As told by Chris Traeger from Parks and Recreation
By: Eliza Adler
- Precontemplation Stage. During this stage, the person denies that they have a problem or addiction. The goal in this stage is to encourage the person to consider that they may have a problem. This isn’t done by convincing them to admit they have a problem, it is done by raising their awareness about their behaviors and drawing their attention to the possibility that it is something to look into.
- Contemplation Stage: In this stage, the person starts to consider their unhealthy behavior and think about changing this behavior. Although they are more aware of their behavior and are warming up to the idea of change, they have not yet committed to changing.
- Preparation/Determination Stage: During this stage, the person decides to make a change to their lifestyle. They have committed to taking the necessary action to get help, and will initiate positive change. They still have to try hard to change, it will not come automatically.
- Action Stage: In this stage, the person is in the process of getting help. They typically are working with a social worker, with the support of friends and family, to truly engage in the change process. They are very committed to new positive behavior.
- Maintenance Stage: During this stage, the person is still in the process of change. They have become more accustomed to their new behavior patterns and are settling into a new lifestyle. However, there is always a threat of relapse during this stage, and it is not uncommon for them to revert to their old ways in order to remember why they are changing.
- Relapse/Recycling Stage: In this stage, the person goes back to their old ways. Not every person goes through relapse, but it is common, especially in substance abuse patients. Relapse can occur following any previous stage and is considered a completely normal part of the process.
Powerpoint “Social Work and Substance Abuse” by John Vassello, 2016.