Addiction Recovery

What Are The Stages Of Addiction Recovery?

Addiction can be a very dangerous habit to you and your loved ones. When it is not properly tackled, it can lead to self-sabotage. Fortunately, knowledge of the different stages of addiction recovery can help ease the process.

Addiction is a devastating illness that affects millions of persons every year. It is much more difficult than many people realize. Each person suffering from a type of drug abuse has special requirements and may also require unique care.

Yet, for fear of the unexpected, most addicts are reluctant to start therapy. They may ask, what are the stages of addiction rehabilitation? Addiction treatment for many recovered addicts can be a complicated and uncertain phase. However, substance abuse specialists have taken note of patterns that most patients experience on their journey to sobriety.

Addiction recovery is not an easy road. Sobriety can be a lifetime challenge that you have to constantly battle. Nevertheless, understanding the stages of addiction recovery will make it easier to power through.

In this article, you will learn of the main stages involved in addiction recovery. You will also learn about what to expect from addiction recovery. Additionally, you will get valuable tips on making your addiction recovery efficient.

Stages of Addiction Recovery

If you are facing addiction, you certainly know the anguish created by drugs in your life. But do you comprehend the inner workings that have contributed to substance addiction? Are you familiar with the inner chaos or the triggers?

Drug addiction is a condition that psychologically, emotionally, and physically affects a person. We are not observant of what an individual is going through on the inside. Neither do you often know why they make the decisions they make.

Before agreeing it’s time to change, we don’t hear the extensive mental debate so many addicts go through. The inner stages of addiction recovery that users usually progress through before getting treatment at a licensed drug rehab facility are below:

  • Pre Contemplation
  • Contemplation
  • Preparation
  • Action
  • Maintenance
  • Termination

At each of these stages, there is a crucial point that determines whether the addict will recover. It is vital to go along with the addict to successfully overcome any chance of relapse.

Constant encouragement and dedication also help. It is important that they feel the need to curb their addiction from within. Never rush the timeline for addiction recovery. Let it come naturally.

Addiction Recovery

Pre Contemplation

Sometimes, those in the process of pre-contemplation have yet to concede to themselves that they have an issue. Causes may be pressure from legal issues, a loved one, or even a boss. They may be going through the motions, but they are also uncertain of the severity of the case.

Addicts will usually avoid discussions about addiction or avoid those that bring them up at this time. During this stage of addiction recovery, attempting an intervention will undoubtedly be greeted with extreme denial.

In this process, abusers typically blame social factors for their drug abuse.  Examples of such excuses are demanding work or home life and even genetic predispositions. This point is often referred to as a somewhat hopeless time in the life of an addict.

Most times, during rehabilitation, many still remember it as their lowest point. Fortunately, these emotions typically contribute to the next healing point. At this point, addicts are free to step on to the stage of contemplation. That is once they acknowledge that they have a problem.


The transition to contemplation denotes that you are more familiar with the symptoms. You have become aware of the negative impact that addiction has on your life. However, you may not yet be sure of the adverse effects. You may still strongly consider the pleasure of alcohol or substance consumption.

You become a little more open to the possibility of redemption at this stage. Although you or your loved one may not agree to get sober yet. Regardless, it seems redemption may happen at some point in this stage of your addiction recovery.

Those in this stage of rehabilitation may openly admit that they have issues with drug abuse. Nevertheless, they frequently have some kind of excuse or argument when pressed about treatment. They often push off rehabilitation for a later period.

The excuse can also sound true in some situations. For example, if you have a stressful job, you may reassure a loved one falsely. You may maintain that when you leave the job, you will get treatment. Hence, claiming that you may no longer be tempted to self-medicate with alcohol.



Individuals have decided to make a difference at this stage of addiction recovery. Unfortunately, most addicts unconsciously miss this stage and take action directly. Therefore, the care staff must help them at this point. This is to prevent them from planning inadequately to take action.

Throughout this process, counsellors will encourage the client to collect details regarding opportunities for improvement. They do this by looking at therapeutic aids that suit their personal needs. They also prepare a steady and realistic timeline for addiction recovery.

