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A functional analysis is a technique that can help you to understand your stimulant use so that you can engage in problem-solving solutions that will reduce the probability of future stimulant use. It allows you to identify the immediate causes of your stimulant use. A functional analysis is a method that helps you examine three aspects of your stimulant use: In general, triggers are those circumstances, situations, people, locations, thoughts, and feelings that increase the likelihood that you will use stimulants.

They do not force you to use stimulants, but they increase the likelihood that you will use them. When you encounter a trigger, you typically respond with certain thoughts and feelings regarding the immediate consequences of using stimulants, such as feeling better, having fun, or forgetting about troubles. You may think about the steps that you need to take to obtain and use stimulants. Once you are exposed to triggers, and after you start having thoughts and feelings about stimulants, you engage in certain behaviors.

One of those behaviors is using stimulants. However, through treatment, your stimulant use can be replaced with alternate coping behaviors. Almost immediately after using stimulants, you experience positive, strongly reinforcing consequences. Some of the positive consequences include feeling euphoric, having more energy, feeling more sexual, forgetting negative events or feelings, not feeling sadness or depression, or not feeling emotional pain.

These positive consequences are generally immediate and short-term. Some of the negative consequences are experienced during or shortly after stimulant use episodes, such as spending too much money, engaging in high-risk sexual behavior, irritating or injuring others, or missing work or school. Many of the negative consequences are delayed or take a while to develop, such as damage to family and social relations, financial health, emotional health, physical health, educational goals, vocational stability, and legal status.

This worksheet will help you to identify the circumstances, situations, people, locations, thoughts, and feelings that increase the likelihood that you will use stimulants. On the Functional Analysis Worksheet , in the column titled "Your behavior," briefly describe an example in which you recently used stimulants. Think about what you were doing immediately prior to this episode of stimulant use.

Can you remember who you were with, what you were doing, or the time of day? Place these in the "Trigger" column. Immediately prior to using stimulants during this episode, what were you thinking about? Do you remember what you were feeling? Place whatever thoughts and feelings that you can remember in the "Feelings and thoughts" column. What happened immediately after you used the stimulants? How did your mood change? Did you feel euphoric or powerful? Did you feel that you had more energy or power than normal? Did you feel happy or not as depressed as before?

Did you stop feeling bad about something? What have been the long-term consequences of this and other episodes of stimulant use?

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How has it affected your relationships with friends? How has it affected your family? How has it affected your work or school situation? How has it affected your financial situation? How has it affected your emotional health? How has it affected your physical health? Describe another example of a relatively recent episode of stimulant use.


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Repeat all the steps as before. You can learn to stop using stimulants. Other people with stimulant problems have been able to learn how to stop using stimulants. It is important to begin thinking of your stimulant use as something you have learned to do. It is a learned habit.

Learning how to stop using stimulants does not require that you understand exactly how your stimulant problem began. Blaming other persons, events, or circumstances does not help you learn how to stop. But what is effective is learning that your stimulant abuse is a problem that you can do something about. One goal of this treatment program is to help you learn how to stop using stimulants and other drugs. Another equally important goal is to help you learn how to live a drug-free lifestyle.

You will obtain the most benefit from treatment if we can help you stop your stimulant use so that we can focus on helping you make other lifestyle changes that will promote long-term abstinence from stimulants. Mistakes are preventable and should be prevented. If you use stimulants during treatment, you should not view it as failure. Rather, such incidents can be used to help you learn more about your stimulant use so that you can more effectively learn to stop using completely.

However, it does not give you permission to use stimulants. You must learn to work on these new skills between treatment sessions. Learning and practicing new skills and behaviors is necessary. Talking about making changes is not sufficient to deal with high-risk situations. Rather, you learn by practice. By now, you have identified several of your triggers. You can organize them into categories, such as high-risk places, people, times of the day, activities, and feelings.

This helps you to see that certain triggers are external and exist primarily in your environment such as places and some are internal , such as feelings and thoughts. Different triggers require different responses. Some triggers, such as certain high-risk places and people, can be avoided.

This can involve taking alternate ways home so that you don't pass by your stimulant dealer's house, or not passing by bars and clubs that you frequently went to in the past. Although you don't have complete control over your entire environment, you have a lot of control over much of it, such as in your home. You can rid your home of stimulants, drug-using paraphernalia, and dealers' phone numbers.

