Embrace the Stages of Change in Addiction


SEPTEMBER 20, 2019

Edited by Editorial Team

Editorial Team

SpringBoard Recovery was born from the passion and personal experience of its founders. We understand the real-world challenges of early recovery and are here to help and we are passionate about helping our clients lead balanced, healthy, and fulfilling lives.


Embrace the Stages of Change in Addiction

In 2017, Arizona ranked eighth for states with the greatest drug problems in a WalletHub study. The good news is that when the study was updated for 2019, Arizona fell to number 27. However, many people who struggle with addiction in the state don’t enroll in a treatment center Arizona. Understanding the change model of addiction treatment can help individuals and their families follow a route to a successful recovery.


People who are in the precontemplation stage don’t realize that they have a problem with substance abuse. They may believe that their friends and family members are inflating the issue. Individuals who are immersed in this stage may be:

  • Reluctant to consider changing
  • Rebellious and resistant to being instructed to change
  • Resigned to the problem and overwhelmed by the thought of changing
  • Adept at making excuses to rationalize why they don’t need to change

If an individual is in this stage, learning about treatment options isn’t going to help them because they don’t believe they need treatment. In fact, they’re not necessarily aware that their behavior has negative consequences.


Getting and staying sober is very challenging, but with the right support network and tools, it's completely attainable.


During the contemplation stage, people with addiction disorders realize that something has to give. They notice the negative effects of their actions, and they are interested in learning more about how they can heal.

However, they’re not ready to make a commitment. They may use their past behavior as a rationale to continue using drugs. For example, if they’ve tried treatment and failed, they may tell themselves that there is no reason to put themselves through the same experience. This is a great time to learn about treatment methods that they haven’t tried, though.


Ambivalence begins to disappear during this stage of change. Individuals in the preparation/determination stage have made a concrete decision to stop using drugs. At this point, they must come up with a plan.

This is an ideal time to work with a treatment professional to establish a realistic strategy for eliminating drugs from the body and developing coping methods to continue an addiction-free life. It’s important to gather resources, find support and avoid triggers for drug use during this stage. Enrolling in a drug treatment center Arizona is a healthy and productive way to move through this stage.


During the action stage, individuals have made the choice to become involved in treatment. They may be living at a residential facility or attending an outpatient program.

Taking action is challenging without resources and support. Individuals are changing their behavior, and they may need to learn new ways of dealing with stress or methods of managing intense emotions. They may come up against obstacles as powerful cravings hit them out of the blue or they come up against deeply seated triggers for drug use.

The healthy behavioral and psychological patterns that they establish during the action stage will help them move through the maintenance stage.


By this time, people who are moving through this model have set intentions and goals. They have gathered resources, decided where they can turn for support and introduced behavioral change. Now, they’ll have to stick to their boundaries and continue to move forward without drugs.

This stage can be particularly challenging. They might feel as though they can introduce substances into their life without allowing them to destroy it. However, they can become complacent as they establish a new sense of normalcy.

Remembering the goals that they set during the earlier stages and sticking with their action plan can help them maintain sobriety.

Coping with stress rehab


Just because someone has made it to the final stage in this process doesn’t mean that they are cured. Substance use disorder lasts a lifetime. To maintain sobriety, individuals must return to the skills and resources they’ve accrued along the way.

Relapse is not uncommon. If someone has relapsed, they haven’t failed. They can use the lessons that they’ve learned during the stages of change to try again, adopting new techniques for coping with stress and avoiding substances. They have changed, and they may need to adjust the strategies that they use to stay sober.

Eventually, they can reach the termination stage, during which they no longer feel as though substances are a threat to their livelihood. When they’ve reached the termination stage, they are less likely to relapse.


Our treatment programs are custom tailored to your specific needs. One phone call is all it takes to start your recovery from drug & alcohol dependency

Drug and Alcohol Addiction Treatment Options in Arizona

People who live in Arizona and who need substance abuse treatment need to know their options. It can be challenging to get to a point where one is ready to make the decision to get help. But it is possible that a part of most people’s hesitation is the reality that they simply do not know what to expect.

First and foremost, please understand that there is no “one-size-fits-all” method of addiction recovery. Every addict is an individual with their own needs. That is why it is critical for people to have all the facts before they make their decision.

Regardless of where they fall in the stages of change in addiction, they may progress to termination faster once they know their options for drug and alcohol rehab in Arizona.

Drug and Alcohol Detox

Alcohol and drug detox is where most Arizonans start when they first come to rehab. Of course, this does depend on the type of drug they have been using. Not all of them require people to go through professional detoxification, but many of them do.

There are a few goals during the detox process. The first is to successfully manage the severity of withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal can become debilitating, or even fatal in some cases. But the right treatments can make it much easier for people to stop using. The second goal is to lower the chance of a potential complication during withdrawal. When both goals have been reached, the treatment is a success.

Most treatment programs will use a combination of medical and holistic detox methods. Medical detox simply means being able to take medications that have been shown to help with withdrawal symptoms. Holistic detox refers to the use of nutrition therapy, exercise and other natural methods to help the body process toxins more efficiently. When they are used together, the result is typically quite good.

Inpatient Rehabilitation Programs

Many people begin recovering from addictions by going through inpatient rehab. At most addiction treatment centers, this means attending a 28-day short-term residential program. This type of treatment is often quite effective because it provides the patient with a higher level of care. Quite often, that is exactly what is needed after a person has stopped using drugs or alcohol.

