The stages of substance abuse start slowly as the disease takes hold and then rapidly speed up to end in a very sad, isolated existence. There are five stages that one goes through before they have a full-on addiction:

  1. Experimentation which is the voluntary use of substances and usually engaging in substance use doesn’t occur often. 
  2. Regular use either with friends or alone. Use doesn’t have to be daily to be considered regular. When substances are used consistently such as at specific times like the weekends or as an activity for certain feelings like boredness or stress, regular use is occurring.
  3. Problem use occurs when using a substance doesn’t just cause one to be simply inebriated. The inebriation leads to far-reaching problems in the user’s life such as legal issues, physical problems, emotional trauma, and relationship deteriorations.
  4. Dependance is a continuance on using no matter what the negative health impacts are and the impact on one’s life is significant. Chronic use that negatively affects the ability to hold responsibilities such as work or family, an increased need for more of the substance to feel an effect, and even withdrawal symptoms when use is reduced.
  5. Addiction means the user’s desire for their substance is compulsive and there are significant psychological and physical changes in the individual.

The Importance of Each Step In Recovery

Studies have shown that many details add to the success of an addict’s ability to beat their addiction. The length of the time they are in treatment, their ability to complete their program, and their active involvement in aftercare are all major components to success.

Aftercare is critically important because at this stage you are on your own if you choose not to engage in continued support efforts. When that happens there are no safety nets, no structured environments to count on, and no help and direction. The weight of staying sober is directly on your shoulders.

This immense weight can be tremendous stress on newly sober individuals. Often, the period after rehab is the most sensitive for recovering addicts because they are on their own for the first time and their sobriety is new and delicate. The best way to tackle life after recovery is to not go it alone.

Where Can You Find A Treatment Alternative Center For Substance Abuse In Tennessee?

Why Keeping In-Touch With Support After Recovery Is ImportantThe Tennessee-based addiction alternative treatment center at Discovery Place has uses resources that help us provide a continued care program. Our programs offer those in post-recovery continued support, direction, and encouragement during the very critical first year of sobriety. Additionally, before you leave treatment our compassionate and caring staff will work with you to design a customized plan to help you stay substance-free after you re-enter society. There are a variety of options you can engage in to help you stay strong and sober including:

Call Discovery Place today to get started on your road to recovery at 1-800-725-0922.



  • Discovery Place was the answer for my son. He did the 90 day and then the step down program and sober living. We give this organization 10 stars. They met my son where he was …emotionally, mentally, physically. They helped him put his life back on track. Discovery Place employees care about their guests. If your son, brother, nephew, grandson or husband needs excellent supportive care THIS is indeed the facility.

    Kim Morton
    Alumni Parent
  • I have remained sober and it is because of DP. DP is the best place there is, hands down. I keep everyone there in my prayers, and I encourage everyone there to take what they are practicing and do it in their lives, after.

    Roy Mantelli
  • Over the past year, I’ve been putting into actin what Discovery Place taught me, and I have experienced a complete perspective change of the world, and the people in it. I get to be a man of service and love today, and for that I am grateful to Discovery Place.

    Matt Kassay
  • Discovery Place means the world to me. They showed me the tools that I’ve tried to use everyday in my life to think less often of myself, and more frequently of others. I am learning to lend a hand when I am able and to have a honest and humble relationship with God and the people around me. Not only am I clean and sober, but also I am happy and fulfilled.

    Tommy Parker
  • Discovery Place and the men who work there made recovery attractive, and more importantly, fun. There is strength in the struggle. I am forever grateful for my time at Discovery Place.

    Creed McClellan
  • When I got to Discovery Place my whole life was in shambles, but I didn’t know it. I spent 6 months in their programs, participating in all three phases, and was met with kindness and love all along the way. It is unbelievable to me, where I am now relative to where I was when I arrived at DP.

    Lance Duke
  • I can never say enough good things about Discovery Place and the people who work there. Before checking in to DP, I was out of options and out of answers. Fortunately, Discovery Place has a solution. Taking suggestions from the staff at DP saved my life, and as a result, I’m now more content and hopeful about life. I’m grateful for Discovery Place showing me how to live a healthy life so that I can become a better man and help the next guy.”

    Tyler Buckingham

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