What Are the Stages of Rehab?

Rehab isn’t just one stage of recovery from alcohol or drugs. When you go to rehab, it’s a whole process that takes place over time, with different goals and challenges being met as you progress through the program. Knowing what to expect can help give you the strength and courage you need to make the most of your alcohol rehab experience, and to set yourself up for long-term success upon your release from the program. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the common stages of rehab and what you can expect during each one!


People in the pre contemplation stage are highly unlikely to change their behaviour. They may try to deny that they have a problem, or may not even be aware that their behaviour is an issue. To enter into recovery, people in pre-contemplation will need to come to terms with what’s happening in their lives and why they might be using drugs or alcohol—otherwise treatment isn’t likely to work.


The first common stage of rehab usually starts with contemplation. This is when you first realise that your addiction has control over your life and that you need help. It’s not enough to think about it though, many people get stuck in contemplative mode for a long time because they are afraid or too embarrassed to seek help.


Prior to entering into a formal drug or alcohol rehabilitation program, patients are often required to go through a prep period that typically lasts anywhere from two weeks to a month. During prep, patients prepare themselves both mentally and physically for rehab treatment. Patients go through a process called detoxification before entering rehab proper. The goal of detox is to rid one’s body of any chemicals, legal or otherwise, in order to prepare for recovery.


The next stage in rehab is to accept that you have a problem. Acceptance doesn’t come easy to some people, but it has to be done. There’s no point in fighting against your addiction—that will only push you further away from getting help. In this stage, a person will engage in treatment that addresses the underlying causes of addiction.

Maintenance & Relapse

While recovery is a lifelong journey, treatment isn’t necessarily a one-time event. Even after completion of formal treatment, most people will benefit from having continued access to counselling and other professional services in order to avoid relapse. While some people do follow through with aftercare on their own or with family members or friends, many people choose to enter into a post-treatment rehab program following formal treatment at an inpatient facility. There are both residential and outpatient rehab programs available for those in need of additional support for recovery.


When you stop abusing drugs or alcohol, your body loses its tolerance for them, which means withdrawal symptoms can appear during a process called detox. Detoxification is a structured process that begins with stabilising your health by maintaining regular eating and sleeping patterns, as well as taking medications to ease discomfort. You may also undergo counselling or receive other forms of therapy to help you deal with anxiety or other issues related to addiction.