Motivation and Addiction

In recent years, professionals paid better attention regarding the problems how to find motivation for addicts, how to help them to understand the consequences, how to start treatment and survive in abstinence. Motivation is the process of starting a human activity, directing its activity to specific objects and regulating this activity to achieve certain goals. Addicts tend to satisfy some of their needs as soon as they appear, regardless of how that satisfaction may have subsequently negative consequences. The addict does not have a strong motivation to cure. That’s why the Motivational interview is here to help.

It is more difficult to respond to the need that arises immediately, without taking into account any inconvenience that may result from meeting the need. As the person mature, it becomes more and more capable of delaying the satisfaction of their needs for a later period, to take into account, in a higher degree, not only actual but also future pleasures and inconveniences. An adult, a mature person can give up goals that are currently very attractive, to achieve goals that are not immediately satisfying but will in the future provide more intense and lasting satisfaction than providing an immediate goal.

Motives and goals

People achieve their goals to satisfy more than one single motive. Motives are driving forces that trigger action. Motives that are based on physical needs are innate (hunger, thirst, motherly motives and sexual motives). When their satisfaction is difficult or prevented, there is an imbalance in the organism that causes tension, and it leads to action. Disapproval of the motive causes frustration. The motives who rest on certain needs about other members of society are called social motives (personal motives, the need for company, the need for recognition). Most social motives were acquired, and are based on psychological needs, that can be satisfied only with the direct or indirect involvement of other people. With maturity, social motives prevail over biological ones.

If an obstacle occurs, the addict reacts with a shout, anger. He/she can not stand frustration. That is happening when the person is to a very small extent, or not at all capable of giving up the immediate satisfaction of the needs that have arisen. But when a person becomes more mature, their tolerance for frustration is also growing. The Motivational interview is a really good approach for persons with addiction problems.