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Benefits of Motivational Interviewing for Substance Abuse

Motivational interviewing, also known as MI, is an interviewing method that is used for people who need to find true motivation in their life. It is not only related to Substance Abuse Therapy but can be used for any genuine problem that you are facing in your life. When we talk of it in the context of substance abuse, this helps the victim or the patient find clarity and motivation as to why he needs to stop abusing substances. This can motivate the addict to seek help or speak up about it. Addictions can be very difficult to give up but finding the motivation to give it up is important.

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Step 1 of 4

How does it Work?

Motivational Interviewing Therapy works in only those cases where the patient knows that whatever he is practicing is hurting him. For substance abuse programs, the victim is made to realize that drugs will destroy his life, and he will be left dependent on drugs for a lifetime. When he realizes that substance abuse is not right for him and needs to do something about it, MI will only then work on him. There are two main parts of MI, and they are:

  • Motivation: During this part, the person is motivated, so he tries to find solutions to his problem, in this case, against substance abuse.
  • Commitment: In the second part, naturally, after finding the motivation, the patient must commit to himself to truly fight against the addiction. It is important that the patient is sincere in fighting against it.


Motivational interviewing is especially beneficial in substance abuse counseling; it is the motivation that helps people to fight against their cravings and come back to life. Substance abuse is by far the most addicting; it depends on how long the person has been dependent on the drug to know the extent of the damage. The higher the motivation, the greater the chances of fighting the addiction. Most of the drug or substance addicts know that they need to stop, but they lack the motivation to pull the plug on their addiction.
The professionals who conduct the MIs are experienced people and know how to use substance abuse therapy on their patients. Not all patients are the same; what works on one person would most likely not work on another and that is why it is mostly hit and trail. The patient’s past also plays an important role in forming the interview and how he reacts to certain stimuli.

Substance Abuse and MI

Benefits of Motivational Interviewing for Substance Abuse

There is sufficient evidence based on research as well as patient experience that proves that Motivational Interviewing can help with substance abuse. It is recommended to get MI before formally starting treatment with any clinic. Most clinics have professionals who can conduct MI, but if they do not, then there are other places that provide these therapies. Sometimes when a patient is admitted to the hospital for treatment, just before the start of the treatment, it is observed that the patient is not ready for it. This is the right time when a MI professional should step in. It is noticed that MI is far better than getting no treatment at all, it aids standard treatment, and also with extended treatments.

The Psychological Factors

During substance abuse counseling and substance abuse programs, psychology plays a critical role. It is important to get down to the root of the problem before a treatment can be prescribed. Some people start drug abuse as recreation, while others may be abusing drugs because they are suffering from trauma. Most of the drugs give you a euphoric effect that gets very addictive. Many people also start a medication that later turns into an addiction. Any medical professional needs to get the psychological testing of an addict before deciding on a course of treatment. It also highly depends on whether an addict is willing to get help or not. Motivational therapy will find that balance between wanting to get treated but not willing to give up on addiction because of the calmness it brings into the addict’s life. Genuine motivation is important as this will turn to be the pushing force throughout the treatment.

It is important to fight addiction and drug abuse, but you need to have the best team by your side during this time. We have some of the best Motivational interviewers in the state that will help you find the motivation to return to normal life. Nothing is impossible in life, this journey might be difficult for you, but a new life awaits you at the end of the tunnel. Reach out to us and get an appointment before it is too late. Your information and case history are kept completely confidential through the course of treatment.


Valerie Tecci, Program Director

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We believe everyone struggling with substance use disorder deserves the treatment they need. Our team is here to help you every step of the way.

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