You can stop carrying cash, especially when you know that you will be passing by high-risk places. You cannot avoid certain triggers. If cash or a certain family member is a trigger for you, it will not always be feasible to avoid these triggers. Thus, you must learn to prepare to encounter such triggers by developing new strategies or plans to help you to not use stimulants in such situations such as calling your spouse after handling cash.

For each worksheet, you will address one trigger. Engage in the following steps. Select a specific trigger that you need to address. It should be a trigger that you are likely to encounter before the next session. Write this down in the "Trigger" column. Think about the different ways in which you can deal with this trigger. Can you avoid the trigger? Can you rearrange your environment so that you don't have to encounter the trigger?

Is there some new coping strategy that you can engage in the event that you do encounter the trigger? Write these down in the "Plans" column. You may have several plans for each trigger. Working with your counselor, consider the overall effects or consequences of each plan. Write these down in the "Positive and Negative Consequences" column. How hard will it be to carry out each plan? With "1" being the least difficult, and "10" being the most difficult, write down the level of difficulty in the "Difficulty" column. Select a plan that seems to be reasonable.

Working with your counselor, engage in role-playing exercises and practice engaging in this action plan. Working with your counselor, you should repeat the above steps for at least three triggers in this session, and identify three additional triggers to work on before the next session. This scale is intended to estimate your current happiness with your relationship in each of the ten areas listed below.

Ask yourself the following question as you rate each area: How happy am I with my partner today in this area? Then circle the number that applies. Remember, you are indicating your current happiness. That is, it represents how you feel today. Also, do not let your feelings in one area influence the rating in another area. It is easy for partners to take each other for granted, especially when stimulant use is part of the relationship.

This worksheet is a way to help remind you that there are some simple and effective things that you can do to help reverse certain negative behaviors that may have become habitual in your relationship. This worksheet can help to remind you to do a few nice things for your partner and to record how often you actually engage in these behaviors. In each area listed below, write down the activities that would exist in what would be an ideal relationship for you. Be brief, specific, and positive about what you would like to occur. Regarding "household responsibilities," I would like my partner to: Regarding "child-rearing," I would like my partner to: Regarding "social activities," I would like my partner to: Regarding "independence," I would like my partner to: Regarding "personal habits," I would like my partner to: Regarding "managing money," I would like my partner to: If you or your partner wants the other to make changes, the most effective way to accomplish this is by using positive communication.

This is more effective and more pleasant than by negative communication, such as making demands, nagging the other person, or trying to order the other person to do something. Engaging in positive communication is a skill, and it can be learned. It also takes practice. In the beginning, it may seem unnatural, but as you practice and incorporate it into your daily lives, it becomes natural.

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The ways in which requests are made can be pleasant and will increase the likelihood that the requests will be fulfilled. Don't be greedy, but don't be shy. Think about what would make you really happy. If it seems reasonable, ask for it. Try to take the other person's point of view and understand how he or she feels. The other person may not recognize what you feel you need. The other person may not even realize that you are unhappy.

When appropriate, accept partial responsibility regarding the current situation. You may never have expressed how important a specific situation is to you. Similarly, you may be equally responsible for the way a specific situation has evolved. For example, you may want your partner to become more involved in the children's homework. You may want to remind your partner that you have never expressed how important it is to you that both of you should help the kids with their homework.

Also, you may want to state to your partner that you recognize that you haven't been spending sufficient time helping the kids with their homework, either. Because you are going to be asking your partner to do things that will make you happy, you should be willing to do the same for your partner. Things will not always be black or white. There are times when it is best to compromise. Be willing to compromise so that both partners have something to gain.

This contract is designed to assist you in achieving and maintaining positive changes in your relationship. During treatment, you will be asked to develop several of these contracts which will document reciprocal changes requested by you and your partner. By making a public commitment and placing it in writing, you are actively taking steps toward achieving and maintaining positive changes in your relationship.

This contract will continue throughout treatment unless a new contract is substituted or until one or both of the parties decides to terminate his or her participation.


