Stages of Change in Addiction

Don’t let relapses frustrate, demoralize, or disappoint you- they are part of the process. Non- judgmental information giving along with motivational approaches of encouraging change will work better than confrontational methods. Be honest about your drug use history when talking to doctors or other healthcare providers about your health. Preparation also leads to the person finding new information about their disorder and formulating a plan for helping them get back on their feet. Friends or relatives that the person invites to help them can guide their plan.

Some events may have happened to cause you to look at your drinking habits differently. After the event, denial likely starts to give way to reflection and critical thinking. Some people who achieve long-term sobriety continue to display the same impulsive and dysfunctional behaviors that they did when they were drinking. Because dry drunks have a high risk of relapse, they are not in the termination phase. Once people in the contemplation stage shift away from just thinking about their alcohol problem and begin focusing on a solution, they’ll move toward stage three of recovery. By the time people reach the contemplation stage, they’ve begun to recognize they have a drinking problem and may want to get help, but they’re often on the fence about it. Others in the precontemplation stage may feel hopeless and helpless about their situation or overwhelmed by the energy required to make a change.

Stages Of Alcohol Recovery

Even when someone has reached maintenance, it doesn’t mean they’re cured of addiction. Like diabetes or heart disease, it’s a chronic condition that requires major lifestyle changes to keep under control.

alcoholic recovery stages of change

The sequential model provides a useful way of understanding the process of change and gives a structure to how changes in addictive behaviors can be encouraged and managed. This stage can last from six months to five years, depending on the severity of the addiction and the individual’s genes and experience. It takes a small minority of people six months of abstinence to reach the point where they don’t go back to their addictive behavior. However, for most people, a commitment of two to five years is necessary to truly break the habit and solidify change.

Stage 2: Contemplation

This goes a bit deeper than just looking at behaviors overall because it’s asking them to assign value judgments. So once they have accepted the possibility of change, it’s time to identify and promote new, positive outcomes (i.e. going to treatment and the benefits that has long term). To approach a person in the precontemplation stage, you should first of all validate their lack of readiness. It does no good to try shaming people who are suffering from a disease. Back away a bit to say, “Hey, I understand why you’re not interested in treatment right now.” This helps to take them off the defensive right off the bat. As VP of Business Development, McCarthy leads a team of over 20 business development professionals nationwide.

Many addicts and alcoholics are in denial of their substance abuse and the resulting negative consequences. Some days they exhibit the willingness for change by seeking out the help they need. There will be progress, setbacks, willingness, unwillingness, inactivity, and change. To assist treatment providers and therapists alcoholic recovery stages to better help patients who are in active addiction, alcoholism researchers Carlo C. DiClemente and J. O. Prochaska developed their stages of change in addiction recovery, which is a model that highlights some of the underlying processes of addiction to help people overcome harmful and habitual behaviors.