The 5 Phases of Addiction Recovery

addiction recovery

It has been repeatedly proven that the longer a patient remains in treatment, the greater chance he or she has of staying sober long-term. It has also been proven that the length or treatment directly correlates to the success of treatment. For example, an alcoholic who simultaneously struggles with unresolved childhood trauma and problems relating to love addiction is more likely to fully resolve all issues if he remains in therapeutic treatment for a greater period of time. Simply put – the longer the treatment, the more comprehensive and fulfilling the recovery.

We at Next Chapter believe in a long-term treatment plan, which we have broken down into five distinct phases. Of course, we understand that not all of our clients will be able to remain in treatment for the ideal 90 days, seeing as prior work and family obligations do sometimes come first. While we highly recommend that each individual we work with stay in treatment as long as possible, we actively attempt to accommodate those clients who can only commit to a 30 or 60-day stint in inpatient. Each of the five phases of our program of recovery embodies a unique focus. This phased program allows for clients facing time restraints to focus on the issues that are the most pertinent and time-sensitive. Some clients choose to return to Next Chapter at a later date in order to complete all five phases of treatment.

The following five phases of treatment are crucial to our overall program of recovery, and we believe that each phase is absolutely essential in providing thorough, long-lasting, and stable sobriety from addiction and all related disorders. Take a closer look at each phase, and no matter what program you choose to participate in, make sure that you are getting the comprehensive care you need to maintain meaningful recovery and live the happy, joyous, and free life you undeniably deserve.

Phase 1

Medical stabilization is, of course, a crucial first step. Because the withdrawal process frequently takes such a toll on the physical body, it is essential that every addict and alcoholic who quits using abruptly seek medical attention immediately. This is where medical detox comes into play. Most inpatient treatment centers will set new clients up with an affiliated detox program, ensuring medical stabilization before the emotional, mental, and spiritual recovery begins.

  • Primary addiction treatment and education on disease and symptoms.

Clients will be introduced to the disease model of addiction, and the symptoms and effects of substance dependency will be broken down and explained. Clients will meet one-on-one with the clinical staff (therapists, psychiatrists, and addiction specialists), and will be closely assessed for all potential underlying conditions and contributing factors. A unique and personalized treatment plan will be constructed.

  • Step One (powerlessness and unmanageability) and personalizing addiction.

Therapists will work with clients to develop an understanding of ‘powerlessness’ in reference to the physical allergy to chemical substance that alcoholics and addicts suffer from. They will help personalize addiction through a detailed exploration of unmanageability in all aspects of life. Clients will practice the principle behind step one, honesty, in relation to acknowledging and claiming the true consequences of their addictive disorders.

  • Examining the impact of addiction on relationships and self.

Clients will be asked to take an honest look at how their chemical dependencies impacted their own lives and the lives of those closest to them. They will take a much closer look at how interpersonal relationships changed as a result of active addiction, and how self-love and self-respect was likely replaced with deep-seated self-loathing and shame.

Phase 2

  • Issues related to boundaries, self-esteem, and personal reality.

In the second phase of treatment, interpersonal relationships and relationship with self will be delved into on a much deeper level. Clients will focus on developing and maintaining healthy relationships with others, which includes learning to set boundaries and break free from detrimental patterns of enmeshment. Clients will also focus on building self-esteem, and on developing and maintaining a realistic and healthy personal reality – which ultimately means breaking through all long-standing denial.

  • Intimacy problems and interpersonal issues.

Interpersonal issues with family members, romantic partners, and close friends will be looked at more closely, and any issues relating to intimacy will be addressed and explored. Because our specific program of care focuses largely on trauma, we will take a look at how trauma that occurred in childhood or early adolescence has affected relationships later on in life.

  • Taking a look at other addictions and addictive behaviors.

During the second phase of treatment, we will begin to address additional addictive disorders, which may include (but are not limited to) compulsive gambling, addictive internet use, sex addiction, love addiction, work addiction, and addictive disorders relating to food. We will examine the relationship between substance dependency and other addictions, and look at how early trauma may have set addictive behavioral patterns into motion. We will develop a personalized plan of recovery relating to all uncovered addictive disorders.

