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The Stages of Addiction Recovery

There is a famous quote from best-selling author Eckhart Tolle that goes, “The world can only change from within.” What does this mean, exactly? It means that in order to make changes in your life, in order to change the things around you, you must first look inside yourself: What inside yourself is contributing to the negativity in your life? What inside is bogging you down, rather than propelling you forward? To change your world, you must first transform yourself and become the best person you can be.

This philosophy is deeply relative to addiction recovery and the stages that an individual will go through as he or she finds sobriety. You see, the stages of addiction recovery are not just about overcoming drug abuse, but also overcoming the inner demons that led to drug abuse in the first place. Addiction recovery is all about understanding the self, making changes within the self, and learning how to love the self so that one can live a healthy, positive, and productive life.

If you or a loved one is battling addiction, you likely know firsthand the distress and detriment that drugs have caused in your life. But do you understand the inner workings, the inner turmoil or triggers, that led to drug abuse? Drug addiction is disease that affects a user mentally, emotionally, and physically. On the outside looking in, we are not always aware of what a person is going through or why they make the choices they do. We don’t hear the extensive internal dialogue that many addicts go through before deciding it’s time to change. Below are the inner stages of addiction recovery that users typically work through before entering a professional drug rehab program:

  1. Awareness – This stage of addiction recovery means recognizing that something has got to give. At this point, the user is still engaged in drug use but experiences a growing awareness that a problem exists (most often through concerned loved ones, but also through upward mental, emotional, and physical distress). During this stage, a user will transition from mere awareness to full acknowledgment that changes need to be made, and that he or she is willing to change.
  2.  Consideration – This stage of recovery involves moving away from denial and turning awareness into action. A user, acknowledging that a problem exists, will start to look within the self and consider how addiction has negatively impacted his or her life. At the same time, a user will also look beyond the self to see how his or her drug addiction has affected others. The consideration stage involves gaining insights about oneself and the effects of addiction.
  3. Exploration – This critical stage involves educating one’s self about the recovery process and what it means to live a drug-free life. This is where users will truly start to take action and explore their different drug treatment options. It is also the stage in which many will decide to enter an addiction treatment program rather than continue their detrimental drug habits.
  4. Early Recovery – Early recovery is when a person truly starts to start making positive changes. The have ceased any substance abuse and, if in a drug treatment program, have started to learn the coping skills needed to live drug-free. They have begun to understand the reasons for their drug abuse, as well as how to overcome any negative influences in the future. While a very positive stage of addiction recovery, this period is also one of great risk. For those not yet in rehab, relapse is not uncommon during this stage. These individuals have not yet developed the skills needed to cope with negative emotions, pressures, and drug cravings.
  5. A Commitment to Live Sober – This final stage involves a long-term commitment to sobriety and active maintenance of addiction recovery. This is the point in which a person learns not just how to get sober, but how to live sober and how to thrive in a drug-free life. In this stage, a user has recognized that recovery means hard work for life, but also that this commitment is one worth making.

Recovery requires a transformation of mind, body, and spirit. In order to conquer drug addiction and make positive changes, the journey to recovery must start from within. This is something that Turnbridge encourages throughout the stages of our addiction recovery programs for young adults. Here, we enact a three-phased treatment model with emphasis on therapy, experience, and structured living at each stage. Called Preparative Care℠, the goal of this program is not to “fix” what’s “broken,” not to return clients to their lives before addiction, but rather to arrive at the exceptional and fulfilling life beyond it— to become the best possible self they can be.

To facilitate this transformation, Turnbridge carefully cultivates our drug treatment programs, therapies, activities, and facilities to inspire and empower young adults to change from within. By working through our three stages of addiction recovery, clients learn not how to live life, but how to live it to the fullest. Below is an overview of our three-stage young adult drug treatment model:

Stage 1: Reconnection // Showing Up for Life

Oftentimes, a client will be very hesitant or skeptical upon entering a rehab program. They may keep what feels like a “safe distance” away from others. They may carry a fear of confronting their struggles or a fear of sharing them with others. This first stage is all about breaking down internal barriers and reconnecting with one’s self.

During the first stage of treatment at Turnbridge, clients follow a structured daily schedule of activities to keep engaged with addiction treatment, self-healing, and life skills development. They work closely with our staff to learn the healthy skills of daily living, including self-care, nutrition, exercise, and a consistent sleep routine. Through this stage, clients start to learn the benefits of a sober life, and also find that they are able to live a healthy and fulfilling life without the aid of drugs.

In Phase I, clients are also encouraged to connect with other young adults in their program (all of the same age and gender) as well as take part in recreational activities, 12-step meetings, and group counseling sessions. They also find a sponsor to support them through this journey. Through these various facets, Phase I becomes the foundation for a healthy mind, body and behavior (all necessary to move forward in the stages of addiction recovery).

Stage 2: Reintegration // Planning for Life

The second stage of addiction recovery at Turnbridge is all about helping clients get to know themselves and their passions. During their early months of recovery, they have developed a greater understanding of themselves, their internal struggles, and how to care for the issues causing their addiction. Now, in this second stage, they continue their healing and begin to make plans and changes for what’s to come.

Phase II marks the transition from internalizing to actively demonstrating newfound attitudes and skills. Clients start to identify their interests and align those with educational and career aspirations. During this phase, they begin meal planning and grocery shopping, attending meetings and counseling sessions, and maintaining their own schedules. Through all this, these young men and women begin to develop greater confidence in their skills, passions, and knowledge. They also receive individualized drug and alcohol treatment, drug testing, and medication management at our clinical facilities and make healthful progress. Phase II is truly when the greatest physical and emotional transformation takes shape.

Stage 3: Revitalization // Living Life

The final phase at Turnbridge is the stage in which clients learn not how to live sober, but how to thrive in their sober lives. Clients enroll in college classes, take on work and volunteer opportunities, and move into our more independent, Phase III sober living homes. In this stage, they are truly able to bridge their experience at Turnbridge with real-life experiences, practice their sober living skills independently, and still have the benefit of Turnbridge’s watchful care.

Clients in the final stage of addiction recovery have worked passed the stigmas, oppression, and traumas that once brought negativity to their lives. They have gained healthy, sober, and meaningful friendships. They have released their pains and learned to manage any stresses that come their way. They are ready to live their life drug-free, and are revitalized in mind, body, and spirit.

Turnbridge is highly-recognized for our three-phased, step-down approach to addiction treatment for young men and young women in recovery. We help young adults from across the nation make positive, meaningful changes in their lives. We can also help you or your loved one live sober. Call 877-581-1793 to learn more about our drug rehab programs for young adults.