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Understanding the Stages of Change in Addiction Recovery


For many people who are on the outside looking in, addiction recovery is the result of a singular event. The reality is that recovery occurs in stages and that the process of recovery can occur long before someone seeks treatment. In order to fully grasp the width and breadth of sobriety, one must first understand the stages of change in addiction recovery. 

This blog will focus on the five stages of change in addiction recovery. If you have made the decision to enter drug treatment to address your addiction issues, SEE Purpose Treatment Center should be your first phone call. We are a  top-rated drug and alcohol rehab in Indiana. We offer quality inpatient substance abuse treatment that is evidence-based and features a dynamic blend of 12-step and non-12-step approaches. 

Call SEE Purpose Treatment Center today and be the change you seek!

Addiction Recovery Is A Process

As stated in the introduction, many people view recovery as a single “EUREKA!” moment that spurs someone to change their life. While that may hold true in some cases, an overwhelming majority of people in recovery go through a journey in order to get to that moment. These stages of change in addiction recovery can be seen through the transtheoretical theory. This theory states that people make changes to improve their health in a cyclical fashion

In other words, people who enter addiction recovery may cycle between thinking about entering treatment and then thinking their substance use isn’t that much of a problem. People only move forward in actually getting the help they need when certain conditions are in place. While some people may move through the stages of change relatively quickly, other people may take many years before they make the necessary changes to get sober.

What Are The Stages Of Change In Addiction Recovery?

Under the transtheoretical model, there are five stages of change that individuals with addictions cycle through in the recovery process. These stages are as follows:

Precontemplation Stage

During this initial phase, the person with an addiction is unaware they have a problem with substances. While their intake is increasing, they are still performing at work and are able to uphold their family commitments. While they may start to sense their use may be causing issues, the downside of their drug use is not the focus.

Contemplation Stage

During the contemplation stage, the individual with an addiction starts to take into account the pros and cons of their substance abuse. While there is more careful consideration, they have not implemented any changes to stop their behavior and are ambivalent about getting help.

Preparation Stage

In the preparation stage, the person with an addiction finally decides to make changes to their behavior and has made a plan. This plan can include attending 12-step meetings, undergoing counseling, or going to a treatment center to get more intensive help.

Action Stage

In the action stage of addiction recovery, the newly recovering individual is utilizing the healthy coping and living skills learned in counseling and treatment, but they struggle with these new behaviors. While they are working hard to work their individual program of recovery, they still have regular thoughts of using and in some cases may relapse.

Maintenance Stage

In the maintenance stage, the newly sober individual has been able to sustain their healthy behaviors and are continuously working to maintain these behaviors. This may include attending an aftercare program, working with a sponsor in a 12-step group, or continuing some form of counseling. 

It is important to note that the transtheoretical model included a sixth stage called the termination stage. However, since recovering addicts do have a chance of relapse, fully leaving their addiction behind is not always attainable.

Are You Ready To Make Changes In Your Life?

If you are ready to transform your life and address your addiction, you need to find a rehab facility that features evidence-based treatment and a personalized approach that will give you the tools and motivation to get and stay sober. SEE Purpose Treatment Center is committed to helping you achieve your goals. Our experienced and compassionate treatment team at our drug addiction treatment center in Indiana will be with you every step of the treatment process. We will empower and inspire you to make positive changes that support lifelong recovery.

Don’t wait another day to address your addiction; call SEE Purpose Treatment Center toll-free today and begin your journey towards meaningful recovery.

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