Author: Gary Jackson

Chapter 1 A New Look at Motivation Enhancing Motivation for Change in Substance Use Disorder Treatment NCBI Bookshelf

Threats don’t work, both because they are so often empty, and because they pose a challenge. On the other hand, a clearly stated and believable consequence can create a real choice.

  • Staying motivated in the recovery journey can be hard due to various reasons such as cravings, triggers, and setbacks.
  • This connection creates a feeling of acceptance and supports intrinsic motivation to stay sober.
  • Building a strong support system with family, peers in recovery, and counselors may significantly influence motivation levels.
  • Managing addiction requires you to make a thousand different changes in yourself, in your outlook, and in your environment.
  • Overall, overcoming challenges and triggers in recovery needs perseverance, self-reflection, a strong support system, effective coping strategies, resilience building, and learning from setbacks.

Moreover, motivation is vital for getting through problems while in recovery. People will have triggers or difficulties that might tempt them to go back to old habits. With strong motivation, they can resist these temptations and stay focused on their sobriety goals. Motivation allows them to be resilient and determined, and to carry on without giving up sobriety. It starts by identifying why a person lacks motivation and taking action towards personal growth and long-term change.

Addiction: A Story of Stigma, A Story of Hope Scott McFadden (

The separation of SUD treatment from mainstream healthcare services has created obstacles to successful treatment and care coordination. By having a structured schedule of healthy and positive activities from day to day,  you can create a sense of order in your life. This is also a great way to improve your goal-setting and goal-reaching work. Support groups and peer-led recovery networks provide a safe, non-judgmental space for sharing experiences. They serve as ongoing sources of motivation and accountability throughout the recovery process.

Some decisions are responses to critical life events, others reflect different kinds of external pressures, and still others are motivated by personal values. Inspiring quotes and engaging with the sober support community can motivate. Being of service to others in recovery can provide purpose and reinforce commitment.

Struggling with an addiction?

Volunteering can help you to pull away from the narrow focus on yourself and redirect it to something or someone else who will benefit from your time and attention. “Recovery is possible” gives us hope that with dedication and support, lasting recovery is attainable. This can be a sponsor in a 12-step program, a trusted family member or friend who holds you responsible.

  • Human beings need to connect with others to thrive, so it’s important to fix the relationships you can, and replace those you can’t.
  • Understanding addiction as a motivational behavior, intrinsic motivation in recovery uses the individual’s inner resources and values.
  • This is because the disease of addiction physically alters the brain, and therefore your ability to think logically, to take positive action, to handle stress, and even to experience pleasure.
  • As time passes, it can be easy to forget our beginning struggles and the reasons we had for wanting to get sober.
  • Learning more about addiction and its impacts not only increases understanding but also gives hope for change.

Motivation can fluctuate over different stages of the SOC and varies in intensity. It can decrease when the client feels doubt or ambivalence about change and increase when reasons for change and specific goals become clear. In this sense, motivation can be an ambivalent state or a resolute commitment to act—or not to act. Motivation is a critical element of behavior change (Flannery, 2017) that predicts client abstinence and reductions in substance use (DiClemente et al., 2017). You cannot give clients motivation, but you can help them identify their reasons and need for change and facilitate planning for change. Successful SUD treatment approaches acknowledge motivation as a multidimensional, fluid state during which people make difficult changes to health-risk behaviors, like substance misuse.

Thinking Positive

Sober support networks are also available and consist of peers in recovery. They provide a secure place for open and honest conversations about obstacles, successes and further progress. Through these networks, individuals are offered not only comprehension but also inspiration from those who have achieved long-term sobriety. Such ties bring about hope, responsibility and inspiration to keep going forward in the recovery path.

recovery motivation

One-third of people who perceived a need for addiction treatment did not receive it because they lacked health insurance and could not pay for services. Contingency management is a counseling strategy that can reinforce extrinsic motivation. It uses external motivators or reinforcers (e.g., expectation of a reward or negative consequence) to enhance behavior change (Sayegh, Huey, Zara, & Jhaveri, 2017). The following factors define motivation and its ability to help people change health-risk behaviors. Counselor use of empathy, not authority and power, is essential to enhancing client motivation to change. Building a recovery success story begins with your own recovery motivation.

Tips for Staying Motivated in Recovery

Resistance is a characteristic of “unmotivated” clients in addiction treatment (Connors et al., 2013). Viewing resistance—along with rationalization and denial—as characteristic of addiction and making efforts to weaken these defenses actually strengthens them. This paradox seemed to confirm the idea that resistance and denial were essential components of addiction and traits of clients. Such a counselor can help a client zero in on their “desire, ability, reasons, and need to change” to see clearly why they’re entering recovery. They can also help patients identify behaviors that don’t line up with their personal development goals so they can take steps toward course correcting.

Historically the treatment field has focused on the deficits and limitations of clients. Today, greater emphasis is placed on identifying, enhancing, and using clients’ strengths, abilities, and competencies. This trend parallels the principles of motivational counseling, which affirm clients, emphasize personal autonomy, support and strengthen self-efficacy, and reinforce that change is possible (see Chapter 4). The responsibility for recovery rests with clients, and the judgmental tone, which is a remnant of the moral model of addiction, is eliminated. We understand that staying self-motivated is often easier said than done, especially when you’re struggling with mental health challenges like depression or addiction.