Among those who are involved in implementing rehabilitative treatment for addiction, it’s often said that the easiest part of the recovery process is actually completing a treatment program. By comparison, reaching the point of being willing to accept help for addiction is a much more difficult step in the journey. In fact, many individuals who suffer from alcohol and drug addiction don’t realize the full extent or severity of their substance abuse problems. For this reason, it’s often necessary for these individuals’ loved ones to stage interventions. At this point, we want to take a moment to help you learn more about what an intervention is and how it can help you and your loved one.
What is an Intervention?
When you have a loved one who suffers from addiction, it’s difficult not to feel a sense of helplessness. Even when we know we’re not the reasons for their addictions, there’s a tendency to feel a sense of responsibility or obligation, almost like we’re complicit in the individual’s deterioration if we don’t somehow intervene.
Fortunately, while there’s no way to cure an addict of his or her addiction or even to force him or her into recovery, there’s a way to strongly encourage an addict to seek treatment by confronting him or her — in a non-aggressive way, of course — with the diverse effects his or her addiction has had, not just on the individual but also the people around him or her.
A drug addiction intervention is, by definition, a non-aggressive confrontation between a someone addicted to drugs and his or her closest family, friends, and other loved ones. During this event, the addict’s loved ones typically take turns addressing the addict to explain how they’ve each been personally affected by the individual’s addiction, how it’s felt to bear witness to the individual’s deterioration, and to encourage the individual to seek treatment.
Knowing When an Intervention in Needed
For those who have an addicted loved one, hope is not lost. Research tends to disagree on the precise success rate of drug interventions, but it’s estimated that the outcome of an intervention is an individual accepting help by enrolling in a recovery program approximately 90 percent of the time. For this reason, an intervention can be a great solution for families and loved ones who have insofar been unable to convince someone suffering from drug addiction to seek treatment.
As mentioned above, a drug intervention is a non-aggressive confrontation that the loved ones of an addict organize in the hope of encouraging the addict to begin treatment. However, due to the fact that interventions are seen as a type of confrontation, drug interventions are often considered a last resort and are used when an addict’s loved ones can no longer watch as the individual continues to deteriorate in terms of health and behavior. In other words, they’re seen as a last-ditch attempt to mitigate an individual’s downward spiral. It’s often said that treatment is for the addict, but interventions are for the addict’s loved ones as it’s the most proactive action they can take to help a drug addict recover.
Staging Successful Substance Abuse Interventions
There’s actually a lot of leeway when it comes to staging an addiction intervention as long as you cover the key components, which are: having the individual’s family and friends in attendance, having a private place in which to host the event, having the addict him or herself in attendance, and having ample time for the intervention. There’s also the option of having a professional interventionist help host the intervention. Although not required, an interventionist — or intervention specialist, as they’re sometimes called — can be immensely helpful as they can guide the discussion, ensure that everyone remains respectful, and otherwise help to make the intervention as effective as possible.
There are a few steps involved when it comes to staging an addiction intervention. The first would be to coordinate with the addict’s loved ones to choose a time and place that works for all parties involved. And remember that it must be a time that works for the addict, too. Also, all those who will be attending the intervention should take some time to think about what they want to say. Even just making a few notes on an index card can be helpful, but some people prefer to write letters that they can read aloud during the intervention; either way, this level of preparation helps people to make sure they say everything they want to say during the intervention. After all, this is a very emotional time, so without writing down notes or having a reference of some sort it’s likely that a person would forget certain things.
As well, it’s a good idea to make tentative treatment plans for the individual suffering from addiction. Since you can’t be certain whether or not an intervention will truly be a success, you may not want to go so far as paying for a treatment program or making a commitment; however, it would be a good idea to have one or two programs (at one treatment center or different centers) tentatively selected. If the intervention is successful, this will minimize the amount of time the addict would have to wait before actually beginning treatment. It’s a good idea to make sure the addict can start treatment as soon as possible if the intervention is successful because a lapse of time would allow the individual to change his or her mind. When preparations have already been made, the addict can quickly begin treatment very soon after the intervention.
Finally, it’s very important to approach the intervention with as calm and collected a demeanor as possible. Aggression, anger, and accusations could cause the addict to become withdrawn and un participative, which would render the intervention pointless. Although the addict will mostly be listening to loved ones speak during the intervention, aggression and accusations could cause the addict to leave or refuse help. Instead, you should always address the addict from a place of respect, love, concern, and support. Try to be understanding of the addict’s perspective while also expressing concern for how the individual’s addiction has affected him or her and others.
Tampa Drug and Alcohol Interventions
At Coalition Recovery, we know how difficult it can be to have a loved one who suffers from alcoholism or drug addiction because many of us have been in your shoes ourselves. As such, we have taken it upon ourselves to be a prominent resource for those looking to stage drug and alcohol interventions in Tampa. If you would like to learn more about staging successful drug and alcohol abuse interventions, or to learn more about the numerous recovery-related resources we provide, call Coalition Recovery today and take the first step toward a new life for you or your loved one.