We all go through stages when we’re changing anything significant in our lives. Think about the last time you decided to pursue a new job. There was a period before you even considered it – when everything was satisfactory at your job (precontemplation). Then you started thinking, “Maybe this isn’t right for me,” or “I need more money” (contemplation). Next, you started researching other jobs (preparation). We all go through these stages when we change.
What does it look like for someone fighting addiction? It starts with “I can handle it. There’s no problem.”
Then it progresses to contemplation: “Maybe this isn’t working for me. I’m recognizing consequences I don’t like.”
Preparation involves looking for a way out: “What are my options if I really want to stop?”
That brings us to the action stage. It’s self-explanatory: “This is what I’m going to do to address my addiction.” There are many options and there’s no single correct path. In fact, there are so many that it’s useful to have help in navigating your way through them. And the person who’s abusing drugs and alcohol has brain function that doesn’t deal well with these complex decisions.
This is where Recovery Navigators can help. A family, employer, or friend needs guidance in navigating these choices for action and customizing a plan. If someone you care about has reached the stage of action, reach out for help.