This is the point where you don’t believe that you have a problem that needs to be addressed. You might not even know someone with a drug or alcohol addiction or have never seen their lifestyle up close and personal. You continue to drink and use drugs because you don’t think it’s affecting your life negatively.

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2. Contemplation Stage

This is the stage where you start to realize that you might have a problem with drugs and alcohol. You might avoid people who drink or use drugs to avoid temptation, but you still aren’t ready to admit that you have a problem or need help.

3. Preparation Stage

This is when you are ready to admit that you have a problem but aren’t quite sure how to get help for yourself. 

At this stage, you might start doing some research on different types of treatment programs and what they entail, and maybe even talk to an addiction counselor about your options. This is the point where you start thinking about getting sober but aren’t quite ready to take action yet.

4. Action Stage

The action stage is where you must commit to getting help. Friends or family might have asked you to go to rehab, or you might realize that you need help yourself. Whatever brought you here, you are taking action and making an essential decision for your future.

5. Maintenance Stage

The maintenance stage takes place in either a residential treatment center or at home under the supervision of a professional who has experience with addiction. The maintenance phase of rehab can last anywhere from 6 months to 3 years. 

During this time, it’s critical to have access to positive support from friends and family members and a personal sponsor — someone who can help keep you on track while you’re getting your life back in order.

6. Termination Stage

Termination is where you separate from the program and work to maintain sobriety in everyday life. This stage can be difficult for some, as they must no longer rely on the structure and support of their addiction treatment center as they reenter society. Termination often involves relapse prevention training to help you avoid falling back into old habits.

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The Final Word

Rehab is a process designed to help you live free from drugs and alcohol. It will take time, effort, and commitment. There are usually multiple stages of rehab that you will undergo as you journey to recovery. 

By focusing on the one-day at a time approach, you can ensure that you are developing the tools and strategies that you need to overcome your addiction and live a happier, healthier life.

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