Family and Stages of Change (Guest Post)
One of the frustrating things about addiction for family members, friends, and the person suffering from the addiction is the chronicity of addiction and relapse. Sometimes the family has the expectation that the individual will enter treatment complete treatment and than everything will return to normal. The person will be “CURED”. It is more helpful to see recovery as a continuum that can begin long before the person discontinues there use and extends long after their last use. A person may be questioning their use for years prior to attempting to quit or have several attempts at trying to control the use.
This is the beginning of the recovery process and proper interventions at these moments of ambivalence can help move the person toward abstinence. This is the reason family involvement can be so important. The family is in a unique position to help the addicted person explore their ambivalence revolving around use, hold the person accountable for the impacts on the family, and help support the person in there efforts to discontinue. It can be helpful if the family understands the change process. There are stages to change and each stage has been identified by DiClemente.
Relapse or a return to old behavior can happen at any of these stages and should be expected and planned for. Relapse does not mean failure it should be considered a part of the process and can be viewed as a teachable moment in the person’s recovery.
Disclaimer: If you are needing more extensive assistance or counseling, we can supply you with a list of available agencies to assist you. No blogs are ever meant to substitute a person seeking help through professional counseling.