Crucial Stages of Motivational Interview as Part of Addiction Treatment

Addiction is a multifaceted issue that also needs to be given a multifaceted approach in treatment without which treating addiction will be a fallacy. There is required input and cooperation of the patient 100 percent. He has to have the will to quit using the drugs he is using; you can never force an addict to quit using a drug he has become addicted to. It also needs patience of both the doctor and the patient so that the addict will be able to completely recover from all the adverse effects of addiction especially during withdrawal. One of the ways through which an urge to quit using drugs can be imparted into an addict is through motivational interview. Motivational interview is often referred to as motivational therapy and us done by a motivational therapist. The main aim of the motivational therapist is to help the patient see the side effects that he is suffering as a result of the use of the abusive drug and help create a desire to quit using the drug in the addict. He will not try to victimize the addict or to oppose his views but uses the power of empathy to instill the desire to quit the use of the abusive drug into the addict.

Motivational Interview

For any motivational interview to be effective there is need of full cooperation from the addict. There is also need of input of an experienced motivational therapist to place the will to change from the use of drug abuse into the mind of the addict. The addict is the center of focus in motivational interview, he is the one who has to make the decision of whether to quit using the drugs or not. The motivational therapist is just there to help him make this decision by giving him a better option in quitting but he can’t decide for the addict, the addict has to own the decision to quit and that is when he is bound to succeed. In a journalistic point of view it appears that both the addict and the therapists are very crucial parties to this type of treatment because as much as the therapist may be good at his work. He may bear initial fruits in planting the desire to quit using the drugs in the mind of the addict but the addict must make the step of quitting the use of the drug.

Here are some crucial stages that the addict will be taken through by the help of the motivational therapist

  • Pre-contemplation
  • Contemplation
  • Preparation
  • Action
  • Maintenance and relapse

For effectiveness these stages should be followed in sequence, however if an addict may fall beck he should be encouraged to continue from where appropriate.


This is the first stage in which the thought of changing has not even got into the mind of the addict. In most instances the drug users are in denial and they do not consider themselves as the right audience to the advice being offered. Here the will to change is not close even to the addict and it requires an input of an expert motivational therapist to let the drug addict see the need to overcome the addiction. During this stage, addicts do not consider change. They may not believe that their behavior is a problem or that it will negatively affect them or they may be resigned to their unhealthy behavior because of previous failed efforts and no longer believe that they have control over addiction. At this stage the therapist must be careful not be seen as opposing the lifestyle of the addict but as an empathizer who has placed his foot right in the moccasins of the addict. Here the therapist’s main goal is harmer the desire to quit using the drugs of abuse in the patient’s mind.

Contemplation Stage

At contemplation stage, patients are unsure about changing. They are weighing the benefits they get from the use of the drug against the benefits they will receive after quitting its use. At this stage the patients tries to look into the reasons why they can’t stop the use of the drug. Giving up an enjoyed behavior causes them to feel a sense of loss despite the perceived gain.  This is the stage where the patient needs the help of the motivational speaker most as he gets in conflict with himself. He is torn between stopping the use of the drug and continuing using it. He must know the advantages and disadvantages of quitting the drug use. The therapist will be of help in letting the addict choose wisely.

Preparation Stage

Motivational InterviewDuring the preparation stage, patients prepare to make a specific change. To test the waters of the new world, the addict may try using the drugs in lower doses and tests his body reaction to the deprivation. The therapist helps the patient to stay true to its course since the outcome of these experiments may make the addict to give up on the goal of quitting the drug use.

Action Stage

The action stage is the stage that needs more of the patient’s contribution to be successful. Many patients may fail once but with the help of the therapist they may get up and continue fighting addiction.  Every effort that the patient puts forward must be appreciated by the therapist as this gives the addict the morale to continue.

Maintenance and Relapse Prevention

Every motivational therapist would want his patient to reach this stage. However the addict may go through the initial stages many times before fully landing on this stage. Change is not always easy to deal with and any discouragement from the therapists over the addicts’ occasional slip may thwart his hopes of ever overcoming addiction and hence he may give up.

Finally, the need to quit using drugs of abuse is crucial in motivational interview; the therapist has to instill this in the addict failure to which the interview will bear no success. All the same addiction is a jail that many are chained but the need for liberation is the very reason for our existence. Here at AWAREmed we are dedicated to finding the best solutions to addiction and dependence on substances. Dr. Dalal Akoury (MD) is always in the mood of helping any patient to be addiction free. Do not hesitate to call on her for help in managing any sort of chronic pain or any type of addiction as well as other diseases.

Crucial Stages of Motivational Interview as Part of Addiction Treatment