The Stages of Substance Abuse Recovery

When it comes to recovery from alcoholism or addiction, it’s important to understand the stages of substance abuse recovery. Sustained sobriety requires a total lifestyle change, and for someone early in recovery, a life free from addiction can feel millions of miles away. Treatment plans can be tailored to the problem user and depend on the severity and consequences as the result of the current pattern of use. In general, there are five distinct stages within the continuum of care for the rehabilitation of addicts and alcoholics, with or without underlying medical and mental health issues: intervention, detox, inpatient treatment, sober living, and lifelong maintenance.


Early intervention is the most time-sensitive stages of substance abuse recovery. When the problem user expresses a desire to quit and is unable to quit on their own, swift action must be taken. Addiction and alcoholism are progressive, chronic, relapsing conditions. If you wait too long, the problem users willingness to quit can be overwhelmed by their desire to satisfy their craving for alcohol or drugs, which will never be satisfied. This is the acute, abnormal reaction/craving which requires a hospital stay to physically remove the drugs and alcohol from the body so that psychological measures can be of maximum benefit.


Detoxification is most effective under 24-hour supervision by a licensed facility. Doctors can safely monitor vital signs and make the elimination of the drugs and alcohol from the system as comfortable as possible. If the problem user has underlying health issues or a combination of illicit drugs in the body, this process can be complex.

Inpatient Treatment

After the elimination of drugs and alcohol from the body, case managers will recommend a structured environment with high accountability and structure. Addiction treatment centers have programming throughout the day including process groups, educational groups, physical activity, group counseling, individual counseling, Initial psychiatric assessments, and med-management. After the problem user has eliminated the drugs and alcohol out of their body and have commenced psychological measures, Sober Living maintains the improvements initiated during these early stages of treatment and offers the structure to build upon the foundation.

Sober Living

Sober living is one of the most essential stages of substance abuse recovery and the most often overlooked stage. When someone is released from an inpatient facility, they tend to go back to the same place, people, and things they surrounded themselves with before. Unfortunately, cutting corners within the stages of substance abuse recovery result in only a mere 34% success rate. This is the revolving door for most alcoholics and addicts.

A peer-supported sober living environment is critical for success. Fireside Recovery is a safe, transitional sober living residence for men that helps break the cycle that many addicts face. In addition, Fireside provides recovery coaching, weekly housekeeping, accountability meetings, monitored UA’s, volunteer and fun group outings. This is the structure and accountability that men need to continue on their journey of recovery.  Statistics show a 64% success rate for lifelong sobriety after the completion of one year of sober living.


Alcoholism and Addiction can be treated; however, there is no cure. There is maintenance required to live a sober lifestyle. At Fireside we can guide you as you build upon a foundation of recovery for a happy and fulfilled life without drugs and alcohol, which can help you avoid relapsing in the future. After 3 years of structured living in combination with med-management and counseling, statistics show a success rate for life-long sobriety at 86%.  So, if you’re ready to continue your recovery journey and start the stages of substance abuse recovery, please join us today!

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