Mental illness and substance use disorders are chronic medical conditions needing lifelong attention and treatment. Both require major lifestyle changes and, as with diabetes, hypertension, and asthma, compliance to treatment may wax and wane. At WestBridge, we base our treatment on the Stages of Change Model.
Most of our participants come to us unaware of how deeply their dual disorders negatively affect them or their families and therefore may have no intention of changing their behavior.
People may be ambivalent about accepting that they have a dual disorder. When people are in the Precontemplation and Contemplation stages they may not agree to make life changes such as taking prescribed medications or refrain from using substances.
This is normal behavior and people DO NOT relapse during these stages as they have not yet made a decision to treat their illnesses. We target treatment interventions that will resolve ambivalence and enable people to decide to be healthy and live productive lives.
Families may become frustrated, disappointed, or feel that treatment is not working because their family member is not taking medication or staying sober. Because the family is in the Action Stage of change and the family member is not, conflict and disappointment are common during this stage.
Once people decide to take medications, become sober, lose weight, etc. They need to develop new coping skills, social activities and other lifestyle changes.
Once a person is prepared to make a change they can begin actively modifying their behavior and making the necessary life changes in their recovery journey. This may include taking medication, not abusing substances, and staying active with new hobbies identified during the Preparation stage.
During the Preparation and Action stages some people may relapse, which we at WestBridge use as a learning opportunity to help the participant and the family get to a new level of recovery.
The person will have made positive changes in their life during the action stage and maintained them as a part of their journey of recovery. Treatment of chronic illnesses is effective, but it takes time, patience, and hope. Our rallying cry at WestBridge is, “Recovery is a marathon, not a sprint!”
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Call WestBridge Today 1.877.461.7711.