With a structured recovery strategy, the treatment team can help to facilitate the preparation stage properly. Hence, a customized care plan for each addict that matches their individual needs can be developed.



This stage of addiction rehabilitation is fairly self-explanatory. Addicts continue the physical process of healing during the action period. This can mean changing one’s environment or changing their actions.

This means initiating drug therapy at a licensed recovery center in most circumstances. Eventually, making these important improvements to sobriety also builds the confidence of an addict. They start to experience a sense of success.

Typically, this stage takes the most effort, but it is one of the most meaningful as well. The action process is the basis of long-term sobriety. Vulnerability during this process is usually a given. Fortunately, the sensation of fulfillment connected with this stage of addiction recovery makes it worth it.

Related article: Traveling for Addiction Treatment Improves Long-Term Recovery


The client learns to effectively resist triggers and other vices in the maintenance stage. They avoid things that may lead back to regular addiction. People remember their success at this stage of addiction recovery and work to strengthen their recovery.

A professional care team will assist the client thoroughly to ensure continued rehabilitation. This allows the addict to receive vital treatment and assistance before leaving the recovery center.

It may also prove challenging to help our loved ones in recovery. You have to recognize what motivates the addict to improve. This information can even help your loved one’s addiction care providers to yield better results. All these have led to successful addiction treatment in Canada and its surroundings.

With proper maintenance, you can help patients remain on the right track. This helps them to continue to build their confidence. It also helps to distract them from their addiction.


The recovery process is effectively complete at the termination stage. However, staying sober is a lifetime commitment. A person is likely to have recovered their health in the termination process of treatment.

They can maintain strong relationships and have a stable profession. They are also financially independent and feel assured that the addiction is gone. When asked, most people do not incline to return to active addiction at this point. They are happy that they no longer have the same habits as when they were addicted.

The strength of the stages of addiction recovery is in its simplicity. They simplify a complex phase into a sequence of straightforward steps. What makes them relevant, though? How advantageous are the six steps?

Notably, the stages of rehabilitation make it possible for you to be familiar with recovery processes. It doesn’t matter whether you have prior knowledge of addiction recovery. The stages put into context the healing process of an addict over time. This makes it easier to assess the right tools to be used at each level. It helps you know what to expect from addiction recovery.

In brief, the results of the healing processes are important. The phases provide significant clarity. They also give us insight into how therapies and other help can be used.

The Stage Models of Development of Addiction

Each stage of addiction recovery needs crucial attention to be successfully carried out. Lapses are bound to happen at any stage of addiction recovery. However, there are certain stage models of development that can help you understand the process better. Nevertheless, it is important to know that these stage models aren’t perfect.

The Animal Substance Abuse Model

This model was proposed by a variety of psychologists and doctors. It compares the phases of substance abuse to those found in animals. It uses Pavlov dogs as an example.

It theorizes that the brain becomes used to external stimuli that view the hard drugs as a reward. Similar to how the dogs salivate at the sound of a bell in Pavlov’s experiment. This slowly leads to binge drinking and intoxication.

Furthermore, you begin to see the substance you abuse as the only way to have fun. You become so dependent that you constantly use it to avoid the withdrawal symptoms. This is one of the most difficult stages of addiction rehabilitation.

Lastly, you eagerly anticipate the next fix. Your mind becomes preoccupied with getting a taste of the substance. Nothing else matters at that moment until you get the drug or alcohol.

The Valliant Model

This model was invented by Dr. George E. Valliant. He highlighted three phases that serve as the basis of substance abuse. Firstly, he discussed how occasional usage can spiral out of control. At this phase, you may still have strong control over how you use the substance.

Secondly, abuse can easily set in once the occasional usage becomes more frequent. You ignore any red flags that arise from constant drinking or hard drug intake. This is still an easily redeemable stage of addiction recovery.

Lastly, your body may become over-reliant on the drug. You build a tolerance to the drug which makes your body go for higher dosages. You experience severe withdrawal symptoms when you try and quit. This makes you rely more on the substance to avoid the symptoms.

