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Stages of Addiction Recovery

Updated: Oct 8, 2020

There are three stages of recovery: the transition/abstinence stage, the early recovery/repair stage, and the ongoing recovery/growth stage. The following is a description of each.



The Transition/Abstinence stage begins right after a person stops using and lasts 1 to 2 years. This stage is characterized by dealing with cravings and not using. Tasks applicable to this stage:



The Early Recovery/Repair stage is characterized by repairing the damage caused by addiction and usually lasts 2 to 3 years. A staple of this stage is being comfortable with the uncomfortable. Tasks applicable to this stage:



The Ongoing Recovery/Growth stage is when an individual develops skills that eluded them because of their addiction. It starts 3 to 5 years after an addict stops using and lasts a lifetime. Tasks applicable to this stage:



Stages and associated tasks taken from Relapse Prevention and the Five Rules of Recovery by Steven M. Melemis


Further Reading:

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Progress Not Perfection Company (PNPCo) is a health coaching service for undiagnosed eating disorder survivors.