When someone you care about – family member, employee, colleague, friend – is struggling with addiction, it’s helpful to understand the stages of change. They apply to anyone changing any behavior and can be applied to recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs.

What are the Stages of Change?

  • Precontemplation
  • Contemplation
  • Preparation
  • Action
  • Maintenance

Let’s consider about contemplation, which is exactly what it sounds like – thinking about changing. No commitment, no action yet. It’s about “maybe.” They’re just thinking, “Maybe I have a problem” or “I know I have a problem. Maybe I should do something about it.”

It’s progress – they’re considering change – and that’s a great start. This is where families and knowledgeable professionals can influence someone who’s considering making a change for the better. It’s also where a family can start to get the addict’s attention with thoughtful boundaries and consequences. At the contemplation stage, the addict is admitting there’s a problem, even if only in secret. Therefore, they’ll be more likely to accept the rationale behind those boundaries and consequences.

This is where real change can begin, especially with the help of a professional who’s experienced at helping someone walk through the stages of change.

If you want to help someone you care about is struggling, let’s discuss how to navigate the best path to sustained recovery. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, so we customize a solution and walk the journey with you. Want more information? Let’s talk.


In Recovery,