Motivational interviewing (MI) is an effective technique that can be used to change risky behaviors with adolescent patients, including substance abuse. In a recent study, MI was associated with significant reduction in rule-breaking behaviors by adolescents at a 6-month follow-up (Brown RA, J Substance Abuse Treat 2015;(59):20–29). Here are some basic elements of MI:
Providing advice: Ask-Tell-Ask
- What do you know about how drugs work in the brain?
- Is it alright if I share what we know from research?
- What do you think about the information I just talked about?
- Even though you aren’t getting along with your parents, you still have been helping out around the house and making it to school each day.
- I get the sense that this has been really hard for you, but you aren’t sure what to do.
- What is the best thing you can imagine coming from decreasing your drug use?
- On a scale of 1 to 10, how confident are you that you could decrease your drug use?
- What would make that number an X (increase number by 1–2 points)?
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