Self-Motivation: Why it Makes a Difference in Recovery and Life

motivation for change in recovery

Someone at the contemplation stage is generally more open to receiving information about the possible consequences of their addictive behavior. They may be open to learning about different strategies for controlling or quitting the addictive behavior, without committing to a specific approach or even promising to make a change. When people are in the precontemplation stage, they are often not very interested in hearing about negative consequences or advice to quit their addiction. Many adults in the United States resolve an alcohol or drug use problem without assistance (Kelly et al., 2017). This is called “natural recovery.” Recovery from SUDs can happen with limited treatment or participation in mutual-aid support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. As many as 45 percent of participants in the National Prevalence Survey resolved their substance use problems through participation in mutual-aid support programs (Kelly et al., 2017).

  • One of the most important things to consider is how you can stay motivated in recovery from substance abuse.
  • Attitude affects your relationships, your health, your self-image and your self-confidence.
  • When you’re engaged in activities that resonate with you, it not only occupies your mind but also rekindles motivation.
  • They serve as ongoing sources of motivation and accountability throughout the recovery process.

How to Stay Motivated During 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.

  • Most people who misuse substances progress through the stages in a circular or spiral pattern, not a linear one.
  • Having purpose gives them strength in tough times and gives them the motivation they need to continue.
  • Others may be out-of-network (OON) but offer patients the option of paying their therapy costs up-front and then sending a superbill to their insurance company for reimbursement.
  • One possibility is that our treatments focus too much on reducing substance use, and not enough on linking clients to reinforcers that will make abstinence more appealing.
  • It’s essential to understand why one has an addiction and how overcoming it aligns with personal values and aspirations.

How Internal and External Motivation in Recovery Work Together for Achieving Goals

Work on identifying mechanisms of cognitive and behavioral change has led to a greater understanding of how treatments work (7). Findings from genetics and neuroscience have the potential to increase our understanding of the biological and neurocognitive underpinnings of addiction and may lead to the development of new treatments (8,9). Intrinsic motivation, which stems from personal desires and a desire for positive change, is crucial in addiction recovery.

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I thought that if I were not around the individuals with who I drank, then I would have been ok. The problem with this thought was the only thing that would have changed is the brand of beer that I drank. The thing that I learned is that simply changing my people, places and things was never going to be enough as my addiction was still there inside of me, and if I wanted it bad enough I would seek it out. If I truly wanted to change, then I would have to start with the hardest thing to change and that would be me.

Making Difficult Choices

motivation for change in recovery

This work needs to extend beyond interventions focused on the individual or family to include the local community and national policy in an effort to more strongly incentivize longer-term recoveries. The goal of obtaining and keeping motivation to recover is therefore linked to what intrinsically motivates you towards change. If you are seeking recovery because you personally want to obtain a better life and push through any mental health issues that have been holding you down, then you are intrinsically motivated.

  • Communities can also work to reduce triggers for relapse, by limiting how many hours per day bars and restaurants can serve liquor, and reducing the density of liquor stores.
  • When individuals are intrinsically motivated, they are more likely to feel a deeper commitment to their recovery.
  • Relapse or recurrence of substance misuse is a common part of the process as people cycle through the different stages (note the circular movement of Relapse & Recycle in Exhibit 1.3).
  • These techniques can help you stay grounded, reduce stress, and enhance your overall well-being.’s Relevant Resources

One of the best ways to sustain motivation for change in recovery is to focus on the benefits of sobriety. Recovery motivation can be challenging to maintain when the negative consequences of substance abuse seem distant or abstract. However, by focusing on the immediate and tangible benefits of sobriety, it can become more accessible to stay motivated in addiction recovery. Some advantages of recovery motivation include increased physical health, improved mental health, stronger relationships, and a sense of purpose and meaning in life. There have been at least two behavioral economics studies that evaluated interventions specifically designed to increase substance-free or pleasant activities (43,44), and both yielded positive effects on substance use outcomes.

The Change Plan below, adapted from a National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism resource publication, can help you individualize and formalize your own desires and motivations. Your path to recovery deserves unwavering support, guidance, and expertise. At Del Arroyo Recovery Center, we’re here to walk beside you every step of the way.

motivation for change in recovery

Individuals who are court-mandated or attempting to appease family members are less likely to be as successful in recovery as those individuals who seek recovery on their own accord. Overcoming addiction is one of the hardest but most important decisions an individual can make. However, individuals seeking treatment recovery motivation must be convinced not only of the dire threat their addiction poses to their health and livelihood, but also be motivated by the benefits of living a happy, healthy, and sober life. The human instinct for survival is fundamental when attempting to maintain motivation in recovery from substance abuse.

How to Stay Motivated to Change in Addiction Recovery

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