Alcoholism: Understanding the Stages of Recovery

Alcoholism is a difficult disease to live with, but it may be even more difficult to treat. The truth is alcohol isn’t as easy to quit as some people are led to believe. In fact, there are four stages in the recovery. It begins with treatment initiation and then moves into early abstinence. After a maintaining phase, treatment will focus on advanced recovery. Let’s take a closer look at understanding the stages of recovery in alcoholism.

Treatment Initiation

The first stage of alcoholism recovery is getting help. Some people seek out treatment on their own, while others may be forced to seek recovery by the court or through threats that they may lose their family. Regardless, this is where it all begins. Unfortunately, this is also where many people fail because they talk themselves into believing that their drinking problem isn’t as big a problem as they thought. Anyone in this phase must stick to his guns in order to beat this addiction.

Early Abstinence

The first few weeks of abstinence can also be difficult due to withdrawal symptoms. Someone experiencing this may even be tempted to have “just one” beer while hanging out with friends. Thankfully, this is the stage where one will learn tips and strategies for coping with these problems. It’s important to listen to what counselors have to say because this information will be used throughout the recovery process.

Maintaining Abstinence

Roughly three months into the recovery, one will move into the maintaining abstinence stage. If you’re in a treatment facility, you will be released and seen on an outpatient basis. One’s focus is to avoid relapse during this stage and one will learn what it takes to do so. One may find it useful to find support groups to help during this stage.

Advanced Recovery

Last, but not least, the advanced recovery stage is about living a clean and sober life while becoming a more productive member of society. This stage begins around five years after beginning the first stage. During this time, one will pull from the information, tips, and strategies you learned to begin abstinence and prevent relapse. However, this stage is also about fitting back into society and living life to the fullest now that one has finally beat his addiction.

The road to recovery from alcoholism is long and difficult. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible though. Anyone willing to admit they have a problem can seek out treatment and come one step closer to a sober life. You must stick with the program, though; and if you’re a friend or family member, you have to be supportive. “Just one drink” is no longer an option.

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