Stage 4: Action
The Action stage of change in addiction recovery occurs when the person with the substance abuse problem begins to actually take concrete steps to implement their plan to reduce or eliminate chemical dependency. In the Action stage, barriers and obstacles to treatment are often identified that previously were not seen.
Similarly, having realistic expectations about potential problems and acceptance of relapse as a very real possibility are all part of substance abuse recovery. The idea is to maintain hope and remain focused on the next indicated piece of the substance abuse recovery plan.
It is in the Action stage that most people seek and benefit from substance abuse rehab treatment. During this stage, substance abuse rehab can not only help not reduce or eliminate alcohol or drug abuse, but rehab can also help:
- To develop alternative pleasurable activities.
- Learn new coping skills to replace their use of mood altering substances.
- Develop new social support systems.
- Create relapse prevention strategies.
- Revise the recovery plan as new issues are identified.
The longer an alcohol or drug abuse problem has gone on, and the more impairment that results from it, the more difficult these behaviors are to change. While this stage of change determines readiness to change, the level of care necessary to effect a positive recovery depends on other variables, such as potential for withdrawal, risk for medical complications, supportive vs. toxic recovery environments, potential for relapse, etc.
The higher the severity of such risk factors, the more difficult the alcohol or substance abuse problem will be to treat. Levels of care for alcohol and substance abuse rehab treatment may be thought of as dosages of treatment, similar to doses of medicine.
Lasting Recovery, an outpatient addiction recovery program in San Diego, offering an evidence-based treatment strategy that can help you restore sobriety, safety, and sanity to your life.