Substance abuse interventions use pressure from loved ones to help an addict. Here’s how to prepare an intervention and make it successful.
It may not be a surprising fact that not everyone enters substance abuse treatment of their own free will.
Some may be required by law to attend a program as a result of criminal behavior and others might find their way to rehab after a substance abuse intervention by family and friends.
But what are substance abuse interventions and do they really work?
What Are Substance Abuse Interventions?
An intervention is designed to use pressure from peers and loved ones to motivate an addict to accept they have a problem.
The ultimate objective is to get them to seek treatment, and so an intervention takes some planning in order to execute successfully.
An intervention is usually staged at a time when the addicted loved one is unaware of what is to happen. This is to limit their opportunities to be absent at the appointed time or to give them too much time to think of their responses to the event.
The element of surprise is important because many people struggling with substance abuse are unaware that their problems are noticeable to others.
They normally have no idea of the extensive damage their addictive behaviors are wreaking on those close to them.
Being confronted with the truth about their excessive drinking or drug-taking and the hurt it is causing others in an intervention setting is a powerful motivation to seek help.
Interventions are always emotionally charged. In the majority of cases, loved ones use the opportunities to detail their pain caused by addiction and the steps they will take if the addict does not seek help.
For example, a spouse may talk about the damage that’s being done to young children in the household and state they will seek separation unless the individual enters a substance abuse program.
Although it can be easy for a person to feel ambushed by loved ones when they each say their piece, it is vital that what they communicate resonates on a deep level in order for action to be taken.
Do Interventions Work?
Although there is little research on the effectiveness of interventions available, it is generally the case that addicts are more likely to seek help afterward than they would otherwise have been.
That said, it is not guaranteed that the individual will successfully complete a substance abuse program and so there should be no expectation in this case.
Ultimately, a person entering a substance abuse program as a consequence of an intervention has not made the decision to do so on their own.
Pressure from loved ones can be easily dissipated if the individual makes the right noises about getting substance abuse treatment but without having any actual commitment to the idea it is unlikely to help.
Conversely, others who enter substance abuse treatment with the full support of family and friends after an intervention have more chances of successful recovery.
Generally speaking, an intervention is last resort for friends and family exasperated by a loved one’s substance abuse.
However, at the end of the day, every individual has to make their own choice to overcome substance abuse in order for a program to be truly successful.
How To Plan An Intervention?
One of the biggest benefits of an intervention is that it brings family and friends of addicts closer together.
People with substance use disorder are usually not completely aware of the problems and pain they are causing others and how they need help from a substance abuse counselor.
Not only can people with addiction issues get support from loved ones at an intervention, but those living with them can feel supported too.
Although certified interventionists or substance abuse counselors can help with the process, the steps involved in a planning and executing a successful intervention are generally as follows:
1. Find The Proper Timing
They are not scheduled for times when the addict is likely to be under the influence or stressed.
2. Keep It Calm
There should be no yelling, shouting or hurling of accusations.
3. Don’t Accuse The Addict
The issues raised in an intervention should not be generalized accusatory statements. Instead, specific factual statements such as:
- “Your drug use has cost us our life savings.”
- “You are missing your children growing up”
These are much more likely to hit home.
4. Be Short And On The Subject
All points raised in substance abuse interventions should be short and to the point. Too much information will sound like a rant to the addicted loved one which they are likely to find overwhelming.
Writing down the points to be raised ahead of the intervention is a good idea.
5. Prepare Treatment Options
Treatment options for the person central to the intervention should be sourced and agree on before the event takes place.
It is one thing to urge a person to seek substance abuse treatment but actually having a date and time for them to start treatment is much better.
These five tips should help you plan a successful intervention and help your loved one to overcome this huge problem.
Substance abuse interventions work almost every time if you and your family members pay attention to these tips before starting the actual intervention.
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