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When talking to your partner, use the same courteous words and tone you would use with a stranger or a coworker. Let your partner know what you like about the things that he or she has done. Focus on successes as much as on things that are not going well. Without being asked or without a special reason, do something that your partner would like or find special. Also, do it without expecting something in return.

Ask yourself whether or not something is worth complaining about. Express complaints only about things that matter. Choose settings and times that are conducive to a positive discussion. Don't do it when either of you is angry or doesn't have time. What are you trying to achieve? What are you looking for? Why do you want these changes?

Are they reasonable or achievable? Focus on one thing at a time. Have a specific example of the problem. Be prepared to tell your partner precisely what you would like him or her to do differently. Stay focused, and don't bring up other problems. In a positive way, tell your partner what is bothering you and what you would like to see changed. Avoid criticisms, put-downs, and assumptions about motives.

Be prepared to discuss solutions that work for both of you. Don't declare ultimatums or dismiss your partner's ideas. Disagreements are normal aspects of relationships, even healthy ones. People in relationships will not always agree on everything. Very often, what people characterize as disagreements are in fact examples of miscommunication or poor communication. Miscommunications happen when the message that you are trying to send to your partner provokes a response that you did not expect or intend for him or her to have. Miscommunications often result from not expressing yourself clearly, specifically, or completely.

Don't assume that you know what your partner does or does not know. Provide reasons why you are complaining or making a request. You may have conveyed a message that you did not intend by not saying what you really meant, leaving out information, or by providing nonverbal messages inconsistent with the verbal message. People can argue and fight because communication skills used in this approach are not being followed. For example, when people don't remain focused on a topic, when they try to bring up issues when angry or at inappropriate times, or when they are overly critical, a discussion can easily get out of control and become a fight or an argument.

Client Worksheet 1

The first step of gaining control of fighting and arguing behavior is to recognize your pattern of fighting. Fights can be thought of as bringing up issues without discussion or resolution. You can make lists of the types of situations that typically result in fights with your partner. Some couples rarely argue but avoid conflict by never talking about important issues.

In such situations, one partner typically gives in all of the time or both become adept at ignoring issues when they arise. This avoidant style of communication usually results in one or both partners feeling resentful, unloved, not cared for, or unimportant.

It is important to develop communication skills that help you to recognize the issues that are important to both of you and to communicate requests and complaints at appropriate times. Some of the clues that avoidance may be a problem in your relationship are: It is important to engage in active listening to your partner. Active listening involves trying to completely understand what your partner is trying to communicate, specifically understanding what your partner wants and what your partner is feeling. When you think that you understand what your partner is trying to communicate, you can summarize what you think he or she is communicating and ask if you understand it correctly.

You can ask your partner to explain it in more detail, or to provide examples, or ask him or her to explain it differently. You can ask what your partner is specifically feeling right now. It is important for you to let your partner feel that you can understand how and why he or she might feel the way that he or she is feeling. That is, you can communicate to your partner that his or her feelings make sense. You may not necessarily agree with your partner, but you can convey to your partner that you understand his or her point of view. This is an important way for you to communicate the message that you care about your partner and you care about the way that your partner feels.

If you are angry and cannot validate your partner's feelings at the moment, you can request a short break, cool off for a few moments, and return when you can do so. When you listen poorly, you can convey messages to your partner that will interfere with good communication. Poor listening conveys to your partner such messages as 1 I am not interested in your opinions or feelings; 2 Your feelings are silly; 3 You are foolish to have these feelings; 4 Your feelings don't deserve my attention; 5 My opinions and feelings are more important than yours; 6 My opinions and feelings are more reasonable than yours.

Self-summarizing involves the continual restatement of a position over and over during a discussion. Cross-complaining occurs when the complaint of one partner is met by a complaint by the other rather than trying to solve the original problem. Mind-reading occurs when issues are avoided by one partner feeling and acting as if he or she knows how the other partner feels or what the other would like to do. This results in the second partner feeling unimportant, left out of decisions, and resentful.

Yes-butting involves one partner responding to the other with a series of "Yes, but This sends the message that you don't want to change or meet your partner's needs or to understand your partner's point of view. Character assassination involves making requests or comments that attack your partner's whole self, rather than specific problem behaviors or areas for change. The complaining rut describes a pattern of communication characterized by continual complaints without suggestions for change or alternatives and without noting positive behavior changes.

