Watching a loved one struggle with addiction can be painful. When you reach out to help them get addiction treatment, they may or may not react positively. Much of it depends on their mindset and if they are open to change.
For reference, you can check out the Transtheoretical Stages of Change model described in-depth on the Boston University School of Public Health website by Dr. Wayne LaMorte. A document explaining this model is also a resource on the Virginia Tech University website. To better understand where you or a loved one may stand, we’ve broken down the elements of each stage below.
Precontemplation for Addiction Rehab
A person who misuses substances in this stage isn’t thinking about making changes. They may not yet believe their substance use is a problem, even if others see the consequences. And if they don’t think there’s a problem, a conversation about recovery may not get very far. A person may act dismissive about addiction rehab. They may minimize problems or get defensive when someone talks about their use.
At this point, a person has begun to acknowledge their misuse in some way. They may not be ready for change. But, they may realize their life is going in the wrong direction because of their substance use.
Conversations about substance use are more thoughtful. A person may still be hesitant but can see the value in doing things differently. They weigh the pros and cons of their situation. And while a person may consider addiction rehab, they may also wonder if they can succeed.
Preparation for Addiction Treatment
As a person’s acceptance of their situation grows, they prepare to face it. In this stage, a person begins to take small steps in the recovery process. They move toward the change they know they need to make and believe it is the right choice for them. They may still feel nervous or worry about how it will all happen. But they are ready to take action soon, likely in the next month.
These small steps may be conversations with addiction treatment professionals. Or a person may look up more information about what addiction rehab is like.
The action stage is defined by choices that move a person toward recovery. An individual believes their actions will improve their mental and physical health. They plan to continue these behaviors in the future.
Their commitment to making change shows in their behavior. A person in the action stage is doing the difficult work of facing reality and discomfort. A person may be in therapy, stay at an addiction treatment center, or attend a recovery support group.
Relapse is not always part of a person’s recovery process. It may happen after a brief period of abstinence, after many years, or not at all. Relapse can occur when triggers become overwhelming. A person may spend time in a familiar location or talk to an old friend connected with substance misuse. As they remember habits and sensations, they may feel urges to use again. Relapse can be distressing, but a person can learn a lot about their recovery.
The maintenance stage is about holding on to the changes made in the previous stages. Despite the name, it is not a static stage. A person with addiction may feel pulled by old mental habits. Triggers and social connections can remind them of their addiction behaviors.
It takes focus and awareness to maintain recovery. A person maintaining recovery will add new habits. They may begin exercising, eating healthier food and using new social skills. They’ll use the lessons they’ve learned from treatment or support groups to prevent relapse.
Working through change in recovery after addiction treatment
Change is never easy, especially when facing a complex issue like addiction. Learning about the stages of change makes it easier to understand the addiction recovery process.
The Right Step DFW can help you or a loved one through all the stages of change. Call us at 844.675.1557