Intervention: Help a Loved One Overcome Addiction

People who are struggling with substance abuse are often the last ones who consider rehab. In these cases, loved ones have the option of motivating them to seek treatment by organizing an intervention. In most cases, it is advisable to hire a drug intervention specialist to help with the process, particularly as they are emotionally charged events. At Elevate we provide access to drug intervention specialists who can work with families and loved ones of addicts to motivate them to enter rehab.

The types of addictions that may warrant a drug intervention program include alcoholism, prescription drug abuse or illegal substance abuse.

Denial is not uncommon for people struggling with addiction and they are often unlikely to seek help of their own volition. An individual’s denial can mean they are not aware of the negative impact their substance abuse is having on those close to them. They are also likely to have become preoccupied with obtaining and using alcohol or drugs despite the negative effects on their own mental, physical and emotional health.

What Is Drug Abuse Intervention?

Drug abuse intervention is an event that is carefully planned in advance. The objective is to get an addicted loved one to seek professional treatment for their illness. Interventions are generally planned in conjunction with a drug intervention specialist who is experienced in guiding and supervising the events from a neutral standpoint.

During the event itself, loved ones gather together at an agreed time and place fully prepared to confront the addict with the consequences of their substance abuse. Forcing people to see the damage they have done to the people closest to them is an emotional process, and so having a third party present is very beneficial.

A drug intervention program should:

  • Provide specific examples of damaging behavior from partners, parents, co-workers, close friends or relatives of the addict who have personal experiences to recall,
  • Offer a pre-arranged treatment path towards sobriety having researched inpatient or outpatient rehab programs
  • Make very clear what will happen if the addict refuses to attend rehab

Drug abuse intervention usually includes the following steps:

Make a plan. A drug intervention specialist will generally work with loved ones to form a planning group. This ensures that the people most negatively impacted by the addict’s behavior are all present to air their grievances. The potential for emotional outbursts is high in a drug intervention program which is why a neutral third party is invaluable in ensuring its objectives are achieved.

Gather information. It is important for all participants in the intervention to have a good understanding of the specific substance abuse issues their loved one is dealing with. This enables them to find the most appropriate treatment program for the addict that meets their specific needs.

Decide on specific consequences. Using professional drug intervention services is essential as it is necessary to define its objectives ahead of the event. Each participant needs to decide on the consequences they will enforce should their demands not be met by their addicted loved one.

Make notes on what to say. Because of the emotionally charged nature of an intervention, knowing exactly what to say beforehand is good preparation. It is crucial that accounts of bad behavior are relayed with compassion and understanding, but also that participants are firm on their stance that the addict gets treatment. Sticking to the facts and expressing how their behavior has hurt them while accepting that he or she can change is the best way of avoiding emotional outbursts during an intervention.

Follow up. Once participants of a drug intervention program have involved themselves in the rehabilitation of an addicted loved one, it is important that they continue to be engaged in their progress. Having support from family and friends is crucial in achieving a successful recovery, but only if everyone continues to take an active interest in how they are getting on. This also reinforces trust in close personal relationships and lets the subject know that there is someone to turn to when faced with challenges in rehab and recovery.

Be Prepared

Unfortunately, interventions are not always successful. Many people with substance abuse issues have a tendency to erupt with anger when confronted on their behavior and this can be heightened further when involving several people at the same time.

It is essential that all intervention participants are prepared for these situations while bearing in mind the potential for positive change. If the addicted loved one doesn’t accept rehab, this is when it is crucial that the consequences presented to them are implemented.

Even in the cases where an intervention doesn’t work, loved ones can use the opportunity to make changes that can help the individual. Identifying any enabling behavior and stopping it can break the destructive cycle of substance abuse and encourage the addict to seek treatment via a different route.