Stages of Sobriety

Stages of Sobriety

It often takes multiple attempts for someone to get sober – and the stages of sobriety may not look the same to each person in recovery. Let’s dive into the stages of sobriety as a general rule and what they involve.

Main Stages of Sobriety and What They Involve

The first step that leads to the recovery or stages of sobriety is pre-contemplation. In this process, people close to someone with an addiction encourage the person to seek help. Although they still see the effects of the addiction as beneficial to them, they may be on the brink of considering a change.1

Sobriety is a lifelong journey, and it looks different for everyone. People have unique experiences after their initial treatment and as they begin recovery. During the various sobriety stages, there are also multiple treatment options available at a California drug rehab. 

Stage 1: Contemplation

During this stage, a person starts to think more about changing habits and starting treatment. When a person reaches this stage, interventions can be more successful since the person is more receptive to a loved one’s recommendations.1

Stage 2: Preparation

The individual starts planning how to make a change to become sober in this stage. A person who is contemplating treatment on their own may start researching programs and calling for information.2 These are some examples of steps a person may take:

  • Planning to cut down on a substance.
  • Purchasing good foods or a gym membership to live healthier.
  • Planning to eliminate triggers.

Although these intentions are great, it is vital to work toward change-related goals with the help of a professional to turn them into effective actions.

Stage 3: Action

After a person develops a plan for sobriety or obtains resources for seeking treatment, the next step is to get help for addiction. These are the typical steps during the action stage:

  • Enrolling in a treatment program.
  • Going through medical detox to start treatment.
  • Participating in either an inpatient or outpatient treatment structure.
  • Attending therapy sessions, which may include group, family, or individual therapy with CBT and DBT approaches.
  • Starting a supportive treatment program to promote overall wellness.

Treatment professionals can determine if inpatient or outpatient therapy is better. They often base the decision on a person’s living situation and other relapse risks.

Family, group, and individual therapy help people work through their problems, family problems, and peer issues. They learn why they make certain choices, discover triggers, and develop strategies for overcoming addiction and coping with triggers. Therapy often addresses addiction and any mental health issues that may co-occur with it. Learn more about the benefits of family therapy.

Supportive and holistic therapies give people ways to develop healthier habits. They promote physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing, and some approaches help people learn how to express themselves or communicate more effectively.

Stage 4: Maintenance

In the maintenance stage, a person tries to maintain or keep consistency with the new changes. These are some examples of steps a person may take during this stage:

  • Maintaining healthier eating and exercising routine.
  • Maintaining a new job.
  • Participating in 12-step meetings or similar recovery groups regularly.
  • Attending therapy sessions with an addiction counselor.
  • Taking medications or maintaining treatments as recommended for a co-occurring mental health issue.

Stage 5: Relapse

Although maintenance is rewarding, it isn’t easy. Between 40% and 60% of people with a substance addiction relapse at least once.3 Some people relapse more than once. Several factors influence the likelihood of relapsing or staying sober. These are some common reasons why people relapse:

  • Attempting to detox without medical supervision.
  • Quitting a treatment program.
  • Being unable to undergo an optimal treatment structure.
  • Returning to an unstable or a risky living environment after treatment.
  • Not receiving, or discontinuing, necessary treatment for a co-occurring mental health issue.
  • Returning to places that are potent triggers.
  • Being in toxic relationships or being isolated.
  • Losing self-control or discontinuing a new routine.

Although relapse can happen, it is not the end of sobriety. When athletes train to reach their goals, they may sustain injuries or face other setbacks. They get back up again and keep working toward their goals. In this way, sobriety is similar. People may fall, but they can start over and try again to reach their goals. Relapse becomes an opportunity for more improvements when people try again, so it should not be a reason to give up on sobriety.

It is also important to note that relapse does not happen to everyone. Some people manage to stay sober after their first attempt at sobriety. While people may have similar treatments, addiction looks different for everyone. Each person has unique past experiences and diverse physical, mental, and spiritual needs. A California drug rehab and treatment center that recognizes the importance of acknowledging individual needs is a critical part of a successful recovery journey.

How To Get Help for Addiction at a Top California Drug Rehab Center

If you or someone you know needs the help of a high-quality California drug rehab facility, our team at Clear Life Recovery is here to help. We will help you learn about the stages of sobriety and what you can expect during an addiction treatment program. Our facility uses a variety of treatment structures and programs to fit each person’s needs and help people overcome addiction. To learn more about California drug rehab, please get in touch with Clear Life Recovery.