The Jellinek Model

This model based on the works of M. Jellinek breaks substance abuse into four phases. Each phase gets progressively worse as the addiction grows. The phases are namely:

  • Preliminary phase
  • Substitution phase
  • Crucial phase
  • Chronic phase

The preliminary phase deals with basic social drinking. This may seem innocent at first glance but can easily get out of hand. Caution needs to be taken to ensure responsible drinking or stoppage.

The substitution phase stems from the use of the substance as a coping mechanism. At this point, you are depending on the drug to get by in your day. Red flags that indicate this phase are excessive hangovers and blackouts.

The crucial phase is where things start to worsen. You begin to experience a total loss of control of your life as a whole. You also tend to justify your reason for consistently using the substance. Early health problems begin at the phase and the timeline for addiction recovery grows longer.

The chronic phase is often marked as a point of no return. At this phase, you have grown to become over-dependent on the substance. You begin to experience extreme conditions like hallucinations. Physical and mental problems are at their heights.

The most common stage models of abuse remain focused on the development of physical dependency. It is also seen as a biological change in the central nervous system of the person. Such changes result in a person being unable to make reasonable decisions.

Constant drug abuse can indeed contribute to severe brain changes. However, people still maintain a manner of choice unless they experience severe brain damage.

All these different stage models aim to describe the development of an addiction. Nevertheless, there are several flaws in these theories. However, the points about drug addiction made in any of the stage models are still relevant.

How to Prepare for Addiction Recovery

Prepare for Addiction Recovery

Addiction doesn’t start in a day. It usually builds over time while the user is oblivious to it. If you suspect any signs of addiction in you, here are actions you can take. A good start is deciding to seek aid for your addiction. Next, training your body for recovery should be your immediate priority.

When you have developed alcohol or druggy dependency, withdrawal will be the first stage of recovery. You’ll abstain from substance use in detox to allow any signs of the drug to leave the body. It will cut the emotional reliance on alcohol or narcotics.

Detox is considered by many to be the most difficult stage of addiction rehabilitation. It is the part where the least work is done. Symptoms of withdrawal will range from moderate to extreme and may likely involve strong cravings.

Medications can be given to help minimize the severity of signs of withdrawal. This eases the stress in the weeks or days leading up to recovery. Additionally, you will reduce the level of pain by taking proper care of your health.

Before going for rehab, one of the toughest things you can do is go on a binge. People do this in expectation of quitting. Although it can be enticing, there may be devastating implications of over-using before treatment.

These may involve an accidental overdose or court issues resulting from the misuse of substances. Overuse can also make detox more drawn-out and painful. You need to ensure to sleep well and on time. This is an often-ignored part of the stages of addiction recovery. The body heals faster when subject to adequate sleep.

Exercising also helps the body fight off withdrawal symptoms easily. Your blood will pump more effectively, flushing away any toxins faster.

Furthermore, you will have to cut ties to any potential triggers. This can be a person or a location. If you have friends that still actively abuse drugs, it’s best to avoid them for a while. The same goes for a pub or bar that you frequent before. Hanging around such people and places make it easier for you to suffer a relapse.

Having a mentor or confidant is beneficial for you on your road to recovery. Such a person will be able to constantly encourage you during the toughest period of recovery. They will be essential in speeding up your timeline for addiction recovery.

Tips on Making Addiction Recovery Efficient

It is tough enough to get sober. However, getting a new start in life can be challenging in several respects. You have to get over the withdrawal effects first and overcome the cravings you feel.

Compared to coming out of a cave, recovering and reentering society is not a piece of cake. It is a transition phase that needs many steps, adjustments, and commitments to pull off.

If you have recently been sober, you want to be sure that you maintain it. Hence, here are some tips you can take to increase your odds of success.

Take Your Time

You may have recently emerged from addiction and believe yourself to be invincible. You may be eager to charge back into the world and take life by the reins. Yet, you can fail at any of the stages of addiction recovery if care isn’t taken.

It happens very frequently. You may feel fantastic and recharged, and ready to live life to the fullest. However, don’t take on more than you can do yet. Life is going to be very different, and it is worth taking some time to readjust.

