5 Stages of Substance Abuse Treatment

The 5 Stages of Substance Abuse Treatment – How Addiction Recovery Works

A 2015 study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) revealed that as many as 23 million people have had to deal with problematic alcohol and drug use in their lifetime. Once an addiction has formed, then the person usually faces a downward spiral in their life as the substance use disorder becomes worse. The only recourse for some addicts is to get treatment at a rehab. In this article, we will delve into the stages of substance abuse treatment to help you understand what to expect and why it’s important.

What are the most effective methods of addiction treatment? Click here to learn more.

Individualized Treatment

Before we talk about the stages of substance abuse treatment it’s important to note that due to the complex nature of substance use disorder, no two individuals will be treated in the exact same way. In order to improve the success of treatment in people from all walks of life, treatment at rehab centers such as WhiteSands is tailor-made for each person.

What this ultimately means is that the following stages of substance abuse treatment is broadly-based so as to give you an idea of what normally happens.

1. Realization of the Problem

In the first stage of recovery, an awareness of the problem is achieved. This can often be one of the most difficult stages to reach, and can require an intervention by friends, family, or co-workers to help the addict to realize the scope of the problem they face.

While there may still be substance abuse happening, the acknowledgement of the problem is a milestone in recovery as it opens the door to getting better.

2. Acknowledgement to Action

This stage of the recovery process is marked by the process of acknowledgement into action. The addict takes into consideration what the effects of their substance abuse has on their life and on the lives of those around them.

The addict may start to learn more about their addiction through the various online resources or by visiting a rehab center. Through this gathering of information, it can open them up to the steps they need to take to break their dependence on alcohol or drugs.

3. Looking into Treatment

Having learned about addiction, it may become clear to the person that rehab is their only real option. One of the characteristics of addiction is that the addict will have a desire to stop but will be unable to carry out any effective solutions – at least by themselves.

By considering restrictions such as taking a leave of absence from work or school, the addict can then start to look at what treatment options they have. They may opt for a residential program or an outpatient program among other options. It is a critical part of recovery as the level of care that they get may be the difference between making a full recovery and relapse.

4. The Early Stages of Recovery

This is perhaps the most dangerous of the stages of substance abuse treatment as it is when the drug addiction detox process begins. The withdrawal symptoms that occur during this stage is not dangerous for all types of substance, but certain stages of alcohol withdrawal, for example, can be life-threatening. The stages of alcohol withdrawal that are a cause for concern are when delirium tremens set in. Without professional care, it can prove to be problematic and it can even cause death.

Apart from the drug addiction detox process, other aspects that may be difficult include making an adjustment mentally to the new way of life that doesn’t include drugs or alcohol. However, through therapy and counseling, the person can be helped through the transition as they learn new coping skills and ways to prevent relapse.

5. Addiction Recovery Maintenance

Addiction doesn’t have a cure; however, it can be managed. The last stage of treatment involves putting the relapse prevention skills into practice and using aftercare services such as sober living homes.

If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

is a proud alumni member of WhiteSands Treatment. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At WhiteSands Treatment, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.