The Five Stages of Change for People in Rehab

Addiction is a difficult problem and you won’t solve it instantly. Most addicts go through several stages before they recover.


Pre-contemplation stage


In the pre-contemplation stage of change, the idea of change is not yet seriously considered. Put simply, a person at this stage is not yet ready to change because the problem has not been acknowledged. At some point, the individual will then move onto the next stage of the model.


Contemplative stage


When a person is at the contemplative stage, he is weighing the pros and cons of continuing his self-destructive behavior vs. quitting, but he is still ambivalent about it and not taking any active steps towards changing it.


Determination stage


In this stage, the addicted person has decided to quit his self-destructive ways, and is preparing himself to act on his decision. An individual usually moves to this stage after a specific triggering event that helps motivate him to change.


Action stage


Action is initiated. At this stage, the addicted individual is already changing. He will need the support and encouragement of people who can facilitate his willingness to join the rehabilitation program of his choice.


Maintenance stage


The addicted person during this stage needs to be continuously reinforced and encouraged with the progress he’s made thus far. Temptations may still loom and the chances of regression are high, but the support he gets as he walks the path of recovery would further help him internalize and consolidate the changes occurring inside himself.


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