Since 1989, September has been recognized as National Drug and Alcohol Recovery Month. The theme this year, “Recovery is for everyone: every person, every family, every community,” reminds us that substance use disorders and mental health disorders have far-reaching impacts. It also reminds those in all stages of recovery and the friends and family that support them that they are not alone.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) estimates that 90% of those with a substance use disorder do not seek treatment. At Harmony Hills, we recognize the importance of the goal of National Recovery Month in reaching these individuals to let them know that help is accessible and affordable. If you are ready to begin your recovery journey, contact us today at 855.494.0357. Recovery is possible.
The Stages of Addiction Recovery
There are six stages of recovery from addiction, formally known as the transtheoretical model. Everyone’s recovery journey will be unique, but all individuals in recovery pass through these stages. While some move through the stages in order, it is common to stay in one stage longer than others, move back and forth between stages, or be in more than one stage at a time. That said, thinking of the stages in a sequential order helps understand the changes those in recovery go through and how addictive behavior can be managed and treated.
Following is a brief look at the six stages of addiction recovery:
- Pre-contemplation – Individuals are unaware of or in denial about their addiction. They have not experienced negative consequences because of their addiction and are not interested in advice or addiction treatment.
- Contemplation – Individuals recognize they have a problem and may want to change but are not ready to commit to treatment. This stage can last for a long time, and contemplators may even revert to pre-contemplation.
- Preparation – Individuals are committed to recovery and ready to take action. They seek professional advice, make goals, and determine the best treatment.
- Action – Real change begins, usually with detox followed by inpatient or outpatient treatment where individuals can discover the underlying causes of their addiction and learn new coping skills.
- Maintenance and relapse – Individuals begin to adapt to life without substance use. Gradually, old habits become less of a threat, but a relapse may still occur.
- Termination – Individuals feel confident in their sobriety and ability to maintain it. They no longer feel threatened or restricted by their addiction.
It is important to remember that addiction is a chronic disease, and recovery is a lifelong process.
The Stages of Mental Health Recovery
There is no single definition for the notion of recovery for mental health disorders. Still, guiding principles emphasize hope and the belief that individuals with mental health disorders can manage symptoms to regain a meaningful life. As with the stages of addiction recovery, the stages of mental health recovery are not linear progression. The following are generally considered to be the six stages of recovery for mental illness:
- Acceptance – Many who suffer from mental health disorders are in denial. A level of acceptance is necessary to begin recovery.
- Insight – Improved understanding of the illness, warning signs, outlook, and course of treatment opens the door to learning effective coping skills.
- Action – Setting goals and objectives and making lifestyle changes provides incentive and motivation for the recovery process.
- Self-Esteem – Mental health disorders rob individuals of their self-esteem, so rebuilding confidence is an integral part of recovery.
- Meaning – Rediscovering what is important and engaging and activities that enrich life by bringing meaning and purpose significantly impact recovery.
- Sticking with recovery – Developing, implementing, and sticking to a recovery plan following treatment is essential to long-term recovery.
These stages of recovery encompass core principles like hope, self-care, persistence, and determination that individuals must work on to recover truly.
Celebrate National Recovery Month With Harmony Hills
At Harmony Hills, we support National Recovery Month. We share the belief that treatment is effective and that people can recover. Contact us today at 855.494.0357 to learn more about the stages of recovery and our addiction and co-occurring treatment options.