The 5 Phases of Addiction and Recovery

The 5 Phases of Addiction and Recovery

Watching a loved one struggle with addiction is incredibly challenging. All energy, focus and attention is on the person with addiction and behaviors exhibited as a result. People who struggle with addiction engage in activities which bring consequences to the individual person and loved ones who surround the person until the cycle of addiction is broken.

The Jellinek Curve

Five distinct phases follow the progression of drug and alcohol addiction from the early to late phase of addiction into rehabilitation and, eventually, recovery. The stages do not follow strict timelines as people transition at different points. The phases of addiction, referred to as the Jellinek Curve, provide a visual representation of what happens for some people who struggle with substance abuse.

Phase One: Progressive Phase

In the beginning, a person may start using drugs or alcohol recreationally to relieve stress or explore something new. Eventually, tolerance builds to the substances and more is required to feel the same effect. Over time, the individual may start to feel guilt around drinking or drug habits which is the first sign of drug dependence.

Phase Two: Crucial Phase

The individual drinking or using drugs in this phase steadily increases use to the point where the ability to diminish or quit using slowly slips away. Many attempts to control substance use may have been tried without success. The person may become isolated from family and friends who rationalize why the person is using drugs or alcohol. The crucial phase is when an individual begins to sense remorse for behavior but lacks tools and resources necessary to make changes.

Phase Three: Chronic Phase

The chronic phase of addiction and recovery include lengthy periods of intoxication and significant physical  and psychological health issues. Family and friends are left behind to spend the majority of time indulging in drug and alcohol use. Every day is driven by the need to use drugs or alcohol. People in this phase may have attempted to quit multiple times without success.

The vicious cycle of physical, psychological and spiritual consequences continues to worsen and may possibly lead to death.

Phase Four: Rehabilitation Phase

If the realization hits addiction has overtaken a person’s life and the will to become transformed exists, the rehabilitation phase can begin. Professional help is most likely needed to deal with addiction as it is a progressive disorder which is hard to stop without help. Rehabilitation will help deal with underlying issues leading to addiction and provide a structure through which to heal and recovery.

Phase Five: Recovery Phase

The final phase of addiction and recovery is focused on providing the tools and support to get sober. Re-establishing healthy communication with family and friends through new friendships can build a happier, healthier lifestyle. Confidence and self-esteem returns through continued work on the individual plan of recovery. People new in recovery grow more confidence in adopting a mindset focused on the needs and feelings of others and possibilities seem endless.

The Villa is committed to providing resources and information to families and individuals with addiction. Call us if you need help to quit drugs or alcohol and need to find a way back to health and peace.