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St. Joseph's Care Group

St. Joseph's Care Group

       

Youth Addiction Programs

The Stages of Change

Life is about change. Every day there are opportunities to make decisions that will change something in your life. Maybe it will be a fun change like dyeing your hair or getting your navel pierced, for instance. Sometimes bigger decisions are necessary, like whether or not you will cut down on your drinking or drug use, or even quit.

People who are going to change something about themselves generally go through six stages, characterized by thoughts like this:

  1. Pre-contemplation: Who, me? I don't have a problem. Maybe you have a problem with me, but I'm fine just the way I am.
  2. Contemplation: Hmmm, I wonder if things are getting a little out of hand. Should I make a change, or leave things as they are? What are the pros and cons of changing? I need some more information before I can decide.
  3. Preparation: Well, this is it. I'm really going to do something about it. I'll start small and see if I can really stick with it. Wish me luck!
  4. Action: I've made a plan and I am following through with it. I've already made some small changes that will help get me to my goal.
  5. Maintenance: I did it! I've been doing great for over six months now. This is the new me, and I like it. I don't even think about my old behaviour that much any more.
  6. Termination: Who, me? I don't have that problem any more. I did have a problem in the past, but it's been years now since I changed all that.

Is anyone telling you that you have a problem with drinking or drugs? Do you ever wonder if you need to make a change? Take a look at these six stages. Where do you think you fit?

What is Harm Reduction?

Harm reduction is a non-confrontational and non-judgmental approach that incorporates strategies that aim to reduce the negative consequences of substance use. Harm reduction techniques meet substance users where they are at, addressing what happens when they use along with the use itself. Harm reduction goals are based on a continuum starting with safer use to managed use to abstinence.

       
       
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