The third Thursday of November is one of several dates during the year that advocates encourage tobacco cessation - in all forms. Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death, yet addiction to it is one of the hardest to break.
For the behavioral health field, cessation is equally desirable and challenging. Smoking rates have declined for most populations, but not for people with mental illness and addiction disorders. Some studies have shown that tobacco use is 94 percent higher in this population compared with persons that who don't have those disorders.
Here are some resources to help professionals tackle this important issue.
A message from ...
an expert in the field Dr. Carlo DiClemente is professor of psychology and director of The Habits Lab at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County (see sidebar). He has written and co-authored several books, as well as numerous articles and book chapters about the stages of change.
Stages and Tasks of Recovery
Many clinicians use the stages of change to make concrete motivational steps involved in cessation or modification of an addictive behavior. Sometimes they are used as ways to label people (Precontemplator, Contemplator). Although we have used these terms in some of our writings, I want to share my most recent thoughts about using the stages. Stages are not boxes to put people into or labels that denote a trait of the individual. They are dynamic categories, and most importantly represent a series of tasks that one needs to accomplish to move forward through the process of change. As such, they represent states and not traits so we should use terms like an individual in Precontemplation or Contemplation rather than Precontemplator or Contemplator to reflect the transitory nature of the stage status. If you watch a skilled clinician use motivational approaches in a brief intervention, you can often see an individual move from precontemplation to contemplation in a 15 to 20-minute interview. So movement through the stages is variable.