What is the ‘Fourth Stage’ of Rehab?

What is the ‘Fourth Stage’ of Rehab?

The ‘fourth stage’ of rehab from drugs and alcohol is reaching advanced recovery where long-lasting abstinence is possible. Advanced recovery, sometimes called stable recovery, typically begins after five years of sustained abstinence. Throughout the continuing care phase of rehab, people must learn to make healthier, more productive, choices in all areas of life. Advanced recovery is living a healthy lifestyle for the whole of a person’s life. Advanced recovery is the fourth stage of healing in recovery.

Advanced Recovery

As people learn on the journey to recovery in rehab, recovery is more than remaining abstinent. It is a necessary part of recovery and the core of a program. Without healthy choices, though, it is difficult to lead a satisfying life. One group of experts has looked at a definition of recovery as a ‘voluntarily maintained lifestyle’ of sobriety, personal health, and other things which bring peace. Participation in family and social things and giving back also are part of a healthy recovery.


Advanced recovery is about entering a point when you individually continue care and keep yourself going, generally around five years of recovery. This means you are ready for greater independence and self-accountability for your own recovery. You will be asked to take the reins of your own recovery process, seek out goals that help you achieve them and highlight areas that need work.

Booster Treatments

Even after active treatment ends, many professional rehab programs offer treatment ‘booster’ sessions, follow-up sessions with counselors and offer support and feedback on recovery. Even if you have been sober more than five years, you are one slip away from relapse. Booster treatments help you keep up with support groups and treatment providers but you are less likely to relapse five years sober and not spend as much time on sober lifestyle maintenance and can focus on longer term goals.

Support Groups

If you reached the advanced stage of recovery with five years or more of abstinence, you have achieved a significant milestone. Not many people in recovery make it that long without having at least one relapse along the way. Many who do do not make it five years. The added benefit of membership is camaraderie, sharing with others who are less further along on the journey and offering mentorship to others. Accountability alone, showing up every week, tells people you are taking it seriously. For those who have a desire to stay clean and sober, the accountability of support-group fellowship is not a thing to be avoided but rather embraced.

Oceanfront will help you kick addiction to the curb with our premier beachfront community in Laguna Beach. We are founded on the principle of providing the best in care and services at affordable prices. We are located in beautiful Laguna Beach. Call us to find out how we can help you navigate addiction recovery: 877-279-1777