All Posts in Category: Addiction

The Power of Change: A Guide to Navigating the Stages of Addiction Recovery


For many of us, addiction goes hand-in-hand with denial. We convince ourselves that we can keep going as we always have, but then we hit a wall or run out of resources. Stages of change for addiction identify different phases that addiction goes through before a person reaches the final stage of the process.

In this article, we’re about to explore the power of change and how it navigates the stages of addiction recovery. Addiction can be a very challenging problem to tackle, but with the right tools and support, recovery is possible. Understanding the stages of recovery can help to make the process smoother and more achievable. We’ll cover topics such as recognizing the signs of addiction, assessing the situation, and making a plan. Additionally, we will discuss the importance of creating an environment conducive to recovery and the role of family and friends in supporting recovery. By the end of this article, you’ll have the knowledge and tools necessary to start your recovery journey and make the positive change you need in your life. So, let’s embark on this journey together and find out how the power of change is well-used to overcome addiction!

The five stages of addiction recovery are

1. Precontemplation: Precontemplation is the first of the five stages of addiction recovery. During this stage, people may not realize they have a problem, or they may be in denial about the severity of their addiction. It is common for people to feel overwhelmed and confused about their addiction, and they may also feel like there is no way out. 

2. Contemplation: Contemplation is the second stage of addiction recovery. At this stage, people begin to recognize their addiction and its consequences. They may start to observe their dependence on drugs or alcohol and begin to think seriously about making a change. However, they may still be ambivalent about taking action as they are uncertain of the outcome. 

3. Preparation/Determination: This stage involves researching and planning for changes. They have an idea of what they want to achieve and how they will go about it. To support their recovery, they begin to modify their lifestyles and surroundings. 

4. Action: Action is the fourth stage of addiction recovery, and involves taking steps to break free from their addiction. The recovery process begins at this stage when people commence making the necessary changes, including quitting drugs or alcohol, attending addiction counselling, and attending support group meetings.

5. Maintenance: Maintenance is the fifth stage of addiction recovery. People in this stage have already achieved their goals and are continuing to stay on track. They may become more confident in their abilities and be more willing to help others struggling with addiction. They may also become more involved in the addiction recovery process and focus on preventing relapses.

Understanding the physical and emotional components of addiction

The Physical Components of Addiction: Addictive substances alter how the brain works, leading to physical changes in the body. The longer an individual abuses drugs or alcohol, the greater the physical damage that can occur, including changes in brain chemistry, tolerance, and physical dependence. Over time, the body may become less responsive to the drug, and the individual may need more to achieve the desired effects. The physical dependence on the substance can lead to withdrawal symptoms when the individual attempts to stop using the drug.

The Emotional Components of Addiction: Substance abuse can also lead to many emotional changes, including lack of motivation, irritability, isolation, and depression. The individual may feel a sense of shame or guilt about their addiction, including a loss of control over their life. Addiction can lead to various emotional issues, such as anxiety and low self-esteem. Additionally, the individual may have difficulty managing emotions, leading to impulsive behaviors, substance abuse, and even suicidal thoughts. 

Exploring the social aspects of addiction

  1. Understanding the Role of Family and Friends: The importance of relationships with family and friends in addiction recovery cannot be overstated. 
  2. Developing New Social Connections: Creating a healthy, positive network of friends and colleagues is essential for a successful recovery from addiction.
  3. Dealing with Social Stigmas: Addiction can be an isolating experience and tackling negative stereotypes and misconceptions.


The psychological aspects of addiction can be a difficult and complex topic to understand. To treat addiction effectively, it is necessary to understand how addiction affects the mind, body, and spirit. There are many different psychological aspects of addiction to consider, such as how the individual views the substance, how they cope with cravings and withdrawal, how to identify and address triggers, and how to develop healthy habits for managing stress and anxiety. 

The power of change is a great tool to have in your arsenal when navigating through the stages of addiction recovery. It is a complicated process that can take time, but it is important to remain hopeful and stay the course. With the right attitude and support system, you can make good progress. Remember that recovery does not happen overnight, but you can work towards a better future with commitment and adherence.

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What Price Are You Paying for Your Secrets

As a topic expert, I submit writing to Here’s a brief summary and link to my most recent article regarding releasing the secret nature of traumatic memories if these memories are causing distress in your day-to-day life.

Everyone has secrets hidden away, often out of embarrassment or shame. Secrets can come at a great cost, however. Liberation and healing can happen in therapy.


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Why Should You Seek a Consultation or Assessment from an Addiction Expert Before Entering Treatment for Your Alcohol or Drug Addiction?

Most families attempting to help a loved one who is suffering from alcohol or drug abuse get into treatment for the first time are typically ill-informed of to the levels of care and the resources that are available. Not all individuals fall in the same category in terms of severity. Abuse and addiction fall on a spectrum from mild to severe. Based on where you fall on this spectrum, will determine how much treatment and the level of care is most appropriate for you. Here are just a few benefits of an initial consultation and/or assessment:

The benefits of having an initial consultation include:

  1. Getting accurate information regarding the differences in the levels of care that are available, will lead you and your loved one to choose the most appropriate treatment program.
  2. There are a variety of treatment programs out there to serve the unique circumstances that each person faces. With a consultation, you can understand which programs are right for you or your loved one. Decisions can be based on preferences, history, and the amount of treatment needed.
  3. A consultation will also help you allocate your resources appropriately due to the fact that rehab can get increasingly expensive for 30 days of treatment. Most families should recognize that addiction requires long-term ongoing care for most individuals, even after leaving a formal program. If this is the case with you or your loved one, it’s important to plan before beginning a formal program.

The benefits of an initial assessment include:

  1. An assessment will help determine where you or your loved one falls on the spectrum with alcohol or substance abuse. The history gathered helps determine what treatment options will best address the addiction problems that currently exist.
  2. Recommendations are made based on this assessment and an individualized treatment plan is created. Not all individuals necessarily need a rehab stay or program. Finding the least restrictive environment in which you or your loved one can heal is determined by an initial assessment.
  3. The assessment also determines other co-occurring problems that may be exacerbating the drug or alcohol abuse, such as depression, anxiety, trauma, panic attacks, etc. Which could affect the program you choose. 
  4. Follow-up care can be recommended or set up if you or your loved one decides to enter a formal treatment program. Most individuals with substance abuse issues will need long-term follow-up care to help maintain sobriety goals.

My hope in you reading this post is that whatever resources you may have for treatment get allocated in the best way possible to help you or your loved one get the most out of treatment.  Attaining the right information regarding your program options as you initially enter treatment can affect the amount of assistance and help you have on your road to recovery. The more support you have, the better your chances at recovering and attaining long-term sobriety! Oceanside Psychology Clinic provides comprehensive consultation and assessment services to help guide families through this process.  Read more under our services section.

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