Reconcile with Loved Ones

Reconcile with Loved Ones

There is a chance that you hurt your loved ones when you were an addict. You may have done things to other persons. Such acts can create a certain degree of frustration or animosity.

Your loved ones may be glad to get you back sober and safe. However, you may continue to see the effects of old wounds in their interactions with you. Find a way to fix the harm you might have done. Do it as quickly as possible, and go beyond and above to make it right.

Locate Sober Mates

You can’t afford to spend time with people with whom you used to abuse drugs. The irony is that they most certainly may not help you in your sobriety. No matter how much they might think they may help, it won’t work.

Those that think it’s a positive idea that you’ve become clean don’t endorse it. This is because they’re heading in the opposite path from the one you are taking now.

Additionally, even if the time spent with these individuals doesn’t involve drugs, you have to avoid them. There is a risk that being around them can begin to tempt you and bring back cravings. In the years ahead, no amount of sentimentality is worth your sobriety and your wellbeing

Find New Activities

Your world most likely revolved around alcohol or being high because you were an addict. Whenever you were not using, you were thinking about how to find the next fix. You likely had something planned to make it easier for you to do so.

What are you going to do now for your time? Addiction has left a void in your life. Now is the time to seek something positive and entertaining to fill that void. Several addiction treatment centers in Canada can provide you with ideas on new hobbies to engage in.

Find a new passion. You can start volunteering or start a degree that will help you advance your career. Do something else that will set the best course for your new life.


The stages of addiction recovery can be extremely difficult. However, you are not alone in that struggle. Follow the stages listed above to begin your road to rehabilitation today.

Take note of the different stage models of development. Utilize the tips to prepare you for addiction recovery and make sure you stick by them. Finally, your mind to overcome any temptations by avoiding triggers. Contact 1000 Islands Addiction Rehab & Treatment Centre for addiction treatment programs.

Related article: 8 Exercises That Can Help With Addiction Recovery

Addiction Recovery

The Advantages of a Growth Mindset for Addiction Recovery

In addiction recovery, your mindset plays a huge role in the overall outcome. Changing your attitude to promote a growth mindset for addiction recovery will boost your recovery process. Generally, most people often start their treatment at the lowest point of their lives. In such cases, it’s often difficult to understand how to stay sober for the long term. 

But with a growth mindset, it is possible to enhance the efficiency of the addiction recovery process. You can gain invaluable insights into your problem if you can cultivate a growth mindset. Also, this will help you discover secret solutions you may not be aware of. 

Furthermore, having a growth mindset involves commitment from the beginning of your recovery process. You must pay close attention to your attitude and thoughts if you don’t want to fall behind. If you stay consistent without giving up, you’ll defeat addiction in no time. This article will explain to you in detail how a growth mindset can help you beat addiction.

How Can I Develop a Growth Mindset for Addiction Recovery?

Generally, most people tend towards a growth mindset from the start. However, anyone can change their attitude in the face of a difficult task. So, here is how to develop a growth mindset that lasts through the process of addiction recovery:

Think about the past

Think of a time when you felt like changing your lifestyle or learning a new skill. Learning how to take shots, spin, play musical games can be easy. However, the experience is not as significant as the technique used in achieving your goal. 

So, did you give up after your first failure? Absolutely no way! That, right there, is the growth mindset you need to beat addiction. You must always work on being a better person. When you fail once, you rise again and again! Eventually, you’ll succeed and thereby achieve your goal of staying sober.

Think about the past

Set short-term targets 

Another approach on how to develop a growth mindset for addiction recovery is to set short-term targets. A short-term target will support your goal of staying sober in the long-term. You can set a short-term target of completing a month in-house care scheme, take yoga classes, write newsletters and more. 

Connecting your primary goal of staying sober in continuous steps enables you to celebrate your achievement. Also, it prevents you from being overwhelmed by the task you need to overcome.

Look for a role model with an optimistic attitude

Having a role model who is sober and has experience overcoming triggers and resisting cravings can be a real boost for you. It gives you a continual reminder that soberness is attainable. Role models who are ready to share their success stories with you play a significant role in your recovery. 