During inpatient rehab, patients undergo many types of therapy. For example, they may:

  • Go through detox if the program also offers those services in-house.
  • Participate in group therapy sessions. There may be groups centered on many different types of topics.
  • Meet with a therapist for individual counseling sessions. One-on-one therapy is so important during addiction recovery.
  • Receive treatment for any co-occurring disorder, such as depression or anxiety. Mental health and substance abuse are closely linked, and these conditions need to be treated at the same time for optimal effectiveness.
  • Participate in family therapy sessions. This is often a critical component of recovery because patients need their support systems. Repairing broken relationships is so important.

Outpatient Treatment

There are a few different types of outpatient rehab programs in Arizona for people to choose from. The one that is right will depend entirely on where they are during their recovery journeys.

  • Traditional outpatient rehab Outpatient programs are usually best for those who have already been through a higher level of care, such as inpatient rehab. It involves working with a therapist during appointments that could be as frequent as weekly or as spaced out as monthly.
  • Intensive outpatient programs IOPs can be quite effective, even for someone who has never been to rehab before. This type of treatment involves attending appointments several times throughout the week, usually during the evening hours. Appointments are lengthy and may include several types of therapy. IOPs have been compared to inpatient programs, which means they can be quite effective.
  • Day treatment programs – Some people cannot commit to inpatient rehab, but they still need a high level of care. Day treatment can be a great option. People attend treatment during the daytime for several hours at a time.
  • 12-Step Groups Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous can offer a lot of support to people who are recovering from addiction. Most meetings are held on a weekly basis.

sober living after inpatient rehab

Sober Living

Sober living homes are an excellent option for some people who are recovering from drug or alcohol addictions. There are many different types of homes, including those that offer in-house substance abuse treatment and those that require residents to attend treatments of their choosing.

In many cases, sober living homes work well for people who have just finished inpatient or long-term rehab programs. They offer a safe place to live among other people who are all focused on recovering.

What to do if a Loved One Refuses Treatment

When families are unable to convince their loved ones to go to treatment, there are few options left to them. But one of those options is to stage an intervention.

Interventions can be excellent tools, and when they are done professionally, people often make the choice to get help for their addictions. Interventionists are actually substance abuse treatment counselors who are highly trained in this area specifically. They are very good at rallying families and friends together to encourage addicts to get help.

It is best to avoid trying to do an intervention without professional assistance. They typically do not have good outcomes and can result in alienation for the addict, which should be avoided.

Help is Available for Drug and Alcohol Addiction in Arizona

At SpringBoard Recovery, we want people to know that we are here to help them get the addiction treatment they need. Recovery is challenging, but together, we can help you reach your goals of getting and staying clean and sober.

Do you have questions about addiction or finding the right drug and alcohol rehab in Arizona? Contact us.


  1. Tucson.com: https://tucson.com/news/local/website-ranks-arizona-th-for-states-with-biggest-drug-problems/article_9d1ccab6-3a42-11e7-a2d0-3771e079a564.html
  2. WalletHub: https://wallethub.com/edu/drug-use-by-state/35150
  3. PsychCentral: https://psychcentral.com/lib/stages-of-change
  4. Verywell mind: https://www.verywellmind.com/the-stages-of-change-model-of-overcoming-addiction-21961
  5. NCBI: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK64968/
  6. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: https://www.samhsa.gov/medication-assisted-treatment
  7. Virginia Tech: https://www.cpe.vt.edu/gttc/presentations/8eStagesofChange.pdf
  8. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/recovery
  9. Verywell mind: https://www.verywellmind.com/why-did-i-relapse-21900
  10. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services: https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Provider-Enrollment-and-Certification/CertificationandComplianc/InpatientRehab

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

SEPTEMBER 20, 2019

Robert Castan is a member of the Executive Leadership Team at SpringBoard Recovery. Robert started his professional career as a house manager and has become an industry leader and trusted voice in the treatment world. He brings extensive knowledge of organizational growth, industry-leading outcomes, and comprehensive marketing to SpringBoard Recovery. Robert has been walking his own path of recovery for over 10 years. This path has truly driven his ambition to help make treatment available to others who are struggling with addiction. Robert finds great joy in traveling and keeping physically active, with an emphasis on biking. Robert resides in Arizona with his husband and two four-legged children.   The U.S. Alcohol Crisis, Still Deadlier Than the Opioid Epidemic   Zombies and Other Future Threats to the Health of American Youth Dire Mental Health: A Catalyst for Post-Pandemic Drug Addiction The Benefits of Rehab Center Staff Working Their Own Recovery Opinion: The Opioid Crisis + COVID-19 = The Perfect Storm Robert Castan on Successful Addiction Treatment and Entrepreneurship Castan: The road less traveled of addiction & recovery in Scottsdale Opioids & COVID Driving Phoenix’s Rising Fatal Drug Overdoses Opinion: The Opioid Crisis + COVID-19 = The Perfect Storm Successful Addiction Treatment Programs & Entrepreneurship

We Accept Most Insurance Plans

We're Here to Help. Call Now

© 2021 SpringBoard Recovery Privacy Policy Sitemap
FOLLOW US ON facebook-icon instagram-icon linkedin-icon

Are you or a loved one suffering from addiction?

Call our addiction hotline now!