Alcoholics and drug addicts often reach a point where they become destructive not only toward others, but to themselves as well. Addictive behavior only allows an individual to sink deeper into the hole that they built for themselves, oftentimes pulling others along with them. To loved ones, the self-destructive behavior leads to a time of pain, confusion, and despair.
If you have a loved one who’s going through a pattern of self-destructive behavior due to heavy alcohol or drug use, you must have hoped and searched for ways to help him heal and change. Research shows that addicts have to go through some specific stages of change as they travel the road to recovery. These stages were first explained in James Prochaska and Carlo DiClemente’s Trans-theoretical Model of Change (1982).
In the pre-contemplation stage of change, the idea of change is not yet seriously considered. Put simply, a person at this stage is not yet ready to change because the problem has not been acknowledged. At some point, the individual will then move onto the next stage of the model.
When a person is at the contemplative stage, he is weighing the pros and cons of continuing his self-destructive behavior vs. quitting, but he is still ambivalent about it and not taking any active steps towards changing it.
In this stage, the addicted person has decided to quit his self-destructive ways, and is preparing himself to act on his decision. An individual usually moves to this stage after a specific triggering event that helps motivate him to change.
Action is initiated. At this stage, the addicted individual is already changing. He will need the support and encouragement of people who can facilitate his willingness to join the rehabilitation program of his choice.
The addicted person during this stage needs to be continuously reinforced and encouraged with the progress he’s made thus far. Temptations may still loom and the chances of regression are high, but the support he gets as he walks the path of recovery would further help him internalize and consolidate the changes occurring inside himself.
Drug and alcohol rehab in Orange County
If you want your loved one to move through these changes with resoluteness, it’s important for you to seek the help of a drug and alcohol rehab facility. The professionals at these facilities can help your loved one stay on the road to overcoming substance abuse.
To learn more about how an addict’s self-destructive behavior affects family members and how you can get help, get in touch with a trusted Orange County alcohol and drug rehab center like Ranch Creek Recovery.
How to Change Self-Destructive Behavior: Stages of Change, Psych Central
Self-destructive behavior patterns in male and female drug abusers, U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health