If you have a loved one struggling with an addiction to alcohol or drugs, an intervention may be a tool used to get them motivated to seek help on the recovery path. It’s a tool that can help everyone express their feelings and perhaps get your loved one to own up to the addiction and accept treatment.
No doubt many people struggling with addiction spend a good bit of time in denial. Everyone but the person over-using alcohol or drugs may blatantly see the addiction and/or self-destructive behaviours. In some cases, staging an intervention is the best way to get a loved one to accept help and attend rehab. It allows for a structured opportunity for everyone to have a heart-to-heart about what’s going on.
An intervention is a process that’s planned by loved ones and a professional interventionist to get someone in active addiction to voluntarily commit themselves to a treatment program. Normally, the person addicted to alcohol or drugs doesn’t quite realize the damage they are doing to themselves or the problems they may be causing family and friends. A basic intervention will be planned by an interventionist, family, or friends to try to help the person see that they indeed have a problem with alcohol or drugs.
Interventions are planned out by professional interventionists who have a great deal of experience working with substance abuse. Typically, a concerned family member or friend will go to an interventionist and state what has been going on concerning the person who is abusing alcohol or drugs. The interventionist will then develop an intervention plan and include the family’s participation in it.
Before the loved one is confronted, family and friends closest to them will write a letter stating how their behaviour has affected them in a negative way. Specific examples may be given, as well as some encouraging words gearing them toward accepting treatment. Concerned family members will also spell out exactly what they will or won’t do if the person declines treatment. These letters are read during a group meeting between the family, the interventionist, and the loved one.
It is usually an emotional time during the reading of the letters. For some members, it will be the first time their true feelings are being shared with the person struggling with addiction. It is a chance for the truth to come out for each person that has been affected by the loved one’s choices. It’s also a chance for the addicted loved one to sit and listen to how their behaviour has affected others in a negative way.
At some point during an intervention, the interventionist may address dysfunctional family dynamics. Sometimes those closest to the addicted person may be blind as to how they enable them or how their behaviours have contributed to the issue at hand. Everyone in the family may benefit from hearing tools and techniques as to how to best support the person struggling with addiction.
The goal of the intervention is to get a struggling person to commit to treatment on the day of the intervention. It is important that this happens on the same day as the intervention because if they are given time, the chances of them changing their minds increase significantly.
If your loved one is struggling with addiction, you’ll want to consult with an expert in the addiction recovery field. Be sure that they are licensed as alcohol or drug therapist or qualified interventionist. They’ll likely be able to guide you through the whole process and follow up with you and your loved one down the road.
When an intervention is successful and your loved one agrees to go to a treatment program, the effectiveness of the intervention depends on what occurs there. There are many factors involved in recovery, such as willingness to do what it takes to stay clean, learning to cope with negative emotions that arise, whether or not there is a mental health disorder, and commitment to long-term recovery.
When your loved one stops using drugs, they will need a support network and oftentimes a 12-step program to learn how to live life without using drugs. Many interventions have been successful, with men and women attending a treatment program and committing to a life of recovery. Some are not successful, as not every person is ready to accept their addiction or do the necessary inner healing work for long-term sobriety.
It’s not always easy to know when an intervention should be done. Your loved one may be addicted to alcohol or drugs, but they may or may not be ready to accept help or commit to treatment. If you’ve already had serious heart-to-heart conversations with your loved one about the addictive behaviour and they’re still actively abusing the substance, it won’t hurt to consult an interventionist to get their professional opinion.
If your loved one is engaging in self-destructive or reckless behaviour, or you’re concerned about the safety of those around them, then staging an intervention is recommended. It’s tough to say how your loved one will react, but better to move forward with an intervention plan than risk something serious happening.
You may wonder what to do if your loved one refuses treatment. Unfortunately, there’s not a lot you can do. Be sure you emotionally prepare for such a scenario and continue to live your life. Refuse to enable it any longer and if you need support, be sure to get it. There are various support groups for loved ones of those struggling with addiction, such as Al-Anon or Nar-Anon.
Want to learn more about the addiction treatment process? Give us a call today. We’d be glad to answer your questions.