Six Stages to Ice Addiction Recovery - Hader Clinic Queensland
Six Stages of Ice Addiction Recovery

6 Stages of Ice Addiction Recovery

Ice addiction recovery is not a straight line. For most people, there will be different issues that arise in each stage of their recovery journey. For many, their recovery journey starts long before the decision is made to seek help.

The 6 stages of ice addiction recovery are:

  • Powerlessness
  • Accepting the problem
  • Detoxing from ice
  • Early recovery
  • A new way of life
  • Daily maintenance

Stage 1. Powerlessness­­

When someone starts to use ice, they believe that they are in control of choosing when and how often to use ice and are enjoying the effects of the drug.

However, after longer, more frequent use, the sufferer may recognise signs of ice addiction and acknowledge they might have a problem, start trying to limit their use of ice, or stop altogether.

It is now the person realises they can’t stop and that they are suffering from an ice addiction.

They will make countless vain attempts to stop until they realise they can’t and they are powerless over their addiction.

Some of the attempts to stop may include:

  • Staying away from people who use drugs
  • Moving away or in with family
  • Limiting the times and the amount of ice they use
  • Substituting one drug for another
  • Going cold turkey without any support

Most sufferers need to go through this stage of their ice addiction recovery before they acknowledge the problem and become motivated to get professional ice addiction treatment to change their life.

Stage 2. Accepting the Problem

After having tried so many ways to restrict or stop their drug use, they may now finally be at a stage where they can accept that their drug use is a concern.

This is a vital stage in the recovery process as, during it, there is a small window of opportunity before the addiction takes hold again where the sufferer shows a willingness to accept help and treatment.

In this period of the ice addiction recovery journey, there may be some serious consequences of the ice addiction and circumstances that can bring a sufferer to a point of surrender.

The sufferer may have:

It is important that the person suffering receives help from addiction professionals who understand addiction first-hand.

Stage 3. Detoxing from Ice

During this stage of ice addiction recovery, the individual needs to be in a safe place to detox from ice so they can safely navigate the withdrawal symptoms of ice and learn to manage stress without substances, and begin the journey towards an abstinence-based lifestyle.

During this stage, ice withdrawal symptoms, thoughts, and emotions can be intense.

Depending on their situation (including personal history and drug use) the ice detox process usually takes between one to two weeks.

Stage 4. Early Recovery

The early recovery stage is all about education about the disease of addiction. Most people in this stage find it easier to do this in a residential addiction treatment facility or through regular 12 step meeting attendance.

Part of the journey is to understand and accept that addiction is a disease and that the underlying reason they used drugs needs to be addressed.

Learning to live without the use of drugs can be difficult, but most addicts find hope when surrounded by the right support network.

Stage 5. A New Way of Life

During this stage, the recovering individual needs to create a new lifestyle.

Without a complete change of lifestyle, the work so far will have little long-term effect.

If the recovering addict has been in a rehab facility or away from their everyday life for a while, they may become overwhelmed and turn back to old coping mechanisms.

It is important that they analyse relationships, jobs, and other lifestyle elements.

Returning to daily life can be difficult to navigate.

There are typically job and relationship changes needed to create a balanced life free from the use of ice.

The recovering person can attend 12-step programs and become involved in the community in another way outside of their workplace and families.

It is important that they receive help to deal with the emotional issues and trauma underlying their drug use.

Stage 6. Daily Maintenance

The final phase of ice addiction recovery is maintenance. It is the stage most people think of when they think of recovery.

The new thoughts and patterns that have been created, along with the new lifestyle changes that are beginning to be made, must now be maintained on an ongoing basis.

Living in the moment and learning to use new tools and coping mechanism requires work.

During this stage the person in recovery will usually find new healthy ways to manage stress and maintain their new way of life, which may include:

  • Meditation
  • Physical exercise
  • Becoming useful to their community

The hallmarks of the daily maintenance stage are the ability to react to problems that come up without the use of ice, choosing to grow and develop as a person, and continuing to be part of a recovery program.


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