What Are The Five Stages Of Grief And Addiction

Recovery is a personal journey, and each stage has its own set of developmental milestones to meet in order to progress to the next, as well as its own set of relapse risks. – Five Stages Of Grief 

The stages do not have a predetermined length of time because recovery is as unique as drug or alcohol addiction. 

Recovery is divided into three stages: Abstinence, Restoration, and Growth

The abstinence stage happens shortly after a person with a substance use disorder quits using the substance. This stage can last anywhere between one and two years. Dealing with urges and refraining from relapsing into substance abuse is at the heart of this stage. 

VSM provides mental health treatment in Austin, and if you take part in it, you will know that there’s much more to life than being stuck in the abstinence stage.

You must move past it and find yourself progressing towards the growth stage, but if you don’t understand how addiction is related to grief, you won’t be able to complete this journey.

Five Stages Of Grief

1: Denial: The person’s outspoken rejection or non-acceptance of the circumstance is characterized by denial, which is characterized by attempts to uncover persuasive proof that it is not real.

2: Anger: Anger can be directed against other people, the person themselves, God, or the situation’s underlying factors.

3: Bargaining: When a person begins to make changes in a last-ditch effort to regain control over the situation that is causing the pain, this is referred to as bargaining.

4: Depression: As the person realizes that bargaining will not change reality, depression and sadness begin to set in.

5: Acceptance: Acceptance is frequently the final stage, in which the person accepts reality, achieves emotional equilibrium, and begins to adopt actions that reflect this recognition.

Of course, not everyone progresses through each step, and people can occasionally regress to earlier levels. The five phases of grief aren’t flawless, but they provide a paradigm that can be helpful to those who have been through traumatic circumstances.

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How The Five Stages Of Grief Are Related To Addiction?

It may surprise you that addiction and grief have the same five stages that are interrelated. But, it’s true.

So, let’s take a look: 

Stage 1: Denial

Denial is frequently the first indicator of a serious problem. People do deny things since they aren’t always true. 

Denial, on the other hand, often happens because the subject of addiction has already been raised, and that question is usually only examined seriously when there is substantial evidence to support the claim.

Denial happens when an addiction victim refuses to acknowledge the problem exists or that it is serious enough to be concerned about. It’s usual for people close to the addiction victim to go into denial much sooner than the addict himself.

Stage 2: Anger

When a person with addiction realizes that there is a problem, he becomes enraged. The addiction patient may be enraged that he can no longer use the substance or that he is unable to use a substance in the same way other people do.

Moreover, in some cases, the rage is a disguise for worry that he may be unable to stop using it while knowing it is necessary.

Interestingly, rather than the substance or the individuals who supply the substance, anger is often aimed internally at the addict or alcoholic himself or at others who try to intervene.

Stage 3: Bargaining

In this scenario, bargaining happens when the addict is attempting to alleviate the anxieties of others or avoid conflict or legal issues. In order to receive aid, he may make vows to cease using. 

Alternatively, the addiction patient may begin bargaining with themselves to reduce rather than stop using substances.

During this stage, the addiction patient refuses to change or accept the consequences truly, preferring instead to bargain with themselves and others to alleviate rather than solve the problem. In this stage, all a person wants is the addiction’s consequences to go away with no effort.

Stage 4: Depression

When an addict or alcoholic understands that they must live without their substance of choice or suffer from their addiction for the rest of their lives, depression can set in.

As the person begins to sense the absence of the substance and reflects on the harm done to himself and others, this may co-occur with the withdrawal stage, which can produce sadness in and of itself.

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Stage 5: Acceptance

Acceptance is not the same as admitting there is a problem — this can be seen much earlier in the process, such as during rage or bargaining. 

Acceptance, on the other hand, occurs when the addict or alcoholic commits to take steps toward recovery. This stage focuses on setting objectives, making decisions, and identifying solutions that can assist the person in attaining recovery.

The Trajectory Of Grief And Addiction

These stages can be skipped or encountered multiple times. Some addiction patients may never be able to accept their addiction and will continue to suffer from its negative effects until they die.

People can have a better grasp of the process, their emotions, and the emotions of others by determining where the substance abuser and her loved ones fall on this spectrum.

A person who is bargaining and failing to cover any ground may revert to rage rather than progress.

Furthermore, addiction typically prevents people from dealing with loss and suffering. For example, while using, a person may witness the death of someone close to them, develop medical problems due to the addiction, or lose an important relationship. 

Long-term addictions frequently prevent people from truly accepting their circumstances. When you are sober, a lot of these demons may come to the surface as if they recently happened. 

As a result, as their emotional and mental states return to normal, it may be challenging for persons in recovery to deal with losses suffered years before.

However, because a lack of self-care led to the addiction in the first place, continuing this behavior will result in relapse. This is why technological devices such as smart skin patches can help people control their drug cravings and help them move past these phases, and work on their addiction.

Get Over It!

As you can see, the five stages of grief are similar to the five stages of addiction.

Even though these stages are not considered in the addiction recovery process, they are considered in helping an addiction victim admit and accept his problem.

If he accepts the problem, there are treatment procedures to help him overcome this issue. So, if you require more information on these stages, ping us below.