The 4 Stages of Alcohol and Drug Rehab Recovery

For example, multiple studies have demonstrated an inverse relationship between aerobic exercise and substance abuse. With exercise, a nutritionally complete diet and enough sleep, you’ll feel far better than you did when you were drinking and want to keep it that way. In theory, it’s the point at which the person can confidently say they have conquered their addiction. They are fully sober, have no cravings for alcohol and do not have a significant risk of relapse.

stages of alcoholic recovery

If you find yourself continually needing to consume more alcohol to achieve the buzz you’re looking for, you should consider getting help. You might think that this time, you can have the control over drinking that you lacked before, or even start to question whether you had a use disorder. These are signs that you’re denying your problem, and they’re often the first step toward a relapse. No matter the stage of your recovery, they’re also signals to check in with your doctor or therapist for help to stay on your recovery plan. Experts point out that recovery is about more than just not drinking.

Personal Perspective: You can help your loved one get ready to change.

For instance, getting enough sleep and exercise and eating well are good habits that make you a stronger person. You also want to find activities to replace drinking, things you can turn to when cravings strike. Other steps are to put stages of alcoholic recovery together a support system of family and friends and to join a support group. The stages of change model list a sixth stage, known as the termination stage. This stage suggests that people can stop treatment and be completely healthy.

After detox, which can last up to two weeks, patients can enroll in other treatment options. Behavioral therapy, medication-assisted treatment, and 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous are well-known treatment services. One focus of this stage of rehab is obviously to maintain abstinence by avoiding a relapse. You will learn the warning signs and the steps that can lead up to a relapse. When you reach out for help from a professional alcohol and drug rehab program, you begin the first stage of your recovery, treatment initiation.

Stage 3: Maintaining Abstinence

This might include examining the sort of lifestyle changes they’ll need to make or researching types of treatment and treatment facilities. This is a good time for setting goals — an activity that helps to strengthen their commitment to change. At this point, people are committed to change and are preparing to take action within the next several days or weeks. Although they are still drinking, they’ve likely begun telling friends and family members about their plan to change their behavior — but they may still feel some ambivalence about their choice. For those who continue to worsen, oxygen or mechanical ventilation may need to be started at this time. On the other hand, those who were on supplemental oxygen, but whose condition is improving, can start to be weaned off of oxygen therapy.

  • The establishment of a pattern in alcohol abuse marks this transitional stage, which introduces cyclical abuse.
  • For many people, this means first going through a medically assisted detoxification process at an alcohol addiction treatment center.
  • For those who continue to worsen, oxygen or mechanical ventilation may need to be started at this time.

With a healthcare professional’s guidance, someone may be able to resume their treatment plan, modify it slightly, or try a different treatment plan that works better for them. Peer support assists individuals to engage or stay connected to the recovery process through a shared understanding, respect, and mutual empowerment. Peer support extends beyond the reach of clinical treatment into the everyday environment providing non-clinical, strengths-based support. This relationship can help lay the foundation for SAMHSA’s four dimensions of recovery. These experiences can lead to increased family stress, guilt, shame, anger, fear, anxiety, loss, grief, and isolation.

Relapse prevention plan for alcohol and substance use disorder

After the event, denial likely starts to give way to reflection and critical thinking. The first stage of alcohol recovery is when the effects of addiction are at their strongest. During this stage, alcohol consumption is rampant and patients can likely see the negative impact it has on their lives. Prolonged abstinence along with healthy eating and exercise during this stage can also allow people to begin recovery from liver damage. At the preparation stage, alcoholics have decided to make a change, and they are planning to take meaningful steps toward recovery in the near future.

  • The action stage typically lasts from three to six months and sometimes as long as 18 months, but it does not mark the end of the recovery process.
  • This stage, known as red hepatization, occurs about two to three days after the infection develops.
  • It lays out a multi-step plan to change general human behavior and has been applied to fields of substance abuse, alcohol addiction, weight loss, and general lifestyle habits.

The most useful sign as to severity at this stage is the respiratory rate (in people who do not have preexisting lung disease). A respiratory rate greater than 30 breaths per minute often means that hospitalization in intensive care is needed. Blood cultures (blood tests done to see if bacteria are present in the blood) are often done. If the infection is found to be bacterial, then antibiotic treatment will likely be started right away. Symptoms may be especially severe when pneumonia develops as a complication of another infection, such as influenza or COVID-19.

Complications may appear at any point with a diagnosis of pneumonia, but red hepatization is often when people appear most ill. When antibiotics are started promptly following early signs of infection, the fever may resolve within 48 to 72 hours after antibiotics are started. In the hospital, pulse oximetry is usually used to monitor oxygen levels continually via a small pulse oximeter device placed on the finger.

The initial congestion stage is characterized by a wet cough, chest pain, and fever. Symptoms usually worsen in the hepatization stages, and you may have difficulty breathing. The exact symptoms you may have depend on your age, overall health, and the type of germ responsible (bacterial vs. viral). Jellinek viewed alcoholism as a chronic relapsing condition that needed to be treated by health professionals and developed a theory on the progression of alcoholism through various stages.

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