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Table 5 Stages of Change and Stage Appropriate Intervention

From: Substance abuse and pharmacy practice: what the community pharmacist needs to know about drug abuse and dependence

Stage of Change Characteristic Intervention Approach Suggested Language
Pre-contemplation Not thinking about change. Discuss risks of drug abuse and benefits of quitting. Link specific negative consequences to drug use. Strongly advise quitting. "What would it take for you to consider seeking help?"
Contemplation Thinking about change in next 6 months but not within 30 days Discuss immediate benefits of quitting to self and loved ones. Emphasize health, economic and interpersonal payoffs. "What would it take for you to seek help now?"
Preparation Ready to change in next 30 days Discuss strategies and options. Pick a change date. Refer to specialist if necessary. "Which option do you think will work best for you?"
Action Has initiated and maintained new behavior for up to 6 months. Support decision. Encourage change. Discuss pitfalls and common sources of failure. "What do you think will be your biggest challenge? How might you deal with it?"
Maintenance Quit for more than 6 months Periodic follow-up and continued encouragement. Discuss triggers. "What have you learned about people, places, events, and emotions that make you want to use?"