I meet many people in my job, some of these people are stuck in a cycle of addiction. i often try to relate to them and think of ways in which they can break this cycle. Its taken me quite sometime to realise that without them having the correct motivation to change, i am wasting my time.
I constantly come up with ideas and ways to both engage and motivate people as its both constructive and meaningful. We have to provide as much support as we possibly can. Finding the correct level of support is difficult.
The only person who can truly break the cycle is the person stuck within it. its kind of like the person is stuck inside a bubble made of toughened glass, you can hit it with a hammer from the outside as hard and as often as you like, but you wont crack it. However a couple of taps from the inside could smash it to bits. The key is how you go about sneaking the person a hammer into the bubble!
I do find it frustrating when people seem to give up all hope of making a change. I’ve recently been asked by a National Newspaper to help write a piece about legal highs and the use of these drugs within the homeless community, i sat in my office today while one of the service users chatted on the phone to the journalist and talked to them at length about Spice and what it is like to use it every day. The only criticism the service user had was that it costs £10 a gram and that he uses 3 grams a day. “its not strong enough and its too expensive” “yeah its put me in hospital a few times, but you wake up after an hour or so and you’re fine and ready for another smoke” now trying to sneak this person a hammer right now is like platting fog, its just not going to happen. But we will be there hammer at the ready when this person becomes open to change.
Providing support, guidance and opportunity to people once they have began that journey of tackling an addiction is so important, but that support must be at the right level, get the mix wrong and you might well find your client back to square one. This i have come to learn is relevant to most areas of support work. Finding the correct level of support for each and every person is ultimately whats going to make or break that person.