Motivation to Change: From Addiction to Recovery

Adapting to change is not always easy and this is a major reason why, on the road to recovery from addiction, motivation is an essential ingredient.

The Need for Motivation

Breaking any type of habit can be challenging because it is easy to get accustomed to anything that is constantly practiced. This is why, when trying to break a substance dependence habit, one reality that people face is the risk of relapsing. The effect that continued substance use has on the brain is such that it takes time and a lot of effort to give up the addiction.

Recovery is a gradual process. As such, it is essential to locate the inner strength that is required to pull through, based on a self-conviction that it is time for a life-style change. Motivation could also come from the external environment in the form of influences and pressures from family and loved ones to take action with regards to seeking help.  Whatever the case is, the bottom line is to identify a driving force behind seeking help and embarking on a recovery journey, in order to make it easier to remain on course.

The Road to Recovery: Motivation as an Act

Motivation may be described as something that one does. This simply means that there are stages involved. In this case, it is not just something that the addict possesses without recognizing that change needs to be accessed. This is why, in order for motivation to be discovered and sustained, the individual needs to recognize the problem, take action by getting help and must be willing to stick to a strategy that delivers change.

Motivation is not a one way street. It is dependent on a lot of factors and for change to occur, motivation is key to achieving lasting recovery.

Ways by Which an Addict Can be Motivated to Change

When it comes to motivation and the decision to seek help, the addicted person lies at the centre. With self-motivation, where there is a willingness to change expressed by the addict, it all depends on the individual. In the same way, sustaining it through a long recovery period will depend on constantly choosing that thing which the individual has realized is more important than addiction. As such, a realization of the costs versus the benefits of staying addicted helps the dependent individual align the right priorities, which fuels the self-motivation that leads to change.

A lot of times, with pressure and perhaps stated consequences from family and loved ones, an addict may decide to seek help and consider long term drug rehab. In the final analysis, this form of external motivation still depends on the addict’s willingness to take the bold step. Even then, it is easy for an addict to promise to stop, and still falter because breaking an addiction habit goes beyond simply making a choice.

It may also be the case that although the addict needs to access help from an addiction treatment center, he or she does not have the will-power to be self-motivated and is willing to disregard the consequences that friends, family and counsellors have used as leverage.   In such a situation, it is possible to influence the individual in a detached manner. No need for threats or overly stressing the issue. You could simply express your concern such that the addict realizes that although stopping seems impossible at the moment, you are available for whenever he decides to stop because that is the only reasonable decision to be eventually taken.

Experts have stressed the importance of motivation to positive addiction treatment outcomes. On the challenging road to recovery, staying motivated makes the healing process easier.

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