An intervention is a gathering of concerned family and friends, along with a professional interventionist, to help someone struggling with drug or alcohol addiction. The process involves using peer pressure to encourage the addict to seek treatment. During the intervention, family and friends outline how the addiction has harmed them and plead with the addict to get help. A certified interventionist is there to guide the family through the process and help them set consequences if the addict does not agree to treatment. This process is emotionally charged, but having a professional interventionist helps ensure the family is not taken advantage of by the addict’s emotions. The interventionist can also help the family find a treatment center and determine the right type of treatment for the addict. It is essential to have a treatment center ready before the intervention takes place to avoid the addict changing their mind or disappearing to abuse drugs or alcohol.
Hiring a professional interventionist is crucial to starting a successful intervention. Planning is key, and it’s important to schedule the intervention at a time when the addict is not likely to be high or stressed. The family’s message should be one of love and support, not shame. Short and to-the-point letters and communication are best. Arranging the treatment plan and payment methods in advance is essential, and consequences must be followed through if the addict refuses to get help. Finding the right treatment center before the intervention is also crucial to ensure the addict becomes sober and maintains sobriety after treatment. Effective rehabilitation should address all of the patient’s needs, not just drug use, and should help them physically, mentally, and even spiritually.
Families are sometimes told an assessment is needed before finding an addiction treatment program, but this is rare. Typically, the treatment center is identified before the intervention and the assessment happens during admission. Most people know their loved one needs help and don’t need an assessment to confirm that. In fact, the level of substance use is often worse than expected. Drug and alcohol treatment facilities perform assessments upon arrival to understand each individual’s history and nature for appropriate treatment. Assessments also determine the appropriate level of care for insurance policies. The official assessment during intake simply confirms what you already know.
Families often delay interventions due to logistical concerns, waiting for key individuals or events, or hoping for the substance user to be in better condition. However, these delays are often due to underlying fears. There is no perfect time for an intervention, and it should happen when family members trust the professionals over themselves and the substance user.
The most common question is about the fear of change. Families worry about what will happen if the substance user agrees to intervention. Avoiding intervention, hoping that the user will just say no, puts the focus only on the user and shows that the family is afraid of changing themselves. The family has been getting “no” from the user until they reach out for help. Saying “yes” means that both the family and the user need to change and let go of control. Professionals know that if the loved one says yes, families will struggle to accept this new reality. Change is hard, but it gets easier with time, just like with the substance user in recovery.
Most addicts and alcoholics deny their condition but if their drinking or drug use negatively affects their lives or loved ones, then something needs to change. However, it’s difficult to confront them without making them feel attacked. Showing them how their actions have impacted their lives and loved ones with specific examples, in a compassionate way, can help break down their denial. An intervention should present a solution and be done with the help of a skilled addiction interventionist who can guide loved ones through the process and escort the addict to treatment.
Addiction or alcoholism is not only limited to those who use drugs or drink every day. The frequency and amount of substance use is not as important as the behaviors associated with addiction. Families should not hesitate to intervene, as addicts and alcoholics can be dishonest about their substance use. We focus on behaviors that they cannot deny. Families may underestimate the severity of the problem or falsely believe the loved one has stopped using. Addiction is treatable and is classified under the Biopsychosocial Model or the Medical Model. Recovery requires complete abstinence and professional help. Addicts can have good and bad days, but abstinence for a short period of time does not mean the problem has ended. It is unlikely that they will stop without help, and families should not assume that their loved one will never relapse.
It’s tough for families when a loved one asks for help before or during an intervention. But simply expressing a desire for help isn’t enough to ensure effective action. In fact, addicts and alcoholics often choose the path of least resistance, opting for quick fixes like detox or outpatient care instead of more comprehensive rehab. It’s important to be mindful of this “evaluation trap” and encourage complete surrender and honesty to yield the best results. Addicts and alcoholics may ask for help, but their inability to make effective decisions at this time means they may not choose the best treatment option. After all, they’re used to taking shortcuts and finding fast solutions.
Employers often tell employees who are sick or need medical leave to take care of themselves, but this can be difficult for substance users and their families who often use the job as a way to justify their behavior. While a job can provide a distraction and a sense of normalcy, it is not a solution for substance abuse. Additionally, employers are often aware of employees’ struggles with substance abuse and treatment, and allowing such employees to continue working can be a liability. Ultimately, a job should not be used as an excuse for avoiding treatment or addressing substance abuse issues.
Addiction has to end one way or another. Either someone realizes on their own and is able to stop, such as those who “mature out” of it, or one or more people or situations intervene to cause positive change. Since the first is less likely to happen before some type of tragedy occurs, the only logical choice left is to try to do something about it. This happens most frequently when people try to do the intervention process on their own. Family members usually get sidetracked, lose focus and get into arguments or start choosing sides on other conflicts come up. These are diversionary tactics that addicts will use. They want to cause more confusion or strife so that the addiction intervention derails. The best way to achieve the desired results of your loved one entering treatment and your family on its way to healing is to enlist a professional addiction interventionist to help you through the process.
After the intervention, it’s important for families to focus on their own recovery. They may face challenges when the substance user calls from treatment, often painting a negative picture of their experience. This can cause fear and anger in families, leading them to react negatively to us and the treatment center. It’s crucial for families to remember that not everything the substance user says is accurate. After the intervention, many families struggle to resist the urge to engage with the chaos they’ve become accustomed to. The biggest challenge is their urge to react, but with our Family Recovery Coaching module system, families can learn to move past this. The addiction has affected the whole family, and it’s important for them to construct a healthy way of living. We encourage families to view the intervention as a process, not a single event. Our services can be a bridge to start the journey towards healing after the intervention.
It’s possible that an intervention may lead to temporary change. Substance users often use fear to manipulate their families. This fear can make families hesitant to do an intervention, even though the substance user needs them more than they need the suffering caused by addiction. Protecting others’ feelings is really about protecting our own. After an intervention, the intervention team, treatment team, and family are likely to face verbal attacks from the substance user. These attacks are often used to avoid accountability and shift blame away from the user’s own choices. Substance users often use defense mechanisms like victim mentality to justify their actions. These behaviors can continue until the user learns new coping skills. The intervention team helps the family understand the user’s volatility and how to avoid reacting to their emotional outbursts.
Families may hesitate to hire an interventionist due to the cost, but addiction is a serious issue that requires professional help. Interventionists have experience and training to handle the challenges that arise during interventions, such as high emotions and violent behavior. They also prevent relapse and assist in finding the best detox and treatment centers. Professionals can even help high-level executives, first responders, and military personnel who may deny their addiction due to their high-stress professions. Effective treatment can help addicts return to productive functioning in their personal and professional lives.
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