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ARE THEY AVOIDING TREATMENT?

When someone has a substance use disorder and refuses to accept treatment, Generally, their lack of interest stems from unreadiness to change (Motivation). When people refuse to commit, they may be thinking that "it won't work anyway." While some may be quick to judge such a person, it is instead it is more effective to support them in getting help. What some loved ones may miss here is that motivation is not a matter of free will. Being supportive is not the same as enabling them in a manner that promotes drug use. Yelling at them or demeaning them may, in fact, impair their self-esteem and backfire. An important factor that impairs motivation is fear.


According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA, 2016), wanting to change is but a component of motivation. Studies show that extrinsic input can and does elicit increased motivation. A supportive counselor

who is versed in motivational interviewing (MI) is will recognize this need, while enhancing motivation when possible. MI counselors know that the client needs to believe that change is possible. However, while the addicted person may be the center of concern, family dynamics also play an important role. Do you ever cross a line that you swore not to cross? Have you tried many ways to talk to them and now walk on eggshells?


As a counselor who works with this population, I have a suggestion. You get help! That's right, you. If you spend a lot of time around someone in the grips of addiction, you will start thinking that you are crazy. You may also have begun to blame all family issues on this person. Who will carry that burden when your loved one gets well. Moreover, how will you redirect all the energy that it has taken to manage your loved one's needs? Just food for thought...


Andrea Becker-Abbott


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