The Six Stages of Alcohol Recovery

April 27, 2019

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Stages of Alcohol Recovery

Alcoholism is like a thief in the night. It steals away dreams, family members, friends, and even jobs. And in the process, it ruins a person’s health and mental well-being too. Though it has a powerful grip, it can be defeated.  The path to recovery from alcohol addiction is far from easy, but in the end, it is worth it because it gives a person the chance to have their life back again. The following are the six stages of alcohol recovery that an alcoholic has to go through to have freedom from their alcohol addiction.

Stage 1: Pre-Contemplation

During this initial stage, the alcoholic will still be feeling a considerable amount of denial in regards to their addiction. This is one of the toughest stages of alcohol recovery to beat. Though they feel the strain from the problems that it causes them, they will cling tightly to it in a defensive way. Legal and financial issues that are caused by it are rationalized, and loved ones who try to intervene get blamed for all of the alcoholic’s problems. It is also during this stage that the physical ailments of alcohol abuse are beginning to take place. They may experience tremors, sweating, and difficulty sleeping when they go too long without a drink.

Stage 2:  Contemplation

The bump from stage one to stage two is usually caused by something catastrophic, such as being arrested or being involved in an accident that hurts the alcoholic or others. This is an important stage because it is the time that they begin to modify their thoughts about drinking some. If nothing else, they at least balance out what life would be like without having to drink so much. As they contemplate this issue, they are more likely to be receptive to the idea of getting help to conquer their addiction.

Stage 3:  Preparation

This is a very delicate stage of alcohol recovery. Doubts regarding the ability to quit drinking flood the alcoholic’s mind, and they need all of the support that they can get from their loved ones to keep going. This is the stage when they finally begin to modify their behavior.  Perhaps, they have one or two fewer drinks than normal. Or, they decide to stay home instead of going to the bar as much.

Stage 4:  Action

The fourth stage is when the alcoholic fully commits to making a change in their life. They completely stop drinking. It is best that they are admitted to an alcohol treatment center during this time because the withdrawal effects can make them very sick. Treatment centers have medications that can help them get through the withdrawal process more easily. They also have trained staff that can monitor the withdrawals.  If the person’s condition worsens, medical help is available right away. Some of the symptoms that they may experience from withdrawal include hallucinations, confusion, anxiety, shaking, sweating, high blood pressure, seizures, and more.

Stage 5:  Maintenance

Stage five is the point at which the alcoholic has gotten through withdrawing from alcohol. They have mentally decided to stay sober, but their thought patterns regarding what caused the alcoholism in the first place have not necessarily changed yet. They feel positive about the choice they made to quit, but all of the pain, sadness, boredom, and anger are just under the surface. If these emotions are not dealt with properly, the risk of relapse is significantly increased.

Stage 6:  Transcendence

This last stage of alcohol recovery is said to take at least five years. It takes this long to truly deal with all of the emotions and make peace with the past. They no longer need alcohol to get through a bad day or to deal with stressful situations.  Rather than hide from their problems, they learn to face them head-on.

Don’t Go Through the Stages of Alcohol Recovery Alone

Some say that once a person is an alcoholic, they will always be one. But this is hardly the truth. Many people have successfully conquered alcohol addiction, and they have managed to stay sober for the remainder of their lives. It all depends on the person and how badly they want to change. It is hard to go forward if you don’t know where to start though. So, if you are having problems with alcoholism, please, be sure to contact us at New Beginnings to learn how we can help.  Our team of addiction specialists can make the stages of alcohol recovery much more tolerable.


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