Recovery has evolved beyond its initial focus on substance and process addictions, now emphasising overall well-being and the pursuit of inner peace. Being “recovered” from addiction entails nurturing mental and emotional health, achieving emotional stability and developing healthy coping mechanisms to enhance one’s overall quality of life.

This process also involves adopting positive behaviors, enhancing relationships and potentially can mean achieving employment or other productive pursuits. Some may experience spiritual or emotional growth, while others prioritise relapse prevention strategies. Ultimately, being “recovered” signifies personal fulfillment and freedom from addiction’s grip, though this definition varies among individuals.

The recovery process is marked by both progress and setbacks, demanding commitment, self-reflection and a readiness for change. The ultimate goal is a fulfilling and addiction-free life. Additionally, the recovery community accentuates the value of support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA), providing a network for individuals to share their experiences and support each other in their road to recovery.

Stages Of Recovery

  • Precontemplation Stage
    In this initial phase of addiction recovery, individuals are not yet prepared to consider any addiction treatment program. They display defensiveness and continuously justify their addictive behavior. There is a notable absence of awareness regarding the detrimental effects of excessive drug or alcohol use with a strong focus on the perceived positive outcomes of their substance of choice. Some remain in this stage due to limited information about addiction and its consequences, while others have faced repeated disappointments from failed recovery attempts and treatment options. Many individuals in the precontemplation stage may believe that recovery is an unattainable goal but it’s important to recognise that anyone can progress from this stage.
  • Contemplation Stage
    The next phase involves a contemplative readiness to change. Individuals in this stage acknowledge the need for change in the future, though not necessarily immediately. Unlike the precontemplation stage, they are aware of the benefits of achieving sobriety. However, they continue to recognise the perceived advantages of alcohol or drug addiction. This stage presents a significant opportunity for family members and treatment providers to offer guidance, provided they approach the individual with empathy and understanding rather than blame or judgment.
  • Preparation Stage
    During the preparation stage, individuals begin to develop a sense of urgency regarding their desire for sobriety. They take preliminary steps toward taking action, such as considering joining a gym, seeking counselling or attempting to quit addiction independently without entering a formal treatment program. While it’s common for individuals in this phase to experience brief periods of abstinence, it is also typical for them to revert to contemplation or precontemplation if they encounter triggers or challenging emotions.
  • Action Stage
    In the action stage, individuals have implemented substantial changes in their lives and are fully committed to the process of change. This phase is marked by extended periods of abstinence and a willingness to seek professional assistance either before or after experiencing a relapse. Notably, it involves more than just discontinuing destructive behaviors; it encompasses transformative shifts in various aspects of their lifestyle. Self-care and self-awareness become integral during this stage with counselling serving as a vital resource to maintain progress.
  • Maintenance Stage
    The maintenance stage signifies a concerted effort to prevent relapse and uphold the lifestyle changes initiated during the action stage. Individuals in this phase adhere to regular exercise routines, engage in recreational activities, maintain sobriety, prioritise sleep hygiene and participate in support groups. Cravings and urges to relapse occur less frequently than in the action stage, creating increased confidence and a genuine belief in their capacity to sustain long-term sobriety.

The duration of the maintenance stage varies, ranging from six months to five years, contingent upon the severity of the addiction, genetic predisposition and personal experiences. Achieving a point of sustained abstinence typically requires a commitment of two to five years with some individuals needing the longer duration to fully break free from addictive behaviors and solidify lasting change.

Spirituality in Addiction Recovery

Spirituality is a important element in addiction recovery, guiding individuals toward inner peace and a changed perspective. While not universally embraced, it remains an integral part of recovery with some preferring programs that emphasise practical coping strategies and scientific insights. Prominent examples of spiritual recovery can be seen in programs like Alcoholics Anonymous, where participants relinquish control, trust in a higher power and engage in communal practices such as prayer and meditation. It’s vital to differentiate between spirituality and religion in recovery, as the former is highly personal, encompassing various connections, while the latter offers structured communal expressions. The benefits of spirituality in recovery are diverse, including renewed purpose, healing, strength, gratitude and meaningful connections, all contributing towards sobriety.

Belief Systems

The addictive belief system, a root cause of vulnerability to addiction, encompasses beliefs about oneself, others and the world. It often leads to a “quick fix mentality,” where individuals seek fast solutions to life’s challenges, often turning to alcoholism and drug abuse. Combatting this harmful belief system involves recognising and addressing the prevalence of “shoulds” in one’s thinking. These “shoulds” are external expectations placed on oneself, such as the need to be perfect, all-powerful or entitled to immediate satisfaction. Chasing these unrealistic expectations can fuel addictive behaviors and hinder genuine progress towards healthier goals and living in recovery.

Inner Peace

After rehab, maintaining sobriety and restoring inner peace become priorities. If rediscovering spirituality or going to therapy or taking up a hobby or leaving a relationship helps you find inner peace away from the addiction, then dive right in, there is no perfect answer and no formulated solution it’s up to you to use what you have learned and start finding what truely drives your inner peace. Patience is key as quick fixes are unrealistic; healing is an ongoing process. Letting go of perfection, viewing setbacks as learning opportunities and embracing flaws cultivates self-acceptance and growth are things that you will learn in time. Speaking kindly to oneself, releasing negative self-talk and recognising that the past doesn’t dictate the future are all concepts that contribute to your inner peace. The path begins with your recovery but your innere peace requires an open heart and uncluttered mind.

What is Recovery? - Your Essential Addiction Recovery Guide

Being "recovered" from addiction entails nurturing mental and emotional health, achieving emotional stability. Get help from qualified counsellors.

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    Rehabs in other cities of South Africa.

    Founded in 2008, WeDoRecover has evolved from an advisory service for addiction treatment into a comprehensive provider of care, following its 2019 merger with Changes Addiction Rehab in Johannesburg. Specialising in connecting patients to top-tier addiction treatment centers in the UK, South Africa and Thailand, WeDoRecover supports individuals globally, including those from the United Arab Emirates and Europe. Accepting both South African medical aid and international health insurance our organisation facilitates access to high-quality treatment for substance and alcohol use disorders, offering individualised care that addresses the physical, mental and social needs of patients.

    Our team, led by Gareth Carter, offers empathetic and professional support, guiding you through every step of the treatment process. Whether you're in South Africa or abroad, our acceptance of various insurance plans makes quality care accessible, providing a platform for lasting recovery and a healthier future.

    Inpatient Rehab

    Rehab care is a good option if you are at risk of experiencing strong withdrawal symptoms when you try stop a substance. This option would also be recommended if you have experienced recurrent relapses or if you have tried a less-intensive treatment without success.


    If you're committed to your sobriety but cannot take a break from your daily duties for an inpatient program. Outpatient rehab treatment might suit you well if you are looking for a less restricted format for addiction treatment or simply need help with mental health.


    Therapy can be good step towards healing and self-discovery. If you need support without disrupting your routine, therapy offers a flexible solution for anyone wishing to enhance their mental well-being or work through personal issues in a supportive, confidential environment.

    Mental Health

    Are you having persistent feelings of being swamped, sad or have sudden surges of anger or intense emotional outbursts? These are warning signs of unresolved trauma mental health. A simple assesment by a mental health expert could provide valuable insights into your recovery.

    Finding the right rehab close to you is simple with WeDoRecover. Our network includes the finest rehab centers, ensuring personalised, quality care for your recovery needs. Let Gareth Carter and our empathetic team help guide you to a center that feels right for you, offering expert care and support. Start your healing today by choosing a rehab that's not just close to you, but also that truly cares about your loved ones recovery.

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