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Persuasion of substance misuse

Persuasion of substance misuse

In this stage the aim is to persuade the client that change would be desirable. Motivational interviewing (MI) is the key intervention. The five principles of MI are to: express empathy, develop discrepancy, avoid argumentation, roll with resistance, and support self-efficacy. Specific techniques that might be used to develop discrepancy and nudge the person towards a decision to change include:

•education about substances and the potential problems which they may cause;

•re-framing past events and considering the role substance misuse may have had (for example, the possibility that a deterioration in mental state was triggered by substance misuse);

•feeding back objective test results (for example, liver function tests); and

•completing decision matrices.

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