How to build comitment to a substance abuse treatment program

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Information about How to build comitment to a substance abuse treatment program

Published on March 7, 2014

Author: juanBlea



Though various treatment programs show improvement, treatment compliance appears to be the key operating variable. However, my life’s mission is to teach everyone that we all have the source of all that’s good, strong, and beautiful within us. In learning to access that source, we can become the creators of our life story.

The same principle applies to treating substance abuse. Too often, the substance abuser is acting based upon someone else’s wishes and hopes for his or her life. But, empowerment research suggests that when people are committed to something, they will act from their own respective source of that which is good, strong, and beautiful.

Therefore, this short presentation that provides my way of building commitment within treatment. The basic idea is that, if we can teach people to share in their development of their treatment goals, then they probably will stay committed to their treatment.

The core of the presentation, by the way, works for anyone who leads others. Simply substitute “substance abuse treatment” for any other program or set of activities and the result: building commitment should emerge. Really, reflective writing and understanding is at the heart of the method and there is work involved. But the results are worth it.

Developing Commitment, not mandating Compliance, Within Substance Abuse Tx By Juan Blea, M.Ed., LADAC

What’s the diff?

“Compliance refers to a behavior that is requested by another person or group; the individual acted in some way because others asked him or her to do so (but it was possible to refuse or decline). Source:

“Commitment is the state or quality of being dedicated to a cause, activity, or goal Source: Merriam-Webster Online

How do we develop commitment?

First, by establishing a “mutual context” Then, by understanding our roles

A mutual context is one in which everyone: • • • • Has respect for personalities Participates in decision making Has freedom of expression and availability of information Shares mutuality in responsibility in defining goals, planning, and conducting activities. Source: Knowles, M. (1992). The Adult Learner. Burlington, MA: Elsevier.

In our roles, we should be: • • • • Situated: People gain a sense of meaning from the role and believe themselves competent within the role. Social: Influential, influence-able, and interdependent. Autonomous: Self determining. Flexible Source: Blea, J. (2008). A Model for Contextual Leadership. Santa Fe, NM: Redtail Press.

What can we do next? • • Share thoughts about whether or not ours is a mutual context Analyze our respective roles per the listed criteria; why or why not?

Have a nice day !

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