Addiction & Recovery: A Closer Look At The Stages Of Change By Julian Mitton, MD
Addiction and recovery are both processes. Addicts need to understand that getting help for their addiction is a process, too. The stages of change model describe the steps that people go through as they progress from having an addiction to becoming sober. And while each person’s path is unique, there are some things we can all learn from one another along the way.
The Stages of Change Model
To explain why people resist making positive changes in their life, the stages of change model were created in the 1980s. The premise of the concept is that transformation is a process that calls for dedication, time, and social capital.
The first stage of change is contemplation. In this stage, you may be in denial about the problem or simply not thinking about changing. You’re not considering a change and you don’t believe you need to make one. You might believe that your life is fine as it is and that there’s no reason for any sort of change.
Contemplation begins to change. Contemplation is about change and imagining life without addiction. They may be weighing the advantages and downsides of change or researching how to implement it. Julian Mitton, MD, says they may also ask what support they need to accomplish this move. In this stage, you honestly assess your thoughts, feelings, behavior patterns, and habits and decide if they should change.
If you are ready to start on a solution like Julian Mitton, MD , it’s important that you define the problem first. This is where many people get stuck: they begin with an idea of what they want their life to look like and then try to figure
out how they can get there. Instead, take some time off from thinking about the result and focus on how much work it will take for you to achieve this goal in three months or six months.
The next step is setting specific goals–and no matter what type of change in your life is at stake, it’s always best if those goals are tangible and measurable. This means measuring how much weight has been lost each week so that we know whether or not our efforts are working.
Action controls your addiction. It’s when you change and begin recuperation. Action is the first step to overcoming addiction, but it demands life adjustments that won’t happen quickly. If you’re ready to act, remember these things:
Action helps resist temptation and relapse. When an addict decides they want their life back, they may feel overwhelmed by everything they need to do before that point and may quit since there seems no end in sight. Addicts can progress toward recovery goals by taking meaningful steps.
Maintenance And Relapse Prevention
Maintaining treatment gains after recovery is crucial. You may be tempted to relapse into substance misuse or other risky activities. Healthy routines and boundaries with substance users can help prevent relapse.
Avoid stressful or relapse-prone circumstances. If this isn’t possible—for example, if they live with their parents—you should devise ways to avoid contact with them until they move out to avoid being coerced into taking drugs again.
Getting Help For An Addiction Is A Process
Addiction treatment takes time. Most rehab patients don’t stay sober forever. If you’re considering substance use disorder treatment, realize that recovery isn’t a linear process. Instead, people progress through stages of recovery, and even after recovery, relapse is possible if they return to previous habits and thought patterns.