August 8th, 2023
Having to witness someone you love abusing drugs can be frightening. You may feel fearful, angry, or hopeless to help them understand just how out of control their drug addiction has become. Between April 2020 and March 2021, there were 275,896 people receiving drug treatment in the UK. When you consider how many cases go untreated, the extent of the issue becomes all too clear. Professional rehab treatment can be highly effective in helping a person overcome their addiction but getting them into rehab in the first place is often the biggest obstacle.
At UKAT, we recognise that friends and family often have the most persuasive voice when helping someone suffering from addiction address their situation. That is why interventions are such a powerful weapon in the addiction recovery process. On this page, we will explore some of the best ways to approach your loved one if you are concerned, highlighting some of the benefits of drug interventions and how to ensure you do it right.
What is a drug intervention?
The goal of a drug intervention, above all else, is to get your loved one into a drug rehab clinic, where they can receive professional help for their drug addiction. Drug interventions are often necessary because those with addiction will typically deny that their usage is out of their control and resist any attempts made by friends or family members to get help. However, bringing loved ones together in an organised manner with safe and comfortable surroundings creates a far more powerful statement than approaching the matter casually or informally. It reinforces the reality of your loved one’s drug addiction, showing them that you have really taken the time to make this happen.
How do I know it is time for a drug intervention?
Some signs that your loved one may require rehab for their drug use might include:
- Your loved one’s behaviour is markedly more destructive, and they seem to be posing more of a danger to themselves. For example, not monitoring their drug intake and increasing the risk of overdose.
- There have been noticeable changes in their personality, and they are behaving in a manner that is quite erratic.
- They have been taking more drugs than they used to and more regularly.
- They are lying to you about their drug use, and despite all your encouragement to seek treatment, nothing seems to be working.
Most importantly, however, a determining factor that really highlights whether it is time for a drug intervention comes from you. If your loved one’s substance use is starting to make you feel it is getting too much to handle, leading to frustration, anger, and fear of where their behaviour might lead them, this is a fundamental sign that it is time to stage an intervention.
What drugs require an intervention?
An intervention can be staged for any substance that is inflicting damage or harm to your loved one. Some of these drugs may include:
How do I go about planning a drug intervention?
Staging a drug intervention is similar to other interventions for addiction, and this process is one that should not happen overnight. It takes a great deal of care and consideration, and it is important you take precautions to ensure you do not overwhelm or attack your loved one, but approach them about their substance use with care and empathy.
When deciding the best ways to go about an intervention, it is vital to frame the conversation with concern, ensuring that you and your friends and family agree that drug addiction is not a choice but rather an illness that involves ongoing support and treatment to overcome.
It would be unrealistic to assume that a drug intervention is going to be easy, and it is likely that you will encounter some form of hesitance or retaliation from your loved one when confronted about their addiction. However, there are some methods you can employ to make this process as stress-free as possible:
Consult with a professional
It is very difficult to predict how your loved one will react to this event, and going into such an emotionally charged atmosphere without a mediator often leads these situations to get out of hand. Instead, we would suggest that you contact a professional who is familiar with drug addiction, aware of how to manage these challenges and move the conversation forward when things become too intense.
Take precautions to ensure your loved one is not using drugs when the intervention takes place
Mind-altering substances can affect the behaviour of your loved one, and it will increase the likelihood of them becoming negatively impacted by this event. Choosing a time of day that your loved one is most likely to be sober (such as in the morning) will make sure that they are more receptive to your words, reacting rationally and without the substance impacting their behaviour.
What happens next?
When it comes to effective treatment for substance abuse, the best time to start is always right now, so if you need help planning or staging an intervention for a loved one, get in touch with us today. We can talk you through the process or help to arrange for one of our professional interventionists to stage the meeting for you. Together, we can help your loved ones make the positive changes they need in their life.