The Rollercoaster That Is Addiction Recovery

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The Rollercoaster That Is Addiction Recovery

With life comes ups and downs. There are even events that look positive but turn negative at the last second. This can be true of most things in life but is very true with addiction recovery. There is a natural phase of alcoholism and recovery. This is called The Jellinek Curve. The Jellinek Curve was created in the 1950s by E. Morton Jellinek, and revised later by Max Glatt, a British psychiatrist. The Jellinek Curve was made to show the progression of addiction, as well as the “vicious circle” that comes with obsessive drinking. The curve illustrates that there is much to lose if the circle is not broken by recovery. Below are the stages of The Jellinek Curve. 

Stage 1: Crucial Phase

  • Occasional relief drinking or using
  • Constant relief drinking or using
  • Increases in alcohol/drug tolerance
  • The onset of memory blackouts
  • Increasing dependence on alcohol or drugs
  • Surreptitious drinking or using
  • Feelings of guilt
  • The urgency of first drinks
  • Memory blackouts increase
  • Unable to discuss the problem
  • Decreases of ability to stop
  • Drinking or using when others do
  • Grandiose and aggressive behavior
  • Drinking/using bolstered with excuses
  • Efforts to control fail repeatedly
  • Persistent remorse
  • Tries geographical escapes
  • Promises and resolutions fail
  • Family and friends avoided
  • Loss of other interests
  • Unreasonable resentments
  • Work and money troubles
  • Loss of ordinary will power
  • Neglect of food
  • Decreases in alcohol/drug tolerance
  • Tremors and early morning use

Stage 2: Chronic Phase

  • The onset of lengthy intoxications
  • Physical deterioration
  • Impaired thinking
  • Moral deterioration
  • Indefinable fears
  • Drinking or using with inferiors
  • Obsession with drinking or using
  • Unable to initiate action
  • Vague spiritual desires
  • All alibis exhausted
  • Complete defeat admitted
  • Obsessive drinking or using continues in vicious circles
  • Possibility of death

Stage 3: Rehabilitation Phase


  • An honest desire for help
  • Told addiction can be arrested
  • Learns addiction is an illness
  • Meets former addicts, both normal and happy
  • Stops using alcohol and drugs
  • Healthy thinking begins
  • Assisted in making a personal inventory
  • Physical overhaul by doctor
  • Spiritual needs examined
  • Start of group therapy
  •  The onset of new hope


  • Diminishing fears of the unknown future
  • Appreciation of possibilities of a new way of life
  • Return of self-esteem
  • Regular nourishment is taken
  • Desire to escape goes
  • Realistic thinking
  • Adjustment to family needs
  • Natural rest and sleep
  • New interests develop
  • Family and friends appreciate efforts
  • Rebirth of ideals 
  • New circle of stable friends
  • Appreciation of real values
  • Faces facts with courage
  • Increase of emotional control
  • Confidence of employers
  • First steps toward economic stability
  • Contentment in sobriety
  • Care of personal appearance
  • Increasing tolerance of others
  • Rationalizations recognized 
  • Group therapy and mutual help continue
  • Enlightened and interesting way of life opens up with road ahead to higher levels than ever before

If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol or drugs, please reach out to Pinnacle Recovery today. We offer addiction recovery treatment options, as well as dual diagnosis programs. Call now at 1-866-301-0573. We can’t wait to hear from you.

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