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Steps of Addiction Recovery

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Medically Reviewed By: Diana Vo, LMFT

December 8, 2022 (Originally Published)

February 14, 2024 (Last Updated)

Table of Contents

Most experts recognize addiction (substance use disorder) as a chronic and relapsing brain disease that is incurable but treatable.

Addiction is a progressive disease that presents on a continuum from mild through moderate and severe. Substance use disorders are diagnosed according to the criteria outlined in DSM-5-TR (the most recent edition of APA’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders).

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Like all chronic health conditions, addiction has high relapse rates of between 40% and 60%. As such, treatment for addiction should be viewed as a lifelong process rather than a single time-limited event.

This guide highlights the many steps of addiction recovery, everything begin with detox, ideally a supervised medical detox.

First Addiction Recovery Steps: Detoxing from Alcohol or Drugs

Detox for drugs or alcohol takes from a few days to a few weeks, averaging one week. All drug and alcohol detox programs have three primary goals:

  • Processing toxins from your system safely and comfortably under medical supervision.
  • Using medications for the management of withdrawal symptoms.
  • Transition from detox into inpatient, outpatient, or virtual addiction treatment.

You should avoid detoxing at home. This can be uncomfortable, dangerous, and potentially life-threatening. Instead, reach out to Renaissance to discuss licensed medical detox centers near you.

The next steps in recovering from addiction involve engaging with an inpatient, outpatient, or remote treatment program at a drug and alcohol rehab.

Next Steps to Addiction Recovery: Inpatient, Outpatient, or Remote Rehab

The ASAM criteria is the most commonly used set of comprehensive guidelines concerning addiction treatment.

According to the ASAM criteria, addiction treatment is categorized as follows:

  • Prevention and early intervention: If substance use disorder (drug addiction) or alcohol use disorder (alcoholism) is addressed before addiction has time to fully develop, this can avoid the need for inpatient or outpatient rehab.
  • Outpatient treatment: Traditional outpatient programs are the least intensive form of care offered by most rehabs, involving 2 or 3 hours of therapy sessions in an outpatient setting.
  • IOP and PHP: The next level on ASAM’s continuum of care includes two more intensive forms of outpatient treatment. An IOP (intensive outpatient program) is a part-time outpatient program involving between 9 and 15 hours of weekly therapy sessions in an outpatient setting. A PHP (partial hospitalization program) is a full-time outpatient program involving between 30 and 35 hours of weekly therapy sessions in an outpatient setting.
  • Inpatient treatment (residential rehab): The most intensive level of care offered by most regular drug and alcohol rehabs, inpatient rehab (residential rehab) allows you to remain at a treatment facility for 30 to 90 days or more engaging in intensive behavioral and/or pharmacological treatment.
  • Intensive inpatient services (medically monitored and medically managed programs): Those with severe addictions and co-occurring mental health conditions may require longer-term residential treatment or hospitalization.

In addition to these levels of care, many rehabs now also offer virtual IOPs. These remote rehab programs allow those unable or unwilling to access a treatment center to engage with behavioral treatment online.

Final Steps of Addiction Recovery: Aftercare, Alumni Programs, and Ongoing Sober Living

After leaving an inpatient or outpatient treatment facility, you should have an aftercare plan that focuses on relapse management and prevention.

You should also have access to an alumni program. This will enable you to contact a readymade sober support network, ideal in your early recovery.

Kickstart Your Recovery at Renaissance

We are here to help you initiate your recovery from any addiction here at Renaissance Recovery’s rehabs in Florida and California.

For those looking for affordable and flexible luxury rehab in an outpatient or remote setting, we offer the following programs:

  • OP: traditional outpatient program
  • IOPs: intensive outpatient program
  • PHPs: partial hospitalization program
  • Remote rehab: treatment via videoconferencing

All Renaissance treatment programs are personalized to account for the unique presentation of all addictions. Access the following evidence-based intreventions:

  • MAT (medication-assisted treatment)
  • Psychotherapies (talk therapies like CBT or DBT)
  • Individual counselling
  • Group therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Holistic therapies

When you complete your treatment program, you can either step down to a less time-intensive level of care or move directly into sober living. Either way, you’ll leave our treatment facility equipped with:

Kickstart your recovery today by contacting admissions at 866.330.9449.



At Renaissance Recovery our goal is to provide evidence-based treatment to as many individuals as possible. Give us a call today to verify your insurance coverage or to learn more about paying for addiction treatment.

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Joseph Gilmore has been in the addiction industry for three years with experience working for facilities all across the country. Connect with Joe on LinkedIn.

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