You get to stay optimistic that failing once doesn’t mean you can’t win again. Also, their experience can help set your mind on the right path, thereby helping you develop a growth mindset for addiction recovery. Having a role model is essential, but it is difficult to find one if you attempt addiction recovery alone. 

This is why you need an addiction treatment centre in Canada. There, you can join group therapy sessions, undergo personalised treatments and even connect with a role model.

Benefits of a Growth Mindset for Addiction Recovery

Below everything else, addiction recovery is not just about avoiding alcohol and drugs. In addition, it’s about developing a better relationship with everyone around you. 

Generally, we all worry about things too much. We have unrealistic views about others and many more. All of these have a way of meddling with our thoughts and mindset. However, a growth mindset can help you beat addiction and negative thoughts. Here are a few advantages of a growth mindset for addiction recovery:

It Helps Overcome Resistance to Change

It Helps Overcome Resistance to Change

When we talk about a growth mindset for addiction recovery, resistance to change, or treatment is a prevalent issue. Most people exhibit terminal uniqueness at some point, such as feeling different from others. Like you do not belong here or having the “I’m different from everyone here” feeling. 

Usually, this originates from having the urge to shield your sense of identity from everyone. Like, everyone here is an addict while you’re someone who just hit a rocky patch. To change your mindset and participate fully, you need to admit that you’re ready for treatment.

However, this can be a significant problem, especially if you’re someone with a rigid mindset. This signifies that the type of foundation you’ve laid for yourself is faulty. Nevertheless, if you have a growth mindset, accepting the idea that you need help will be more acceptable.

It Helps You Discover New Possibilities

It Helps You Discover New Possibilities

Another advantage of a growth mindset for addiction recovery is enhancing your thoughts to see new possibilities. Generally, imagining a better life can be difficult, especially when you’re considering your treatment options. Apparently, you’re at a low point. Else you wouldn’t be weighing a significant life change. 

All of your future opportunities are as a result of your present concerns. This is often the truth, especially when you have a rigid mindset. Do you have questions like; How can I lead a better life when I can hardly get out of bed? How do I survive when I can’t go a day without alcohol or drugs? It’s an excellent question to ask, especially when you don’t consider the possibility of growth.

However, if you have a growth mindset, fantasizing about a better life is possible. Even when you’re not sure of it, you can easily hold on to the hope of a better post-recovery life. 

Naturally, you may be conscious of the potential obstacles. Yet, you’ll have the courage to push further by reflecting on your past victories. Even if you cannot think of living a better life right now, you can always think of leading a better post-recovery life.

Related article: The Importance Of Nutrition During Drug Addiction Recovery

It Helps Turns Trials into Possibilities

Perhaps the key benefit of a growth mindset for addiction recovery is that it turns obstacles into possibilities. The complexities in addiction treatment are many. Indeed, each stage of detoxification, therapy, medication, or recovery plan possesses different challenges.

However, the concept of problems or challenges is entirely different if you have a growth attitude. You see them not as the rocks that sink your ships, but as a challenge that brings the best out of you. Generally, every challenge is a favourable circumstance to think about yourself. This is an opportunity to acquire new skills and increase your perseverance. 

Every hurdle encountered during recovery is an opening for self-development. Also, it prepares you ahead for the challenges to come. Adopting a development approach is one of the easiest ways to make addiction treatment struggles more manageable. This reduces the fear of change, helps you to envision a better existence without drugs and alcohol, and makes each new challenge a chance to learn.

One of the benefits of a growth mindset for addiction recovery is being able to face challenges head-on. Also, it prepares you for the potential challenges you may encounter during your recovery. You become less fearful of change and more hopeful of a better life without alcohol and drugs. Finally, it makes each challenge another chance to learn more.

FAQs about Addiction Treatment and Recovery

Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about addiction treatment in Canada and the USA. 

FAQs about Addiction Treatment and Recovery

What is the quickest approach for drug detoxification?

Detoxification is the process of eliminating a substance from your body through solid waste and urine. Drinking plenty of water or sweating as a result of exercise is the quickest way of detoxification. Others include using a natural detox supplement, trying an infrared sauna remedy, and so on.

How long does the detox process take?

