Addiction is a dangerous condition that destroys an individual and their life. Dealing with such condition requires patience, time, finances, most importantly unconditional love and support.
Recognizing the symptoms of addiction is the first step to initiating a substance abuse intervention. Many family members are unaware whether their loved ones are abusing drugs. Communicating with this person on such fragile topic can be very difficult. They will often lie to cover the true extent of their use. At a difficult time like this many family members rely on their feelings and other warning signs that show their loved one is abusing substances. Sometimes, the abuse turns into an addiction and the signs are apparent.
Substance abuse intervention is not suitable for every family, but it’s definitely worth the try. Numbers show that in 80% of the cases, the intervention shows success and people admit having a problem and agree to seek help. However, remember that intervention is just the initial step to raise awareness at the addicts’ mind and persuade them to accept that they have a problem.
1. What is an Intervention
An intervention is a face to face gathering of family members, employers, and other close friends – guided by specialists – that offers an opportunity for the person to see the real situation, make changes, and seek treatment.
People that struggle with substance abuse are often in denial and refuse to seek treatment. Intervention might look like a confrontation, but it’s more than that. It’s an eye-opening process that informs the person of the extent of abuse and the consequences of their behavior.
To the addict, it might seem like an attack, but when done properly – with professional advice, without judgment or preaching – substance abuse intervention can be effective. The negative behavior of the individual should be addressed at the point of the intervention and suitable treatment options should be suggested.
2. The Goals of Substance Abuse Intervention
In most cases, intervention should take place when the individual becomes addicted to substances. Therefore, it is critical to address the situation before the one’s involvement in substances becomes deeper. Early intervention is the best option.
Substance abuse intervention supports, educates, and influences the loved one to accept the current condition, stop the denial and look for treatment.
3. Keys to Planning a Successful Intervention
The high success rate of substance abuse intervention is a result of professional guidance. After accessing the situation, specialists will make a plan, advise and prepare you for the possible outcomes. You will be relieved to understand the situation on a profound level and to see the viewpoint of a professional. It is important to know what the right questions to ask are, the right things to say, who are the right people to invite, and what issues to address during the meeting.
You can expect any possible reaction – from anger to tears – and it’s crucial to be prepared. A professional interventionist will judge the situation based on the issues and addictive behavior. Having an interventionist will help the addicts loosen their wall and make them realize they need help. Include the professional in every step of the way and advice on the best treatment approach. If the person does agree to go to rehab, an evaluation will proceed, but for complicated cases, an inpatient rehab is the best approach. Especially when the person is showing signs or has been dealing with mental issues.
Do your research and make a plan
You can’t start an intervention if you are unsure whether your loved one is addicted. After finding out, or deciding to listen to your intuition, you need to prepare. You might worsen the situation if the intervention is poorly planned. Some of your family members can propose a plan that will include all necessary information, possible outcomes, and possible treatment programs. Prepare on what you’ll say, the way you’ll say it, and think about how it will affect the addicted loved one.
Research will allow you to understand the problem and seek for a suitable approach. Consult an interventionist to prepare the plan that will be successful and make the person to seek help. You can even write notes about the things you want to say. Involve as many important people as you can – the goal is for the addicts to see they are not alone. They need to know there are people that care, that love them, and that will be there no matter the outcome.
Encourage the person to attend treatment. Talk about your feelings and compare the behavior of the person as an addict and ow much of a change you see. Remember to express love. Organize a meeting with all the people planned to participate and plan everything to details. Pick a time and place, and choose a location that is private and comfortable. It is important to plan all the outcomes and expect every possible one. Invite the person to the location, but don’t discover the plans of an intervention. If you decide to consult a specialist, you will have to arrange all of this with them as well. Inviting an interventionist will make you feel safe and offer you much-needed help that will come from someone that knows how you should approach the situation.
4. What to Expect?
It is normal to expect a defensive behavior from the addict. You need to be patient. It is not their fault for reacting that way. Usually, they don’t see the problem with their abuse. An intervention is supposed to break that denial. Therefore, expect false promises. Expect postponing of treatment and more lies. Do not fall for that. The intervention is all about today, so refuse all reasons for skipping treatment. Stay calm if your loved one shows violent behavior and continuously show that you care.
There are two main outcomes from intervention. The first is positive – the person will start accepting the situation and will agree to treatment. The second is negative – the person will refuse the existence of such problem and won’t accept treatment.
When done with a specialist, the success rate is higher than 90%. There are chances that the intervention fail, but afterward many people come to seek help. One of the most important things to remember is that a successful intervention doesn’t mean your loved one’s treatment will be a success as well. Substance abuse intervention is just the initial step towards recovery.
For more information please call our Addiction Treatment Helpline at (844) 439-4765. This is a Free and completely confidential call. We are available 24/7. In many cases, your health insurance company will cover 100% of the treatment cost. So please call now.