1.1.6 Maintenance (Recovery from Addiction)

Topic Progress:

Maintenance is the stage you should be at when you have completed a course of treatment, whether that be inpatient, outpatient or online counseling.

Common maintenance actions in recovery are;

  • Continuing to attend support groups
  • Reading and educating yourself further on recovery and personal growth.
  • Spiritual practices like meditation and yoga (this doesn’t have to be religious practice)
  • Physical activities which help to stimulate endorphins and other healthy neurochemicals
  • Being of service to other people seeking recovery

The Maintenance stage (recovery) is the stage in which individuals are starting to become less controlled by cravings. They have high (although not 100%) degree of self-efficacy. Whenever they are stressed, depressed, anxious or bored, they will be unlikely to return to addiction as a way of coping, preferring instead to rely on one of their recovery activities to manage their feelings.They will be moving consistently further and further away from active addiction as they experience positive brain change which manifests as healthier external behaviors, more balanced feelings and more reasonable though processes.

The principles of successful recovery are:

  • Acceptance of the illness
  • Identifying with peers who are also in recovery
  • Being accountable to others in recovery
  • Learning to regulate disturbing emotions
  • Learning effective new behaviors and applying them