When people think of drug addiction, most tend to think about the obvious and observable effects that individuals experience as a result of drug abuse. However, the disease of addiction affects more than just the addict. In fact, addiction is often referred to as the “family disease” due to the tendency of addiction to ripple through many others’ lives, affecting virtually all the individuals with whom an addict comes into contact in some way. This means that each addict has a number of individuals forced to witness his or her physical and behavioral deterioration from front row seats, leaving spouses, family members, friends, and other loved ones feeling helpless and powerless to the destructive influence that drug addiction has on the addict’s life as well as their own.
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 been estimated that interventions result in the addict’s recovery up to 90 percent of the time, making an intervention a great potential solution for families and loved ones who have insofar been unable to convince someone suffering from drug addiction to receive treatment. By definition, 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. 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. 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.
When the family members and loved ones of an addict have decided to stage a drug intervention, it’s important to be thoroughly prepared to ensure optimal chances of
success. Before arranging the drug intervention, participants should do some research. It’s essential to be well-informed on the topic of drug addiction, especially when it comes to the symptoms, effects, and risks associated with continued addiction. Additionally, it’s recommended that the family seek the help of an interventionist or intervention specialist whose career revolves around helping families of addicts to plan and organize an effective intervention to maximize the chances of an addict receiving treatment.
Specifically, an intervention specialist can help loved ones prepare for an addict’s possible denial of the reality of the drug problem and the possibility of objecting to treatment. Although the addict’s entering treatment is the desired outcome, there also must be an alternative that’s decided upon, such as not allowing the addict to continue living at home or no longer providing financial support if the addict does not accept the help that’s offered. Each individual should also prepare what he or she wants to say when addressing the room or the addict during the intervention. Since a drug intervention is an intense and emotionally charged experience, it’s easy to lose one’s train of thought or forget important points and topics, which is why writing down an outline or taking notes beforehand can be a major help.
When it comes time for the actual confrontation, the addict may become aggressive and feel betrayed or attacked when he or she realizes what is happening. To alleviate these feelings, loved ones should express their love, concern, and emotions without judgment or aggression. The interventionist will facilitate communication between the addict and loved ones, helping the intervention to reach a resolution. By the end, the addict will be given the choice to either receive treatment or deal with the consequences of continued drug abuse.
Many drug addicts tend to be in denial, either denying the reality of their addictions or denying the full extent of harm and deterioration they have suffered as a result of being in active addiction. An intervention is a chance for an addict’s loved ones to overcome his or her denial. The family members and other loved ones of an addict often
share how they have each been directly affected or harmed by the individual’s addiction—such as being stolen from, lied to, and so on—and how it feels to watch the addict continue to risk his or her health and life. Drug interventions have very high rates of success in getting an addict to realize the full extent of damage caused to the self and others, making them more likely to accept the offer of recovery.
Drug interventions are intense and can bring up a lot of unexpressed thoughts and feelings. However, they also represent the initiation of healing for not only an addict, but for his or her family members, friends, and loved ones. If you or someone you know is suffering from drug addiction and would like to learn more about intervention services, call Intervention Services today so one of our helpful specialists can help you begin the journey of healing.