The detox process can extend up to three (3) months before attaining psychological balance. However, the utmost critical withdrawal signs occur between one (1) to three (3) days after quitting.

What is a suitable remedy for substance withdrawal?

remedy for substance withdrawal

Generally, anything that can eliminate the toxins in your body system is suitable for substance withdrawal. This includes exercise like yoga, sauna therapy, taking more water, and more.

What does substance withdrawal feel like?

The most prevalent addiction withdrawal symptoms are; sweating, headaches, depression, intense cravings, anxiety, and weight gain. However, quitting substance consumption is attainable. 


Now that you have read about a growth mindset for addiction recovery, it’s time to put it into action. You need to apply what you’ve read above to your recovery plan to enhance it further. 

Generally, a growth mindset says that everyone possesses the power to make a positive impact in life. So, someone with a positive attitude understands that they are capable of acquiring new skills. 

Finally, the ticket to unlocking an excellent growth-oriented mindset is continually telling yourself that growth is achievable yet inevitable. That way, you can easily focus on your goal while paying attention to the process.

Here at 1000 Islands Addiction Rehab & Treatment Centre, we understand that being in the right state of mind can boost your recovery process. We see a growth mindset has a plausible way to sharpen your thoughts, discover your true self and passion. In addition to these, we offer first-class addiction treatment services for residents in Canada. To learn more about our services, contact us today!

Related article: What Are The Stages Of Addiction Recovery?

Addiction Recovery

How To Help A Loved One In Recovery

People with addictions are often afraid to approach their loved ones for help. They fear that they will be looked down on, vilified for making poor choices, and rejected. They are afraid that their family members will be ashamed of them, and that they will not love them anymore.

This frequently prevents addicts from seeking help, which is a shame, because those who do approach family members are so often overwhelmed by the love and support they receive. Many people with addictions have told stories about loved ones surrounding them with love, protecting them from the outside world, and getting them the help they need.

Why Are Loved Ones Important In The Recovery Process?

It has been said that no man is an island, and that is certainly true of addicts in recovery. Addiction does not only affect the addict: it also affects those who surround the addict, particularly close friends and family members. 

How Addiction Affects the Family

Exactly what those impacts are depends on the family, but they may include the following:

  • PTSD resulting from incidents of abuse
  • Fear for the safety of self or children
  • Financial worries resulting from money being used to fuel the addiction
  • A sense of loss following the breakdown of the relationship

And so, when the addict goes into recovery, it’s really the addict and their inner circle who have to heal. In most cases, an inpatient rehab setting is ideal for this: the addict is in a safe place where they can focus on the work they have to do as an individual, and family members and close friends have the time and space to dedicate to themselves. Best of all, loved ones can actively participate in the rehab process by attending family therapy sessions.

What Happens During Family Therapy?

Family Therapy

One of the big losses that come from an addiction is a loss of trust. Loved ones who have been burned are likely to resist overtures by the addict to “fix things”. 

But with the help of a trained family therapist who has the benefit of being impartial, the addict and their loved ones can start to move closer to healing their relationship.

Some skills and tools that the addict and family can learn include the following:

  • Communication skills
  • Conflict resolution skills
  • Stress management
  • Confronting challenges as a unified team

Some family therapy sessions include the addict and the entire group of loved ones. Others may involve one or two people, and some may even be one-on-one sessions conducted for the purpose of delving into specific issues.

Related article: The Advantages of a Growth Mindset for Addiction Recovery

What Else Can Loved Ones Do To Support The Recovering Addict?

Support for loved ones
Taking the addict to rehab and showing up for your scheduled family therapy sessions are two important steps, but support for your addicted loved one does not end there. There are some other things you can do – not only for the addict but for yourself.


There is truth is the expression, “Knowledge is power.” The more we understand something, the less afraid of it we are. One of the key things you can do is learn as much as you can about addiction, and specifically, about your loved one’s unique path to and through addiction.

This education can take several forms:

  • Education sessions and workshops run by the rehab centre
  • Online and in-person support groups for loved ones of addicts
  • Various online resources that educate about the effects of drugs
  • Mental health resources that can help you understand the link between mental illness and addiction


While family therapy is a critical part of rehab for most addicts and their loved ones, it may serve you well to seek out individual therapy for yourself. 

