Understanding the Stages of Change in Addiction Recovery

Understanding the Stages of Change in Addiction Recovery

Recovering from addiction is not a one-time event that has an end date. In reality, the road to addiction recovery is marked by stages that signify positive growth and change. These signposts don’t have a definite timeline, and it is seen as a lifelong journey towards meaningful change. If you are just starting on the path to lasting sobriety, you must understand the stages of change in addiction recovery. 

This article will outline the stages of change in addiction recovery and how they affect your mind, body, and spirit. If you are ready to address your own addiction issues, contact Parkdale Center toll-free today. Our Indiana drug rehab offers effective evidence-based drug treatment programs designed for the unique needs of the working professional. Let the dedicated treatment team at The Parkdale Center help you find lasting recovery. 

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Recovery Is All About Change

For many people who don’t know the ins and outs of addiction recovery, they think that addicts seek recovery through a sudden change in thought. In reality, the addict goes through different cycles of thinking and action before they set out on the path toward recovery. This cycle of change is seen as fluid, and there is no set time when people transition from one stage to the next. Without professional help, people who are addicted to drugs and alcohol may stay stuck in their addiction or go back and forth between taking steps to get help and falling back into unhealthy habits.

Understanding The Stages of Change In Addiction Recovery

In order to wrap your head around the recovery process, it is important to understand there are stages of change in addiction recovery. There are five distinct stages of change in addiction recovery, which are as follows:


The first stage of change in addiction recovery is the precontemplation stage. During this stage, you may be aware that your drug and alcohol use has a few negative consequences, but it is largely flying under the radar. At this point, your use may not be affecting your work or home life.  Because of this fact, you are not thinking of taking action to address your issues with substances.


The second stage of change in addiction recovery is known as the contemplation stage. In this stage, you are becoming more aware that your substance use is starting to have a negative impact in your day-to-day life. You are starting to think about the pros and cons of your drug use, but you haven’t made any decisions about seeking drug treatment.


During the preparation stage, you finally have an “AHA!” moment. You clearly see that your substance use is affecting your daily life. You have also understood that you are unable to control your intake. You are taking the initial steps to stop abusing substances and may start attending 12-step meetings or go to a drug treatment center to address your issues.


During the action phase of addiction recovery, you attempt to try new and healthy behaviors, but you are experiencing periods of struggle. You are actively going to meetings and working your individual program of recovery, but you still think about using. There also may be instances where you relapse and start using again. In the case of the relapse, you may increase the frequency of meetings or decide to attend an aftercare program.


In this final stage, you have fully implemented your program of recovery and are working it to its fullest. You are continuing to attend meetings and more than likely working with a sponsor. You are also engaging in healthy hobbies and activities and have established a strong support network that you can lean on when you feel vulnerable. 

Call Parkdale Center And Get The Help You Need Today

The struggle with substance abuse takes a toll on your physical, mental, and psychological health. While you may feel the situation is out of control, the help you need is just a phone call away. Parkdale Center is a top-tier Indiana addiction treatment center with drug and alcohol rehab programs for professionals. We offer evidence-based outpatient and partial hospitalization programs that give you the tools and support you need to overcome addiction for good. 

Take that leap of faith right now and call Parkdale Center.

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