Turn recording back on. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Examples of Recreational and Leisure Activities. Sample Behavioral Contract for Stimulant Abstinence. Preparing To Conduct a Functional Analysis: Important Points To Consider. Client Worksheet 2 Identifying External Cues and Triggers Stimulant cues are those things in your life that remind you of stimulant use and can trigger drug hunger. View in own window People Drug dealers.

View in own window Places Neighborhoods. View in own window Events Meeting new people. View in own window Objects Paraphernalia. View in own window Behaviors and Activities Listening to certain music. Client Worksheet 3 Identifying Internal Triggers Stimulant cues can include certain feelings and emotions that can trigger drug hunger. View in own window "Negative" Feelings Feeling afraid. View in own window "Normal" Feelings Feeling bored. View in own window "Positive" Feelings Feel like celebrating. Typically, how do you want to feel immediately before using stimulants?

In the past few days, what were you feeling when you either used or wanted to use stimulants? Client Worksheet 4 Action Plan for Cues and Triggers Stimulant use becomes associated with certain people, places, activities, behaviors, and feelings. Do you have the feeling that an upcoming event or situation will become a trigger for stimulant cravings? If so, avoid the event or situation if possible!

Are you in a situation or at an event that is making you think about stimulants? Can you leave the situation? If you can, leave now! Are you stuck in a situation that is making you think about stimulants? If so, visualize a switch or lever in your mind. Imagine that you can move the lever from the "On" to the "Off" position and thereby turn off the drug thoughts. Have another picture ready to think about in place of the drug thoughts.

Were you just in a situation that made you think about stimulant use or that provoked stimulant cravings? If so, take action now! Call your Step sponsor, call your counselor or a sober friend, take a quick walk, do physical exercise, or engage in a relaxation exercise. Also, make plans to attend the next available Step meeting.

Imagine a situation during which you cannot leave but which makes you think about using stimulants. What specific steps would you take to stop having thoughts about stimulants? What would you do once you left the situation? Imagine that you just left a situation that made you think about using stimulants. You are now having thoughts about stimulant use and are feeling stimulant cravings. What specific steps would you take?

In the previous example, imagine that you are at work and you have stimulant thoughts and cravings. In the same example, imagine that it is 6: What steps would you take if it happened at Client Worksheet 5 Action Plan for Avoidance Strategies Stopping your stimulant use is more than simply having the desire and determination to stop. Getting rid of drugs and paraphernalia What drugs do you have left in your possession?

What paraphernalia did you use to prepare or use stimulants? What objects or things did you use when taking drugs such as pornographic magazines and videotapes, phone numbers of prostitutes? Do you have a non-using friend or family member who can help you to collect and throw these away? Can you arrange to do this today? Can you arrange to do it immediately prior to a counseling session or a Step meeting? Stopping contact with stimulant users With whom do you use stimulants?

From whom do you obtain stimulants? Do you have their phone numbers written down? Do you have their phone numbers programmed on your phone? What steps can you take to break contact with dealers and users? Do you have family members or lovers who use stimulants?

What are your plans to not use if they are still using? Avoiding high-risk areas What neighborhoods, streets, houses, or other locations are especially associated with obtaining or using stimulants? Do you encounter these during your daily routine, such as going to work or to the treatment program? Are there any ways that you can avoid these high-risk areas?

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What is your specific plan to avoid them? Being prepared for confrontations You will encounter people who will offer you drugs. What are some of the things that you can say to refuse these drugs and leave the situation? Client Worksheet 6 Feelings, Thoughts, and Behaviors When you use stimulants, things tend to get out of control.

Because you had to deal with intense feelings, such as shame or guilt, you may have shut down your emotions. You probably stopped talking about how you felt and stopped being concerned about how others felt. Because it was hard to face the fact that you were engaging in behaviors that you didn't really like, you may have developed ways of thinking that allowed you to believe that there was no problem or that the problem was someone else's.

You may have denied to yourself and to others that there was a problem, you may have minimized the extent of the problem, you may have developed some type of justification for the situation, or you may have blamed someone else. Because it was hard to listen to other people tell you that you had a problem, you may have learned to walk away and stop the discussion, blown up in anger, or intimidated others so that they wouldn't confront you.

