Those with substance use disorder navigate through life at a different pace from others due to their addiction. Their brain prioritizes acquiring and consuming the substance it requires, even though many who use drugs only do so to withstand feeling sick from withdrawals and rarely enjoy any “favorable effects” that it once delivered. Ultimately, many people who fall into addiction have found themselves in their position due to using drugs to cope with stress or trauma, leading them to more significant problems down the line. This routine and dependency can make recovery very difficult, especially for people who have grappled with addiction and untreated mental illness for a long time. It requires much more than motivation or the ability to simply stop using.
Considering the chronic, lasting effects of substance use disorder, many in recovery look back and wonder what they could have done differently and values they can instill in their children and loved ones to help steer them away from substance misuse. While some genetic and environmental factors are impossible to change, some principles and beliefs can help those most vulnerable, starting with the concept of self-efficacy.
Pioneered by psychologist Albert Bandura in 1977, the philosophy of self-efficacy is defined as “people’s beliefs in their efficacy to influence events that affect their lives” and stating that it’s “the foundation of human inspiration, motivation, performance accomplishments, and emotional well-being.” Ultimately, Bandura believed that “unless people believe they can produce desired effects by their actions, they have little incentive to undertake activities or to persevere in the face of difficulties.”
In terms of addiction, Bandura’s notion is very applicable. People who believe in themselves and have the self-determination to achieve what they want are likely to succeed. This, of course, doesn’t mean that they have to do it alone without any external help, but that those who entirely rely on others to reach their objective (in this case, recovery) will often fail due to a lack of self-efficacy. With medication-assisted treatment, patients who put forth efforts to work on themselves and attend substance use counseling are more likely to succeed than those who solely rely on medication to keep them in recovery long-term.
One of the goals of any comprehensive medication-assisted treatment program is providing substance use counseling that helps patients with the mental health aspects of healing. By promoting optimism, self-praise and reward for achievements and milestones, and pursuing hobbies and interests that add to self-improvement, counselors and patients maintain a vital foundation for long-lasting recovery. Promoting self-efficacy can help those in recovery stay on their journey while also encouraging others to subscribe to uplifting and self-motivating beliefs, especially their at-risk children.
Substance use disorder is a chronic condition that can be treated, and the work patients put towards overcoming obstacles help them to persevere throughout the rest of their lives. Self-efficacy is just one of the many important values learned through outpatient treatment programs available to anyone struggling with addiction. Specialized medical providers, nurses, and counselors at Middlesex encourage patients to accomplish their goals in treatment with the help of evidence-based methods in a private and comfortable office setting. Message or call the nearest Middlesex location today to learn more.