Young addicts do want to break the habit

Young people with an unhealthy addiction want to recover and are willing to make the changes needed in order to be successful in their aims. This is the finding of new research published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, which showed the assistance received during treatment is what helps to sustain these alterations.

A collaborative effort between the Center for Addiction Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School and the Butler Center for Research at Hazelden - a substance abuse organisation founded in 1949 - the study revealed the confidence and know-how to overcome such conditions derives from the treatment experience itself.

According to the investigation, people entering these programmes have high levels of motivation but do not display the same amount of self-efficacy and coping skills.

Valerie Slaymaker of the Butler Center for Research at Hazelden, said: "Treatment appears to work by increasing their confidence and ability to make and sustain healthy, recovery-related efforts."

Dr Derek Lee, a Chartered Psychologist, commented: "These findings demonstrate how important it is to have services that directly address the psychological substrates of addiction. 

"Self-efficacy is a critical foundation upon which clients can be encouraged to make important changes in the way they think and behave in relation to their addictions. 

"It is a cornerstone of motivational interviewing. Skills-based interventions recognise that it is not just about giving young people the tools they need to make changes - we have to give them the confidence to use the tools effectively."