Alcohol recovery is a slow process that has no set timeline. Although recovering from alcohol abuse can take months and years, the changes usually come in five stages that most people experience while overcoming alcohol addiction. To understand the journey of alcoholism recovery, let’s look at these stages in detail.
In the first stage, people withdrawing from alcohol experience the negative impacts of alcohol abuse. Here, people often become reluctant in even acknowledging that they have an addiction problem. The defense mechanisms get higher while they avoid talking, will make excuses or even blame others for their drinking problem. Others in this stage can feel overwhelmed by all the energy needed for making a change or feel helpless and hopeless about the situation.
Due to the resistance of people in the pre-contemplation stage, getting help becomes difficult. Others must raise awareness of problems and risks of drinking. Engage in sympathetic and subtle conversations regarding the benefits of alcoholism recovery can also help.
People reaching stage two start realizing that they have an alcohol problem. They may contemplate between not wanting and wanting to change. Stalling or procrastination can be seen in this stage.
Individuals may also attempt at curbing drinking all on their own or make plans of cutting down on alcohol intake. Contemplation is an uncomfortable stage, involving feelings of hopelessness, shame, desperation and guilt that people at the crossroads of addiction journey often face.
This is the stage when individuals choose an approach towards sobriety and execute it. The first step of this, for many alcoholics, is to go through an alcohol detox process. Since alcohol withdrawal comes with its own life-threatening aspects, people must detox in medically managed environments.
After this, people start working on their behavioral, social and psychological problems. Various addiction treatment programs are highly beneficial.
After completing the treatment center programs, the recovering alcoholics shift to the maintenance stage where people enjoy the advantages of quitting alcohol and focus on sustaining their achievements of the action stage.
They start developing new skills for avoiding relapse, like avoiding triggers, identifying healthy coping strategies, etc. People with liver damage can recover by prolonged abstinence, exercise, and healthy eating.
This is the final stage. While some believe alcohol addiction can be a chronic disease that needs lifelong treatment, some think that termination is the step where addiction is defeated completely. The alcoholic becomes sober and experiences no alcohol cravings.
These are the five steps of alcoholism recovery that most addicts go through. If you or your loved one has a drinking problem, get help as soon as possible.