When a loved one is affected by addiction, it can be heart-breaking to watch them destroy their lives, knowing that there is little you can do to change their actions or influence their decisions. Unfortunately, when addiction takes hold, it changes the way the brain functions and those affected are unable to think clearly. Many will continue to abuse substances such as alcohol or drugs, even when doing so is causing obvious harm to themselves and those around them. The answer in many cases is to stage an addiction intervention, but how effective is this?
In an ideal world, your loved one will realise that his or her substance abuse is having a negative effect on themselves and their loved ones and will reach out for help. In reality, this rarely happens. It is often the case that those affected by alcohol or drug addiction will not be ready to accept the seriousness of their situation.
What many family members and friends learn very quickly is that they cannot force a loved one to accept they have a problem and welcome recovery. Begging and pleading just does not work when someone is unable or unwilling to face up to the truth. However, an addiction intervention may just be the answer.
If you have tried to get your loved one to consider rehab, but he or she continues to deny the problem exists, an addiction intervention may be the best solution. With an intervention, various members of the family, as well as friends and even professionals, will come together to encourage the addicted individual to get treatment.
The idea of the intervention is to highlight the effect that the illness is having on everyone. Each participant will calmly discuss how the addiction has affected them with the aim of persuading the addict to accept the diagnosis and reach out for help.
It is important to remember that the addiction intervention is not to be used as an excuse to punish the addict or shame him or her. It is a process that should be carried out based on concern and love for the individual.
The good news is that around ninety per cent of interventions end in success in terms of getting an addicted loved one into treatment. And even those that do not end this way can have a therapeutic effect on the family members who have had the chance to air their views and get their point across. Family members will also be happy in the knowledge that they have tried their best and done all they can to help their loved one.
While an addiction intervention is a successful way to get someone into treatment, there are times when it may not be appropriate. For example, if you have little evidence of the negative effects that the illness has had on other family members or friends, you will have very little to work with in terms of getting the addict to see sense.
Interventions are most successful when you have tried many times to get your loved one to accept help but to no avail. If you have evidence of how the illness has affected other areas of the individual’s life, this will help with the process.
Many people call us here at UKAT to discuss addiction interventions and whether they require professional help. If you have a strong family unit and the addict does not have a history of violence or mental health problems, then you may be able to stage the intervention yourselves. We can provide advice and information on the process and how to go about it.
However, if you believe that your addicted loved one might become defensive, angry or violent, it may be worthwhile considering professional help from an experienced facilitator who will be able to keep the meeting under control at all times.
One of the most important things to consider when staging an intervention is who will take part. Some people make the mistake of assuming that every family member must be in attendance. It is wise to make sure that you only invite those whom the addict respects. This could include parents, siblings, friends, and even the family doctor.
Do not ask family members with whom the addict has a tense relationship. You should also make sure that anyone who may be feeling resentful or judgmental about the addicted individual is not invited. The idea is not to berate the addict, but to encourage him or her to get help. If you invite anyone who triggers anger in the addict, it could cause the meeting to spiral out of control.
If you would like information on how to stage an addiction intervention, contact us here at UKAT today.
If you successfully complete our 90-day inpatient treatment program, we guarantee you'll stay clean and sober, or you can return for a complimentary 30 days of treatment.