Phase 3

  • Work on and with the family of origin, and closely examining childhood experiences.

Family is a huge part of our overall program of recovery at Next Chapter – we whole-heartedly believe that addiction is a family disease, and not just because the actions of the addict himself affect everyone involved. We believe that the often innate dysfunction of families contributes to the exacerbation of the disease, and that unless all family members heal alongside the addicted member, the chances of long-term recovery will remain exceedingly slim. We take a close look at early family functioning, and examine significant childhood experiences. We explain to each individual client how his personal experiences in childhood may have shaped his cognitive functioning, and contributed to issues that developed later on in life. We work closely alongside the family members of our clients, offering them therapeutic support and attempting to instill crucial communication skills.

  • Experiential trauma work.

In the third phase of our program of recovery, we focus heavily on past trauma. We employ time-tested therapeutic techniques in order to uncover, address, and successfully work through all significant past trauma. Our clients participate in numerous group and one-on-one experiential therapy sessions.

Phase 4

  • Issues related to dependency, moderation, and balance.

One of the most difficult life skills for an individual who is used to destructive excess to develop is practicing moderation. In the fourth phase of our treatment program, we focus on moderation and balance in all areas of life.

  • More intensive focus on additional addictions (food, gambling, exercise, work, sex, and love).

Once substance dependency is thoroughly addressed, we take a more in-depth look at co-occurring addictive disorders. Because many of these disorders require a continuous practice of both moderation and balance (workaholism and food addiction, for example), we focus heavily on developing and maintaining a healthy relationship with prior dependencies. While it is completely possible for one to remain totally abstinent from drugs and alcohol, this is not the case with crucial components of life such as interpersonal relationships and food. For this reason, healthy relationships must be developed – and this process requires intensive therapeutic care and the instillation of an entirely new set of life skills.

  • Relational work with partners or family members.

Therapeutic work involving family members and partners intensifies in the fourth phase of addiction recovery, and family therapy sessions will be held more frequently. Therapists will work alongside clients and their loved ones to help rebuild familial relationships, and in some cases, completely reinstate relationships so that they are healthy and productive. Changing deeply engrained behavioral patters takes ample time and effort, especially when an entire family is involved – but it can be done. There will be a large emphasis on enabling, enmeshment, effective communication, and setting healthy boundaries.

Phase 5

  • Continue work around core and relational issues.

The fifth phase of our program of recovery is geared towards continuous work surrounding core issues, and a careful transition back into independent living. Clients will continue to meet with members of the clinical team, further developing healthy life skills and setting a solid foundation for long-term and fulfilled recovery. Clients will work on relational issues by applying what they have learned in inpatient treatment to their real life relationships, practicing boundary setting, effective communication, moderation, and self-love.

  • Job search and vocational.

We help our clients transition back into independent living by offering them guidance and support while they embark on their personal journeys of substance-free living. We assist them in resume building and job searching, and work to teach them proper work-related etiquette. Many individuals who have lost years of their lives to active addiction have forgotten these necessary life skills – we work tirelessly to re-instill them.

  • Transition to IOP (intensive outpatient program).

As a form of continuous care, we assist clients in transitioning to an intensive outpatient program. Here they will undergo several hours of therapy several times a week, allowing them to continue working on core issues while slowly transitioning back into the real world. They will be able to discuss any potential issues that arise in a safe and supportive environment, and will be offered the additional support they may need in very early recovery.

  • Transition to home or sober living facility.

We highly recommend that all of our clients transition to a sober living home after completing inpatient treatment. This allows the family more time to heal while providing the client with additional support while navigating his way through early recovery. If a client is transferring home, we help to make this transition as seamless as possible, offering continuous support to him and to his loved ones.

Clearly, addiction recovery is a process. One does not merely attend a 30-day program and miraculously develop all of the skills necessary to thrive in all areas of life. In many cases, ongoing therapeutic care will be necessary for years after one completes inpatient treatment, seeing as many core issues are so deeply engrained they take ample time to unhinge and resolve. No matter how seemingly involved, addiction recovery is a beautiful and enlightening journey of self-discovery. Allow yourself the opportunity to live the fulfilling and meaningful life you so deserve.