Using a Non-Judgmental Approach
I know it is hard, not to “want to confront” someone in your life when you find out that they are abusing alcohol or drugs. However, if you find that in the past, “This approach has not worked so well.” you might want to try a non-judgmental approach.
Starting a Conversation.
Part of the challenge to you, will be to figure out what to say to the personthat they will be “willing to hear”, and often the best way to start a conversation is to let them know you are “willing to listen.” It might seem a bit deceptive at first, but at least try to be non-judgmental.
Non-judgmental Questions: Just try to understand their perspective.
Perhaps, let them know that you know they are using, and you want to try to understand“Why?” (What are their motivations for wanting to use?) Ask the drug user“Why they like the drug?” (Are they wanting to fit-in with friends, to alter their emotional state, to be able to escape mentally, or perhaps to mask deep pain, or personal shame.) “How does it make them feel?” (How does using help them to feel different?) “How does it compare to other drugs?” (Why this particular drug? Because it is available, or because of the specific effects of the drug itself.)
The goalIs to try to get the addict talking about “their experiences of using”, and the reasons “why they choose to use.” Are the reasons they began using (such as for fun), the same as the reasons that they keep using (if they do not use they get sick)?
Most addict think they know a lot more about all the effects and consequences of substance use than they really do. What they do know is how the drug affects them personally. However, some of the longer-term effects and about addiction and recoverymay be a complete mystery to them. This LACK of knowledge can work to your advantage - just as long as you stay non-judgmental.
Keep asking questions, because sooner or later the truth will come out and the person will start telling about all the BAD things they have experienced. At this point they might be somewhat willing to listen to what you have to say and read some of the educational information you just happen to have with you. (You can pick up pamphlets or download and print off a variety of documents from the website.)
A Matter of choice.
Ultimately it is the person’s choice to keep using or get help, but a lot of users just do not feel very good about themselves. When we feel good about ourselves - we make good choicesWhen we feel bad about ourselves - we make bad choices. So just letting the person know that you care and that “they are worth it” can help them to make good and healthy decisions to change their life. She deserves to live a good life not being controlled by a drug.
Just knowing that help is available
Just knowing that help is available and that people care can often make that LifeChanging difference that can help a person break free of their addiction.
1. No single treatment is appropriate for all individuals.
Matching treatment settings, interventions and services to each individual’s specific problems and needs is important to his or her overall success in returning to productive functioning in the family, workplace, and society.
2. Treatment needs to be readily available.
It is of critical importance to have treatment available to clients when they are ready, or at least willing to attend. Coerced (forced) treatment such as that by the courts, a formal intervention, or family pressure to attend treatment, will only be effective to the extent that the client is able to achieve a level of personal honesty and willing participation for their own good. Their fears about giving up a familiar lifestyle, even if they know it is hurting them, can be hard to over come. Potential treatment clients can be lost if treatment is not immediately available.
3. Effective treatment attends to multiple needs of the individual, not just his or her drug use.
For treatment to work, it must address all the client’s major life areas, including all the issues related to their substance use. This may include but is not limited to: education or employment issues, medical and or psychiatric problems, psychological concerns, family and social patterns, and possible legal problems.
4. An individual’s treatment and services plan must be assessed continually and modified as necessary to ensure that the plan meets the person’s changing needs.
A client may need different combinations of services and treatment components during the course of treatment and recovery. The addiction counselor should be willing to both make referrals to other professionals and work together with other professionals. Additional services may include counseling or psychotherapy, medication or other medical services, family therapy, parenting instruction, vocational rehabilitation, and social and legal services. It is important that the treatment approach be suited to the person’s age, gender, ethnicity, and culture. The objective monitoring of a client’s drug and alcohol use during treatment, such as through urinalysis or other tests can help the client withstand urges to use drugs. Such monitoring can also provide early evidence of drug use so that the individual’s treatment plan can be adjusted. Feedback to clients who test positive for illicit drug use is an important element of monitoring.
5. Treatment programs should provide assessment for HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B and C, tuberculosis, and other infectious diseases, and counseling to help clients modify or change behaviours that place themselves or others at risk of infection counseling can help clients avoid high risk behavior.
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