Joseph Rizzo, MA, TLLP
Lead Counselor & Outpatient Director, Mariners Inn
Foster Motivation and Encouragement
Helping someone achieve recovery is a process that is predicated on the individuality of the client. In most cases, the individual needs to have an internal motivation to obtain his or her own sobriety. Thus it can be difficult for others to assist a person in obtaining their own sobriety.
However, within the realm of recovery many would agree that one of the main challenges is providing an environment that is both supporting and challenging. Those who struggle with addiction tend to isolate themselves from others in an effort to continue engaging in behaviors that are toxic towards their wellbeing. Encouraging individuals struggling with addiction to become connected to others is a crucial component in early stages of recovery as well as to promote long-term sobriety.
Connection can come in the form of support groups (Narcotics Anonymous, ALANO, etc.), residential inpatient services, intensive outpatient services, religious services/organizations, community outreach centers, and/or hospital programs. Essentially, the goal is to help the person build a support system that is based in healthy interpersonal relationships which promote a more holistic view of the individual. It has been widely documented that individuals suffering from addiction tend to have decreased levels of self-worth, self-awareness, and fractured identities due to the multitude of issues that arise out or from the use of illicit substances.
In order to assist the client with their recovery, one would do well to promote and encourage a greater understanding into the nature of the self and how the self relates to the various contextual or environmental factors that exist within a given society. This understanding can be gained by way of the above-mentioned means in an effort to normalize the negative emotional, cognitive, or behavioral aspects of addiction.
Just Be There
When a person who is struggling with addiction begins to realize that he or she is not alone in this world, a shift in cognitive processing tends to take place. Within that change, one may be more open to suggestions and begin addressing the various issues that have contributed to or exacerbated their addiction. It is the general consensus of the recovery community that in order to main sobriety, one must first understand what purpose the drug use was serving. Once that is established, the real healing (recovery) can begin.
About Mariners Inn:
Serving Southeast Michigan since 1925, Mariners Inn has become a nationally acclaimed treatment center focused on alleviating the problems of homelessness and substance abuse. Mariners Inn provides social services to reintegrate men struggling with substance abuse and homelessness back into society so they go on to lead healthy, independent lives and enrich their communities. Mariners Inn also provides services to families and individuals affected by a loved one’s substance abuse.
Mariners Inn’s annual River Rhythm Gala is to be held Friday, November 6 at Detroit’s MotorCity Casino. All proceeds will directly benefit the mission of Mariners Inn. For more information about the event, sponsorship opportunities or to register, contact Stephanie Maurice at 313-962-9446 (ext. 230) or visit www.marinersinn.org/events/river-rhythm