Under the guidance of a professional therapist, you can learn to understand and process how the addict’s behaviour has impacted you, and how you can move forward from that in a positive way. You can also learn how you may have inadvertently enabled the addict’s behaviour, so you can avoid that in the future.

Support groups

One of the hardest things about having a loved one with an addiction problem is the sense of being alone. Support groups like Al-Anon are there so you can listen to the stories of other families and draw strength from them. 

And as you move further along in your own journey, you will be able to provide support to those whose journeys are just starting. Through this community, you will learn new ways to cope and to support your addicted loved one.


No one can drink from an empty well. If you are feeling depleted as a result of the addiction, you may not be in any position to take care of anyone. You need to focus on yourself and your own healing, to take the time to replenish your physical and mental reserves. 

You can do this in several ways:

  • Go away for a few days by yourself. Be beholden to nobody. Go wherever you want, and spend the time doing whatever you want and not worrying about anyone or anything else.
  • Rediscover pursuits that you used to enjoy that may have gone by the wayside. This could mean more time with friends, going back to art or dance classes, or resurrecting a love of reading.
  • If you have been under stress, your physical health may have suffered. Get your strength back by following a nutritious eating plan and getting regular exercise. This can help your mental health as well: few things can lift the soul like a gentle walk in a scenic location.
  • Allow yourself to cry, and to feel the sadness and despair that you may be feeling. By acknowledging how you feel, you will be better able to process those emotions.
  • Consider trying meditation or mindfulness practices. These are tools for calming your mind and reducing stress.

How To Start The Recovery Process

In many cases, it is not the addict who makes the first call for help, it is a family member or close friend. If you have a loved one who is struggling with addiction, and you don’t know how to approach them about getting help, you can make use of the professional intervention services offered by addiction rehab facilities.

Contact 1000 Islands Addiction Rehab & Treatment Centre for addiction treatment programs.

Related article: How to Choose the Right Addiction Treatment Service

Addiction Recovery

8 Exercises That Can Help With Addiction Recovery

Addiction treatment is a multifaceted process that includes therapy and counselling, education, treatment for physical and mental conditions arising from the addiction, and specific exercises for addiction recovery.

If you are in doubt, exercise can actually help with your addiction treatment process. There are many addiction treatment benefits you can enjoy from exercising regularly. In this blog, we will show you why you should exercise during addiction recovery. More importantly, we will highlight the best addiction treatment exercises for your addiction recovery process. 

How Can Exercise Help With Addiction?

While exercise on its own is unlikely to be enough, its presence or absence can mean the difference between a recovery attempt failing or succeeding. Exercise has many proven benefits for the general population: for those with addictions, these benefits are amplified.

They include the following:

Physical health

Addiction can have some far-reaching impact on the body, and an important component of addiction recovery is the rebuilding of physical health. As the body regains some of its strength, the addict is able to focus more on the therapeutic elements of rehab.

addiction recovery

Mental health

Most forms of exercise release endorphins, which produce a sense of euphoria either during or after the workout. Physical activity is increasingly becoming an integral part of treatment plans for stress, depression and anxiety.


One of the most challenging prospects faced by a recovering addict is learning how to handle cravings. For someone who is not accustomed to being sober, this can seem daunting. Exercise can provide the perfect distraction until the craving passes.

Increased energy

Although many people regard exercise as tiring, it actually serves as an energy boost. This is amplified by the fact that people who exercise regularly sleep better.

What Are The Best Exercises For Addiction Treatment?

In order for a recovering addict to be able to exercise regularly, they have to find a form of exercise that they enjoy. Trying to force a workout regimen that feels more like torture can be counterproductive. It is not sustainable, and when the person is not successful in that form of exercise, their self-esteem can suffer and they can be at risk of a relapse. 

In this section, we list eight exercises for addiction recovery. There is bound to be something on this list for everybody!

Go For A Run

Go For A Run

Running is a universal activity that almost everyone can do. All you need is a decent pair of shoes and a safe place to run. Running is great at generating that endorphin rush – a feeling that runners fondly refer to as “the runner’s high”. 

