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Trans-Theoretical Model Of Change | The Cycle Of Recovery

cycle-of-addiction-recoveryWith so many drug overdose deaths sweeping the nation, it can become hard to believe that people can and do actually recover from the disease of addiction. Let’s take a look at the cycle of recovery to demonstrate how the cycle of active addiction can be broken.

Cycle Of Recovery

The cycle of recovery can best be explained through the Trans-theoretical Model of Change (TTM). Even though addiction is a disease that affects the body of an addict/alcoholic, it also affects the mind (both on an emotional and chemical level), and so the person’s willingness and attitude towards their own sobriety is paramount when it comes to recovering from addiction. In short, the more action that is taken, the more success they will have at staying clean and sober long-term.  Here are the 5 phases of the recovery process:

Pre-Contemplation Phase

Many who are in this stage are still in denial that there is a problem, although they may suspect something is wrong. They may try to blame others for their misfortune and defend their use of drugs or alcohol. Many might still feel in control in this phase, but as they begin to lose more and more control, they will start to contemplate if they have a real problem.

Contemplation Phase

By this phase, the problem associated with drugs and alcohol is becoming more apparent, and although they may still be trying to control their disease, they are becoming increasingly more aware that they may need help. They will be back and forth in this phase until they can no longer control their addiction. They may have also attended some 12-step meetings at this point and are looking into how they can recover.

Decision Phase

At this stage, they may have actually tried to stop on their own and may have also found it not as easy as they thought it would be. They are making a decision to make a change and want the change, but the action is not 100% there. They will begin to learn more about the disease of addiction and further their research into learning how they can recover.

Active Change Phase

They are now willing and ready to make a serious change towards their recovery. They are taking suggestions, attending a treatment program / 12-step fellowship meetings, working with a sponsor and doing the steps. This phase is the stepping stone into life-long sobriety.


They have now completed the 12-steps, continue to work with a sponsor, and may even be helping other addicts and alcoholics. If they continue to maintain their program of recovery they will be able to stay clean and sober long-term.

*Relapse: If the person does not continue daily maintenance of their recovery, then relapse can occur. It is not the result of a 12-step recovery program not working; it is a lack of the willingness and action of the individual. If you have had a relapse, you are not alone. Please chat with us for support and suggestions on how you can get back on track.

Your Life, Your Recovery

The bottom line is that anyone can recover from the disease of addiction if they are willing, open-minded, and taking action towards it. If you feel like you need additional help working a 12-step program, treatment can offer that extra support. Contact us now at 1-800-439-5959 for more information. Remember, this is your life, and your recovery, so go for it!

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