What are Some Differences Between Early Recovery and Advanced Recovery?


Recovery on blocks

Recovery is a beautiful journey because it involves a lot of learning, maturity, transformation, challenges, victories, and more. No matter what stage you are at in recovery, it’s safe to say that ups and downs will be a component of recovery all throughout life; after all, we can’t predict what happens on a daily basis. What we can do, however, is recognize how far we’ve come and what lessons we’ve learned along the way. There are often major perspective differences between early recovery and advanced recovery – changes that are proof of our growth.

Early Recovery (typically the first 2 years of recovery)

  • You may experience withdrawals
  • Cravings and/or thoughts about substance use may still be present
  • You begin learning about what recovery means to you
  • You learn techniques for coping with stressful life situations
  • Relapse prevention is practiced, and you will work hard to overcome obstacles that may trigger you to want to relapse
  • A lot of support is needed, and you work towards established a new routine in recovery

Advanced Recovery (after you’ve been sober for more than 2 years)

  • You rarely think about substance use, and you probably don’t have many cravings
  • Your focus shifts from maintaining sobriety to building an overall good life
  • You likely don’t experience anymore withdrawal symptoms
  • Your confidence has increased in your ability to stay sober
  • You are focused on making your dreams and aspirations a reality
  • Work will continue on overcoming character flaws that could trigger a relapse
  • You will be in a much better place, meaning that you will likely be helping other people

It’s important to have patience as you take each step in recovery, because you will only improve if you’re receptive to the lessons you need to learn, taking things a day at a time. The Huffington Post emphasizes changing shame into courage, cultivating compassion and gratitude, practicing humility and forgiveness, and staying open to all the beautiful lessons that recovery has to offer. You can do this.

Located in Orange County, CA, Simple Recovery is a world-renowned drug and alcohol treatment center that believes that recovery is a process, not a destination. Our Simple Recovery programs include a variety of resources such as relapse prevention and support, group and individual therapy, vocational and educational programming, and more. If you’re in search of freedom from addiction, call us today at 888-743-0490. Recovery is possible.