The Stages of Change Model and Sober Living

In Lifestyle by westporthouse

Change happens in stages. Rarely do people move from active addiction to abstinence without going through a process. Those who go “cold turkey” tend to keep all of the emotional and behavioral symptoms of addiction without the drug use. Enhancing motivation is essential for people to move through the Stages of Change Model. The following identified stages are coupled with parenting recommendations for enhancing motivation. At Westport House sober living, we can help you foster safety and personal growth as your son moves through the necessary stages for lasting positive change.

Precontemplation Stage

During the precontemplation stage, patients do not even consider changing or sober living. People may be telling them there are issues but they have a more hopeless and helpless perspective. In this stage, parents can best be very clear with limits and expectations that can somehow provide structure for abstinence. In this stage, however, your loved one is at risk and may be best off in an inpatient setting where access to drugs is eliminated and therapeutic support can help enhance insight and motivation to enter the next stage.

Contemplation Stage

During the contemplation stage, patients are ambivalent about changing. Giving up an enjoyed behavior causes them to feel a sense of loss despite the perceived gain. During this stage, patients assess barriers (e.g., time, expense, hassle, fear, “I know I need to, doc, but …”) as well as the benefits of change and sober living. It is important for this person to be in a trusting therapeutic relationship.

Preparation Stage

During the preparation stage, patients prepare to make a specific change. They may experiment with small changes as their determination to change increases. For example, sampling low-fat foods may be an experimentation with or a move toward greater dietary modification. Your loved one may sample a “harm-reduction” approach in order to see if he can “have just one” or “only use marijuana.” If you are hearing these kinds of things from your son, use this point to leverage contemplation into positive movement by encouraging him to meet with a Recovery Coach. This would be a perfect time to make an appointment by phone or in person with someone like the Executive Director of Westport Sober House who can help your son think through and maximize this stage in order to move to the Action Stage. Our staff at Westport House sober living can assist you with finding the best resources to meet your needs whether Westport House or another sober house opportunity.

Action Stage

The action stage is the one that most physicians are eager to see their patients reach. Many failed New Year’s resolutions provide evidence that the prior stages have been glossed over. Harm-reduction efforts have failed over time and your son is saying he needs help. Any action taken by patients should be praised because it demonstrates the desire for lifestyle change. With loving support, parents can set limits that provide the push into action: “We have an appointment at a sober house for treatment because we love you and believe you can do this if you have the best start with support.” At Westport Sober House, our staff can help facilitate admission to the right level of care. If sober living is deemed an appropriate intervention at this time, Westport House sober living can customize care to meet your son’s needs. He will gain his foundation in recovery and learn to live life on life’s terms.

Maintenance and Relapse Prevention

Maintenance and relapse prevention involve incorporating the new behavior “over the long haul.” Discouragement over occasional “slips” may halt the change process and result in the patient giving up. However, most patients find themselves “recycling” through the stages of change several times before the change becomes truly established. Living in a sober house like Westport House reduces the risk of “recycling” through the stages by providing long-term structure and support. Unlike long-term residential treatment, Westport House is a program designed to help residents reintegrate into real community life with social activities, jobs, and unique personal interests.
Contact Westport House sober living today to help determine where you son falls in the Stages of Change Model and stop the recycling today.