Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Sustaining Life Change

I had the honor of hearing Dr. James Prochaska speak at a conference recently.  He is one of the gurus of behavioral change, and has spent years doing research on what exactly helps or hinders people from making—and sustaining—change in their lives.  His research reveals that people go through stages along a continuum on their way to making lasting change.  The earliest stage, what he labels "Pre-Contemplative", is characterized by denial and avoidance of dealing with the detrimental behavior.  In this stage, a person likes to blame his problem on other people or circumstances in his life.  Actually, most people are not on board with changing at all at this stage.

The stages then progress to:

- Contemplation ("OK, maybe I do have a problem…I’ll deal with it sometime, somehow…") 
- Preparation ("I’ve checked out several different programs to help me detox") 
- Action ("I’ve called and scheduled myself. I’m no longer using, and I’ve found a Narcotics   
  Anonymous meeting I’m willing to attend") 
- Maintenance (Sobriety becomes a daily habit).

Needless to say, by the time we see most people, they have made it to the Action Phase; they are highly motivated to stop using opiates, and they have signed up for an Accelerated Opiate Detox.

If you are pretty sure you have your opiate problem under control, that the nagging from your spouse is her annoying personality, that you ‘can stop anytime you want to’, that you feel like an utter failure because you keep spending money on drugs that could have been used to take your family on vacation…you are probably still in the early or Pre-Contemplative phase.  I urge you to begin to start a list of pros and cons about your drug use.  You won’t have to look far to hear about the joy and freedom that others have found when they let it go.

 If you or someone you love is in need of detox from opiatesalcoholbenzosMethadone, or Suboxone, please do not hesitant to call Jennifer Pius at 1-877-77-DETOX (33869).  We are here to help you and yours get clean and stay clean!

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