Steps of the Addiction Treatment Process

The journey to a healthy, sober life is not a quick and easy one. It is a lifelong commitment of dedication and hard work. The rewards gained from transforming a life of addiction into a life of recovery, however, are immeasurable and well worth the effort. Like any journey, the road to sobriety begins with simple steps forward.

The specific steps of a person's recovery process will vary according to the type of addiction, the treatment plan used, and the individual seeking treatment. However, all recovery processes tend to share certain key elements:

  • Assessment
  • Detoxification
  • Substance Abuse Treatment
  • Ongoing Recovery

If you have any questions concerning the recovery process or your individual journey to recovery, please call 1-866-424-8256 to speak with one of our treatment support advisors who will answer your questions confidentially — at any time of the day or night — with no obligation.



The Assessment is the process of determining whether a particular center or program is a good fit for you (and vice versa). This is a stage to ask the questions that are most important to you.

The center will also have some questions for you best determine how the program can most optimally tailor its treatment plan to you and your particular needs and stage of addiction. The center will likely be interested in knowing the severity of your addiction, your personal drug use history, family history of addiction, medical history, prescribed medication history, and even financial arrangements for treatment.



Most drug and all alcohol addictions require a phase of detoxification at the start of the recovery process. This stage of detox is designed to remove the drugs and alcohol from the body. In most cases, medication may be given to ease the withdrawal symptoms associated with detoxification. This process can be a very anxious time. In order to quell these feelings, in addition to medication, group therapy and one on one counseling is provided to help people work through your feelings.

The length of the detox process varies according to:

  • The individual's unique body composition and metabolism.
  • The particular drug and dosage that was being used.
  • How long the drug has been taken.
  • If there are any other medical conditions involved.

Detoxification is generally a safe process when undergone in a supervised medical setting. Since detox for certain individuals and substances can be life threatening — and in some cases, deadly — it's not advised for individuals to detox on their own at home.


Substance Abuse Treatment

Once individuals get through the initial detox from drugs or alcohol, they will continue through treatment. This is where patients get to the core reasons behind their addictions, addressing those issues so they can effectively move on with their lives without going back to drugs, alcohol, or their addictive behavior.

When it comes to substance abuse treatment programs, there is no shortage of options available to you. So remember that it's both important and feasible to search for a program that's a good match for you. At Lighthouse Detox we can help find the right match for you.

If you feel comfortable with the facility you've chosen, you're more likely to stick with the program and see it through to its end — increasing your chances of long-term health and sobriety.



Even after patients have completed their treatment program, they are not finished with recovery. In fact, for many individuals, recovery is a lifelong process, requiring their ongoing work and attention. At times, the path to lifelong recovery may feel easy. Other times, it will be difficult for individuals to withstand the temptation to relapse. Like anything in life, it's a journey that may feature varying terrain, so lifelong support is essential.

Prior to leaving an addiction treatment program, the patient will formulate an aftercare plan with their counselor. These aftercare plans may include AA, NA, Smart Recovery, faith-based support, follow up with a psychiatrist, to name a few. Many substance abuse treatment facilities provide aftercare programs to stay in touch with the patients as they progress through recovery. These alumni programs or wellness programs may include alumni meetings, monthly follow up calls to the patient and family, outings, etc. After completing formal treatment, many patients choose to live in a sober living environment with other individuals recovering from addiction. While in a sober living facility, recovering individuals perform chores, work at an outside job, and participate in sober support groups as well as keep each other accountable for their recovery. This offers support for those recovering from addiction as they transition into mainstream living.


Find the Help You Need

If you or someone you love has questions, please call 1-866-424-8256 for more information. Our trained and compassionate team is here to answer your questions, provide you with information about treatment programs, and, ultimately, help you find the help you need to achieve long-term recovery. Calls are always confidential, private, and secure.