Episode 2 is here! In this episode, I provide my best advice to anyone who wants to help an addict. I discuss: 1) The 3 most important things to educate yourself about; 2) Talking openly with a loved about his or her relationship with a substance; and, 3) Gathering treatment resources to have available for someone who’s ready for healthy recovery!
Enjoy! and please let me know of any comments/questions/suggestions!
I’ve written about the Stages of Addiction, the Stages of Change, and the Substance Abuse Spectrum. However, I was challenged with the idea of the “Stages of Recovery from an Addiction” from someone visiting my blog. Really, there isn’t a lot in the literature about recovery stages; it appears that the Stages of Change model serves as the model for all behavioral changes, including recovery.
But, that’s just not good enough for me. Though no one’s recovery is the same, and although there are all kinds of treatment models to treat Addiction, there is definitely a pattern within someone’s behavior who is recovering from an addiction. Therefore I propose the following four (4) Stages of Substance Addiction Recovery (each item is a hallmark behavior that indicates the stage):
Acknowledgment of substance’s detriment
Former gains no longer achieved
Purpose no longer served
“Dabbles” in abstinence
Attempts to understand the addiction through relapse
Begins to see value in a life without substances
Seeks to rebuild healthy relationships
Looks for activities in which to participate that are not substance-related
Substance use diminishes
Develops resources for managing negative emotions
Acceptance of self and past behaviors without self-judgement
Conscious approach to day to day life
Substance no longer sought/used compulsively
Maintains skills for emotional regulation
As is the case for all “Stage Models,” I propose these four (4) stages not as a linear and absolute process, but as a continuum through which people in recovery progress on their way towards a healthy life. Also, each stage presents a clinical backdrop for goal and value building exercises. These four (4) stages are a living entity that I hope to continue developing and building. I welcome any thoughts or challenges about/to it such that I can beef it up and strengthen it.