Addiction Treatment is a very important tool once you or someone you love has decided to make that amazing decision to finally get some help for the addiction that has been plaguing your life.

What are the 5 stages of Addiction Treatment?


According to ADT, there are five major stages of addiction treatment with a bonus sixth stage to be found after completion of the five stages. You may be wondering why five?

Well, the five stages have been tested and proven effective time and time again. These stages are precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance. The additional stage (which doesn’t really count as a stage because it covers living after recovery) is termination.

So, now we know the major stages of addiction treatment, but what do these stages actually mean? Let’s take an in depth look at each stage to better understand how each one helps with addiction treatment.

Let’s Look at Each one In Depth


Our first stage is precontemplation. As the name of this stage suggests, this is pre, or before, contemplation, meaning the addict hasn’t started thinking about treatment yet. If someone has an active addiction and haven’t begun admitting or thinking about treatment, then they are already in the first stage of treatment.

They may be argumentative, aggressive, they may deny they have an addiction problem. These are all part of the first stage of addiction treatment.

The second stage is contemplation. This is the stage where the addict begins to think about the fact that they may have a problem. Often, this stage is a sign that the addict can realize that he or she has hit rock bottom.


This is a place where the addict can finally see that they are struggling with addiction and realize that they may need some help in dealing with this addiction. This is often a very sensitive stage as the addict may be thinking of recovery but may not be ready to admit they’re ready for recovery.

This is often a key time for friends and family to help the addict by offering kindness, encouragement or, in worst cases, an intervention. At this stage, the addict understands the need for recovery, but also can’t see how getting into treatment will benefit them.

The third stage is preparation. Preparation is a very important stage because this is the stage where the addict begins to try to change their lives. They may join gyms, they may start drastic health or diet plans, they are typically very optimistic about the hopes of becoming clean.


This is a very delicate phase of addiction treatment as often there will be some progress lost in this phase. Many addicts will fall back to the contemplation or even the precontemplation stage at this point. This is where friends and family support are very important; a strong support system will make the addict feel like they aren’t alone in their struggle having a caring support system will help them greatly.

You will also have to watch out for withdrawal at this stage as there is a physical response and dangers to the health of the addict when they try to stop using the substance suddenly. It is important to reach out to a specialist or to a proper addiction treatment center to help get through this phase as there are dangers present for suddenly stopping their addictive behavior.

The fourth stage is action. This is a very important stage because this is when the addict has truly made some great efforts to change and adjust their addictive behavior. Typically, at this point, the addict has actually been to therapy and has begun working on their health and addictive triggers in an attempt to become “clean”.

There is a danger in this phase as often an addict will hit “the wall”. The wall refers to the point in recovery where the addict may start to wonder why they’re doing this; they will stop seeing a lot of the benefits of their sobriety and they will start to have cravings and want to slip backwards in their recovery.


This is a very important stage for the support system for the addict; there will need to be a lot of encouragement and care provided to them as they continue through this phase.

The fifth, and final stage, is maintenance. This stage is the maintaining of sobriety. The addict will need to continue his or her recovery with a goal of a new life in their future.

They need to start focusing on their future, thinking of their health and hygiene, their future prospects of living on their own, jobs, and responsibilities. This stage of recovery can last anywhere from months to years as the individual needs to keep his or her focus on their sustained recovery.

The bonus stage, sixth stage, is termination. This is a stage which requires the most commitment. With the termination stage, this is where the individual has to make the lifetime commitment to terminate their destructive behavior and to stay away from those that were a possible trigger for addiction. This stage focuses on the continuation of sobriety and the success of the individual going forward.

Why Do These Work So Well?


These stages have been tested repeatedly and although they may seem a little vague in their layout, are actually very important steps to follow to make sure that the individual continues on a trajectory of sobriety and clean living.

These stages put their focus on the addict and the addiction, looking at the triggers of addiction and focusing on the health and future of the addict. With the proper facility helping through this process, you can guarantee that the addict will receive the best care for the emotional and physical being.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction you should know that there is hope. Reach out to an addiction facility near you to begin setting up a personalized care plan which will help you or a loved one get through the five stages of addiction treatment.