What is Alcohol Recovery Like?

There are many risks with alcoholism, including an increased risk for DUI, assault, injury, academic issues, legal issues, and death. However, you won’t have to keep risking your life every time you take a drink. You can choose to change your life for the better by starting an alcohol recovery program. 

Having an alcohol rehab program guide you through recovery can increase your chances of staying sober and living a better life. There is something known as the 5-stage change model. Look here for more information about this model and what it is like to recover from alcohol addiction. 


The first stage you can expect to take part in during alcohol recovery is precontemplation. In this stage, many things can happen, such as:

  • Feel the effects of the addiction, but aren’t looking to change your habits
  • Be defensive about alcohol usage 
  • Deny any encouragement to change
  • Often, it takes a huge event to get someone to see they need help (intervention might be necessary)

The precontemplation stage happens before someone admits they have an addiction. However, after someone sees they have a problem, they can move into the contemplation stage. 


When someone reaches this stage, they start to think about making changes to their drinking habits. They may not be quite ready to make the changes. However, they are usually weighing the benefits and downsides of abstaining from alcohol. 

During this stage, the person will likely be more open to receiving information about getting sober than they were during the precontemplation stage. If you know someone who has an addiction and is willing to talk about it, make sure you are non-judgmental. By being open and honest, yet caring, the person is more likely to listen and take the necessary steps to change. 


The third stage of alcohol recovery is preparation. During this stage, the person is taking proper steps toward overcoming their addiction. They are ready to commit to getting sober and living in recovery. 

Some of the things you may see during this stage include:

  • Small steps to getting rid of negative habits
  • Researching alcohol recovery programs 
  • Learning about detox and rehab center programs

It is difficult to overcome an addictive lifestyle. Having an addiction is like having a problematic relationship. People often look to alcohol for support with challenging emotions and pain. Once they lose this, they can go through a grieving period. The grieving stages include being in denial, bargaining, having anger outbursts, depression, and acceptance.


The fourth stage of recovery is taking action. In the previous stage, people think about entering into recovery. However, this stage is about doing it. 

Some things you can expect someone to do during this stage include:

  • Actively seek help and support
  • Enter into an alcohol detox program (doctor evaluation, stabilization, and transitioning into a rehab program)
  • Having someone help or support them through the detox process if detoxing at home
  • Having a medical plan ready in case they need help with at-home detox
  • Entering a rehab program to develop healthy, solid habits for their recovering lifestyle

Entering into a recovering lifestyle isn’t just about getting sober. It is about learning how to stay sober, create boundaries and develop healthy habits. The detox and rehab programs can help with all these things. 


The final stage of alcohol recovery is maintenance. The person who is in recovery will continue working through their treatment. They will learn how to live a sober life while implementing the things they learned in the recovery program into their life. 

Some maintenance strategies you may see someone use during this stage include:

  • Attending therapy outside of the rehab center
  • Practicing coping skills such as journaling, talking to a loved one, or taking breaks when they need them
  • Staying away from places that serve alcohol 
  • Working a 12 step program such as Alcoholics Anonymous
  • Avoiding toxic relationships 

The maintenance stage can still be challenging. However, the tools and resources someone gets while attending a treatment program can significantly help during this stage. 

Enter Into Alcohol Recovery Today

Are you currently in any stage of recovery? Even if you aren’t, you can get there. If you are already in the early stages of recovery, don’t be ashamed to ask questions. You can take your life back from alcohol. You can develop a plan that works for you. Many alcohol treatment programs work with individuals just like you. Many community resources help people who are struggling with alcohol addiction. 

Reach out to us today to get the resources, tools and help you need to start your alcohol recovery. We are here for you.