There are four stages to alcohol rehab and recovery. But to get help for your addiction, you must first recognize that you have a problem with alcohol. You may have started as a social drinker. It is not unreasonable to think that since others can drink responsibly, so can you. But many young people when they begin drinking in high school or college are pressured into binge drinking. This is the beginning of an unhealthy relationship with alcohol. You equate drinking with being drunk and they are not the same. There is a big difference between having one or two beers or glasses of wine over a couple of hours and pounding three well drinks within your first hour at the bar. Once you acknowledge that you have a drinking problem, the next step is to contact an alcohol addiction treatment center.
The 4 Stages of Alcohol Rehab
There are four distinct stages of alcohol rehab recovery. The National Institute on Drug Abuse developed these stages to be used as a resource for healthcare providers for individual drug counseling but has been adapted to help those trying to recover from alcoholism.
- Treatment initiation – This is the stage where you reach out for help with your drinking problem to an alcohol addiction treatment program. Whether you contact them on your own or are coerced into entering one due to an intervention by family and friends does not matter. At this point, you may be ambivalent about how bad your drinking has become and how committed you are to dedicating your time to achieve sobriety. The goal is for you to find a way, with the help of counseling and detox, to be an active participant in your recovery. With the help of an online therapist, you will begin to assess the damage drinking has done to your life and confront your feelings of denial as it relates to your addiction. With an individualized treatment plan in place, you can now work on finding the motivation to see this through to the end.
- Early abstinence – This is considered the toughest stage due to continuing withdrawal symptoms, psychological dependence on alcohol, physical cravings, and potential triggers that can cause you to relapse. Your therapist will teach you coping skills so you can fight the urge to drink. You will rely on these coping skills throughout your recovery. There are several strategies that can be used to combat symptoms of withdrawal and cravings. These include joining self-help groups that provide emotional support and advice on staying sober, taking part in healthy pursuits like exercise and hobbies, substituting different behaviors to prevent your turning to alcohol to cope, and learning to understand what types of environmental triggers may lead to relapsing such as people, places, and things.
- Maintaining abstinence – This stage occurs after the 90 day period that addiction experts point to as critical in developing a new outlook on life that is influenced by your commitment to sobriety. If you have been living in a residential treatment facility, this is the time you transition to an outpatient program. It is critical in this stage, now that you are back on your own, to maintain your abstinence and learn how to avoid a relapse.
- Advanced recovery – Advanced recovery is part of the long-term approach to sobriety. It begins five years into your recovery. This is about continuing to live your life as a sober individual. You will want to begin friendships with people who do not drink alcohol, maintain a uniform daily schedule, focus on long-term goals, participate in healthy activities that do not include alcohol and that can lead to a happy, fulfilling life.
Reach Out to Sunstone Recovery Today
Taking care of your mental health is an essential part of addiction recovery. In addition to alcohol rehabilitation, we also offer treatment for the following mental health concerns:
- Bipolar disorder
We can be reached online or at 855.833.9199 for you to take the first step on your journey to wellness and recovery.