6 Stages Of Change In Addiction Recovery  w/ Brad McLeod

6 Stages Of Change In Addiction Recovery w/ Brad McLeod

Hey everyone, Brad Mcleod here, with Brad
Mcleod Recovery, and today I want to bring you a video on the stages of change, so basically
i’ll be explaining what the stages of change look like, and I’m going to be sharing a little
bit of my own personal experience with the stages of change and what it looked like for
me as I worked through my recovery, and eventually getting to the end, which is maintenance,
and what that looked like. So, stick with me through the video and i’m
going to be explaining what it looks like. So, we’ll get started, we’ve got pre-contemplation,
so pre-contemplation is a point where you don’t realize there is a problem, and you’re
not willing to make any effort to change any problem. For me, some things that happened in my life
in pre-contemplation were getting kicked out of college, getting evicted from an apartment,
losing relationships, and throughout these scenarios a lot of people approached me, mentioning
that maybe I had a drug problem, me. I was in denial, i blamed others a lot, one
way or another I was defending my addiction, I wanted it to keep going, so that way i had
to defend it and exclude any other problems from my life that addiction was a problem. So that’s pre-contemplation. After you can work through that stage, you
end up at contemplation, where you have identified that there is a problem, but once you have
identified that there is a problem in this stage, you’re not willing to work on it , you
have admitted to yourself maybe some of your defense mechanisms have reduced, but you’re
still not willing to make any changes or change any of your behaviors. So some areas for contemplation was when I
identified that the reasons why I was losing jobs and the reasons why I was destroying
relationships could, maybe, be because i had a drug addiction, and I was actively using
drugs, that was sort of my lifestyle, causing me to lose a lot of those things. That’s important fro contemplation to keep
in mind , that somebody in that stage, or if you’re in that stage, you understand that
there is a slight problem, but at that point there’s no plan in place, or any willingness
to make any changes. Where you do become wiling to make changes
is when you enter the preparation stage , and I have written below, “commit to change” so
the preparation is when you’re getting prepared to start to make those behavior changes, and
making those decisions, setting up plans for how you’re going to go about changing it,
whether it’s recovery programs, whether it’s going to detox, whether it’s contacting a
detox, whether it’s telling your supports that maybe you have a problem, letting other
people know that you’re going to make a few commitments to maybe change your life, and
at this point you’re really realizing, you’re really honest with yourself that you do have
a problem with addiction and that something does need to change. For me preparation looked like this; I reached
out to supports that i had, that I hadn’t talked to in a while, mainly my Grandparents,
and I reached out to them and told them I had a problem, and i needed to go to detox,
and if that’s something they would support and help me with, and for sure they did, they
didn’t hesitate at all. So just keep that in mind for you’re preparation,
it’s basically getting prepared to make the changes and change the behaviors is the most
important part. Then we move over into action, so action is
super important, if you have been following me on any of my Youtube videos or on my facebook
group “Recovery for the beginner” you’ll hear me talk a lot about action, because there
is a lot of people who talk about making changes, and that’s good in preparation, we’re talking
about it, we’re creating a plan, but not all those people make it to action, so action
is super important and this would be when i actually went to detox, when i actually
changed the people that i hung out with, when i started to develop new hobbies and interests
and started to engage in a bit of a different lifestyle. It’s taking that action that really is going
to set you apart in you’re recovery from just talking about it, or just having thoughts
about it, which are these three steps, the action i definitely going to be what sets
you apart, and what makes a successful recovery for you, so that’s action, you need to take
action sooner than later, for sure that’s super important. If we follow the thing here we have maintenance,
so the most important part about maintenance is basically you have changed your old behaviors,
and you’ve developed new ones, once you develop the new behaviors, you’re implementing them
on a daily basis, whether that be attending support groups, utilizing your supports on
a daily basis, and you’re new behaviors can be something as simple as, for me i was very
dishonest, i was very manipulative, and the new behaviors I developed throughout the process,
throughout this recovery process, and all the stuff that took place in the action phase
was I became more honest with others, I became more honest with myself, I just became an
all around better person, a more productive person, and was somebody that people were
interested in having relationships with, interested in spending time with, and also being able
to hold a job and do a lot of the other things in life that are super important that we need
to do that I never did before when I was using drugs. The sixth step in the process is relapse,
that’s always a risk when you’re in recovery is a relapse. So a relapse, most people are going to know
what a relapse is, but the short form is returning to old behaviors, that’s what a relapse is
going to look like for you, and over the years I had a lot of different relapses, this last
time that i decided to get clean and everything’s went well, and I haven’t been in that stage
but always remember when you’re working through the stages of change that you can always go
backwards too, so some people one day they might be in the preparation stage, something
happens and they can always move back the the contemplation stage, and you can keep
going around different ways, if you’re here you could always move back to the relapse,
so hopefully that makes sense, this can be a cycle that continues to go around a lot
of times, you know it is in a circle there for a reason. So that’s basically the information on the
stages of change and how it relates to recovery, and how it related to my life, it’s a good
tool, what I like the most about the stages of change is it can give you a very honest
perspective of where you are in your own recovery, or where somebody else that you know is in
their own recovery, asking a couple questions can help you identify real quick, where somebody
is and how willing they are. So this is used for a lot of people to identify
where everybody stands, where people are, where you stand yourself, most important part
though is if you’re trying to figure this out for yourself, be honest because if you
think you’re here and you’re actually, if you think you’re in maintenance and you’re
actually in contemplation, you’re only lying to yourself, nobody else is really going to
believe that that’s where you are, when you’re actually here. People tend to be able to see through that
kind of stuff, so just be honest with yourself a great thing that we’ve developed at Brad
Mcleod Recovery is the 21 day recovery program, which is going to help you move through all
the different stages, and you can check out our website which will be in the description
below, if you want more information on the program. Hopefully everybody enjoyed the video, if
this is your first time to the YouTube channel check out the other videos that we have, hit
the logo on the bottom right corner to subscribe, give it a thumbs up, or if you didn’t enjoy
it give it a thumbs down, ask questions in the comments, we really want some feedback
I would really like some feedback from people on what they think of the videos that i’m
putting out , if there is something specific you would like to hear about just let us know,
contact us, thanks for checking out the video, hopefully you learned something new, and you
can identify where you stand in the stages of change. Have a good one everyone.


  1. In the Action stage….scary not just for risk of using but making life changes that are hard. Creating the life I always dreamed of but was always too scared or anxious to do it. Want to take this opportunity to really design my life over and actually make the changes necessary.

  2. For you guys that don't know Brad McLeod, he KNOWS his stuff! If you or someone you love is suffering from addiction/alcoholism, his videos are a MUST SEE. If you Really want results, he has a program that I've been through a few times that's more effective than the countless treatment centers and counselors I've been to over the years. Incredible support! It's not easy, but worth it!

  3. I found your video helpful. I'm in the beginning stages (again) to help my 25 year old daughter overcome addiction which has evolved into methadone. I'll be watching your other videos. Thank you!

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