This is a great choice for those who are highly goal-oriented because there are many road racing events to work towards. By choosing a race that has a set date, you can then put together a training program that leads you to that race. Not only do you get the exercise and all of the health benefits that come from it, but you can also build structure into your life.

Take A Walk


If you are not accustomed to exercising, it is important to build up slowly in order to avoid injury and demotivation. Walking for as little as ten minutes a day can make stress levels start to drop, and as your physical fitness improves, those walks will get longer. 

A fantastic variation of walking is hiking. The great thing about this activity is that there are options for every skill level. If you have never gone hiking before, start with some easy trails, take it slow, and stop often to admire the scenery around you. All you need is hiking shoes and a bottle of water, and if the sun is out, some sunscreen. 

Go Swimming


Swimming is one of the few exercises that work every part of the body, but it does so in a way that is easy on the joints. If you are older, or if you have a medical condition or injury impacting your bones or muscles, swimming can be a great option.

Not only does swimming do good things for the body, being in the water is soothing for the mind. It can be like a balm that eases the mental anguish and stress that are often part of the addiction recovery process.

Take A Spin Class


If you prefer a fast-paced, high-intensity workout, spinning might be just the thing for you. Spinning is like aerobics on a bike and is usually done in a class format at a fitness centre. If group exercise is not your thing, you can spin on your own using a stationary bike at the gym or in your home. There are some great spinning apps that will guide you through the workout.

Spinning does not need a lot of skill, but it does require some degree of physical fitness. If you are new to spinning, there are some beginner workouts that will get you started. Many people find that the high-intensity nature of this exercise is a good way to release a build-up of stress, frustration or anger.

Learn To Dance


Dancing performs a dual purpose — it exercises the body, and it provides a creative means of self-expression. Since the beginning of time, cultures around the world have used dance to tell stories and impart messages. Many addiction rehab facilities incorporate dance in their treatment programs because it enables people to communicate their inner pain without having to talk.

Dancing is one of the few activities that can be suitable for anyone, regardless of age, creative taste and level of fitness. There are countless options for everyone from beginner to advanced, for those who want to dance by themselves, or in pairs or groups.

Do Some Yoga

You don’t have to work up a sweat in order to get exercise. Yoga provides you with a way to connect your body and mind while stretching and moving your body. There are many kinds of yoga, each with their own sets of benefits. This is an easy activity to take up, as options for all skill levels are increasingly easy to find.

Yoga is incorporated in many addiction treatment programs, often in conjunction with meditation. These are activities that can make you feel connected to yourself and to the world around you. Also, there are many benefits to physical and mental health, such as reduced stress and anxiety.

Join A Sports Team

Addiction can be very isolating, and recovery can be a lonely process. Sports teams provide a way to get exercise and be part of a group of people who are working towards a common goal. Even activities that are usually done alone can be done as part of a group: if soccer or basketball is not for you, look for a local running or hiking club.

Joining a sports team can be an important part of the post-rehab phase of addiction recovery. At a time when your life seems to revolve around avoiding relapse triggers and attending support group meetings, a sports team can give you a break. An opportunity to just enjoy participating in an activity.

Lift Some Weights


When done safely, weightlifting can provide numerous benefits to your physical health while burning away stress and negative emotions. You can do this activity in a fitness centre, or you can invest in some weights of your own, and do it at home. There are some apps and websites that can guide you through your workouts.

While weightlifting is one of the best exercises for addiction treatment and recovery, it is important to learn the proper techniques for lifting, to gain maximum benefit and avoid injury.

Final Words

Exercise is universally beneficial. No matter who you are and what your fitness level is, regular exercise has numerous benefits to the body and mind. Physical activity should not be regarded as something you do in addition to addiction rehab: it should be an integral part of your addiction treatment program. And when your rehab phase is over, the same exercises for addiction recovery can become a permanent part of your life. This will vastly improve your chances of lasting sobriety and positive, productive living.

Contact 1000 Islands Addiction Rehab & Treatment Centre for addiction treatment programs.

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