Recovery From Addiction: Gorski’s Operational Definition

Recovery from addiction is a developmental process that progresses in six progressive stages:

STAGE O. Active Uncontrolled Addiction

STAGE 1. Transition: Understanding and overcoming the ambivalence of recognizing and personally accepting addiction;

STAGE 2. Stabilization: Regaining the biopsychoscial balance required to maintain abstinence, manage craving, and self-regulate thoughts and feelings;

STAGE 3. Early Recovery: developing the skills to identify and manage addictive and irresponsible behaviors that can cause unnecessary pain and problems in recovery;

STAGE 4. Middle Recovery: Developing the relationships and lifestyle skills needed to support a meaningful, sober, and responsible way of life.

STAGE 5. Late Recovery: Learning to identify and manage core mistaken beliefs about self, others, and the world that interfere with developing and maintaining a sober and responsible way if life.

STAGE 6. Maintenance: Learning the skills necessary for recognizing and managing trigger events, early relapse warning signs, high risk situations, craving, and addiction seeking behavior.

These stages are overlapping and are completed in various time periods depending on the stage of addiction, pre-addictive life skills, level of motivation, type of treatment,the level of family and social support, and time and energy invested by the recovering person.

Relapse often occurs during the recovery process and is best viewed as learning experiences that can build a stronger foundation for future recover. There are skills that recovering people can learn that can increase the ability to stop relapse quickly should it occur.

The Gorski Stages of Recovery and related recovery tasks are fully described in the book: Passages Through Recovery

ON THE INTERNET: Compare The SAMSHA and Gorski working Definitions of Recovery.


Learn more at Gorski Books

Read Passages Through Recovery

3 Responses to Recovery From Addiction: Gorski’s Operational Definition

  1. […] You can compare the with GORSKI’S WORKING DEFINITION OF RECOVERY […]

  2. Excellent Terry – Describes my recovery experience to a “T” and also that of many of my recovering, acquaintances, friends, and clients – Thank You for posting – I’m going to Amazon now

  3. Steven J Taormina says:

    Thank You Terry,
    Would you consider sending me a copy of your CD on relationships.. This would be a HUGE TREASURE to Christ Centered Recoveries TRUTH data base.
    God Bless & Keep Us brother
    Steven J Taormina

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