Or you may have spent a lot of time alone so that no one would bother you. Relapsive Feelings, Thoughts, and Behaviors These types of feelings, thoughts, and behaviors are tools that you learned that helped you to survive while you were using stimulants. What are some of the ways in which you shut down your feelings? What are the benefits and risks associated with this? What can you do to change this?

What are some of the ways in which your thinking becomes distorted so that you don't have to face reality? What are some ways to help you avoid this? What are some of the behaviors that you engage in so that you can avoid difficult feelings or facing reality? What types of behaviors would be more healthy? Self-medicating your feelings When you feel depressed, angry, lonely, or scared, do you want to use stimulants? It just happened Do you ever believe the fantasy that you have no choice or that unexpected things just happen to you?

Blame it on something else Have you ever heard yourself blame another person or a situation for your own behavior? Client Worksheet 8 Delayed Stimulant Withdrawal Most people expect to experience several problems when they stop using stimulants. Are a normal part of recovery. View in own window Delayed Withdrawal Checklist The items listed below can be part of a delayed stimulant withdrawal. How many of them are you experiencing? Client Worksheet 9 What About Alcohol? Using alcohol masks your emotions and feelings and does not allow you to fully experience them In what ways have you used alcohol to diminish certain feelings, avoid certain feelings, or change the way that you feel?

Using alcohol can arouse stimulant cravings During the last few times that you had a drink, in what ways did drinking arouse cravings for stimulants? Using alcohol reduces your ability to resist stimulant cravings Describe some of the times that you thought you would enjoy having a drink but ended up experiencing cravings and urges for stimulants.

Using alcohol can lead to irresponsible and inappropriate behavior In what ways have you embarrassed yourself or experienced personality changes when using alcohol? Using alcohol keeps you in contact with people, places, and situations that trigger stimulant cravings In what ways has using alcohol kept you in contact with people, places, and situations associated with stimulant use? Client Worksheet 10 Action Plan for the Holidays Are you the kind of person who normally looks forward to and enjoys the holidays?

Times of celebration For many people, the holidays are a time of fun and family. Times of sadness For many people, the holidays are reminders of the problems in their lives. Alcohol and other drugs can be plentiful at holiday parties. What are the specific situations that you can expect to encounter this year? What happened last year? What specific steps can you take to address this problem? In what ways can the recovery-related routines of your life become disrupted during the holidays? What steps can you take to deal with this? During the holidays, do you have a lot of family members around?

If so, in what ways can your family members interfere with your recovery? What can you do to strengthen your recovery routines and perhaps involve your family members in them? If you don't have a lot of family members around during the holidays, how can that be a problem?

What steps can you take to strengthen your recovery routine during the holidays? Do the holidays represent to you times of intense activity or boring isolation? What can you do to help make the holidays as normal as possible? What kind of recovery-related activities can you plan to do? Client Worksheet 11 Evaluating Your Self-Efficacy Regarding Relapse An important lesson to be learned during recovery is to avoid high-risk situations whenever possible.

Describe a high-risk situation that you encountered since starting treatment. How did you handle the situation? How would you rate your ability to handle the situation? Were you unsure and fearful? Were you certain and confident? Were you somewhere in the middle? What do you wish you had done? What would you do if the same situation happened today? Do you feel that you have made some progress in learning to deal with high-risk situations? Students will examine the consequences of addiction on all facets of life. Students will commit to a healthy lifestyle Type: Problems associated with using the substance begin to appear; or, the substance such as medication is not being used as it was originally intended.

Alberta Health Services http: Royal Canadian Mounted Police www. Skip to content Skip to institutional links. Name that Drug Now, it's Your Choice This drug may slow down mental reactions and impair short-term memory, and emits a strong odor with use. The Collected Works of D.

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Treatments That Work Other. Overcoming Your Alcohol or Drug Problem: Effective Recovery Strategies, Workbook 2 ed. Don't have an account? Sign in via your Institution. Sign in with your library card. Disclaimer Oxford University Press makes no representation, express or implied, that the drug dosages in this book are correct. Sign in to annotate.