When it gets to the point that your’re considering an intervention, it’s likely that your loved one is deeply wrapped up in his addiction problem.
It’s obvious that addiction damages the life of the addict as well as the lives of those around him. Drug abuse or substance abuse of any kind can destroy the very fabric of the family unit, causing irreparable harm to relationships. It can destroy careers, end marriages, dissolve friendships and cause serious legal troubles that will haunt the addict long after they finally get clean. Drug abuse tears families apart and leaves a scorched Earth in its wake.
If your loved one is suffering from an addiction problem, you’re probably researching what can be done or at least have done so at some point. If you’re at this point,you’ve almost certainly had numerous conversations of confrontations with the addict. If he is still using, it’s clear that addiction has taken over. When this happens, the loved one you knew is trapped in shell of an obsessed, singularly-focused shadow of himself.
Addiction is like air to him – nothing else in his life matters – not wives, children, parents, friends, work or consequences. Every waking moment is spent thinking about his next fix.The addict may already suffered dire consequences of his actions but is still using. It’s not common for addicts to have lost everything and to be living on the street, sometimes for years, before seeking treatment.
Why? Because addicts will continue to use until they have run out of options to get access to drugs. In some cases, this takes decades. By that time, he likely has a criminal record, has done serious damage to his body and has lost contact with everyone he knew before he was wrapped up in addiction.
Therefore, an early intervention can be key in helping your addicted loved one before he travels down the path of self-ruin. The research shows that 75% of patients who go through an intervention have better outcomes than those who don’t.
Once you’re aware of the addiction, you need to stop enabling it. There are all sorts of relevant studies that talk about the relationships within the family units and the effects on a child who eventually became an addict.
You may have heard about interventions and how they can be successful in getting people to admit they need help. An intervention is a staged gathering with friends and family in an attempt to convince the addict to get the help they need.
When planning your intervention, you may want to have a doctor or interventionist present to help guide the process, have personal, non-attacking letters to your loved one, a plan of action for treatment and an ultimatum should your loved one reject the offer of getting help. Being prepared for the intervention is important in getting the person to see how much their addiction is affecting themselves and those around them.
As you’ll learn, the key here is a unified message from all intervention attendees. Any faltering or signs of reluctance will be viewed by the addict as an opportunity to exploit at a later date.
WARNING SIGNS THAT IT’S TIME FOR AN INTERVENTION
Depending on how severe an addiction is, the “point of no return,” the point at which the addict knows he has a problem, has likely passed some time ago. They knew he had a problem, but kept using anyway. At this point, an intervention is necessary because the addict has already demonstrated that he can’t help himself.
For the family, the last recourse is to stage an intervention to deliver ultimatums necessary to compel the addict to seek treatment.
The choice to go to Detox and rehab still rests with the addict, regardless of the ultimatums given by the family during an intervention. A human being has free will and cannot be forced to go to treatment – they need to make the choice to seek treatment and remain clean and sober.
The key here is understanding that the intervention has but one purpose: to make it clear through ultimatums that the addict either seeks treatment or the family will cease all contact and leave the addict to to their own devices. There can be no faltering, no wavering, no hesitance and no excuses – the addict either goes immediately into treatment or he is cast out.
All family members and family must show no signs of weakness or reluctance during the intervention.
Sometimes, families can stage an intervention that actually works and help their loved ones, but they need to know the signs to look for before the addiction becomes so heavy. If you’ve never been around someone who’s suffering from addiction in the past, it can be difficult to spot the signs for yourself.
The following are top signs to know when it’s time for an intervention.
Addiction can cause serious health risks to the addict. Exposure to HIV through the us of shared needles is among these risks.There are many other diseases ranging from liver diseases to dental issues (with meth addicts).
If you have noticed a decline in your loved one’s health, it is obvious that it’s time to stage an intervention. Many people who suffer from drug and alcohol abuse live in denial about the affects of their addiction. While they may suffer from a variety of health conditions they may never admit that these issues are cause by their substance abuse. During the intervention, you can address their health issues and how recovery can help them heal.
EFFECTS ON THE FAMILY AND FINANCES
When a person is addicted to drugs or alcohol, those around them are always negatively affected. Children living in a home with an addicted parent often suffer from abuse, neglect, or feelings of guilt and anger. Other relationships become strained. Friends start to disappear and the addict typically starts hanging around a whole different crowd. Marriages often dissolve under the strain of addiction due to one party being addicted to drugs and alcohol. The financial burden from addiction can also take a great toll on the family. We often hear stories about a spouse discovering their partner’s addiction only when checks start bouncing. At this point, the family is broke, bankrupt and one of the primary income earners is no longer capable of working. It’s a sad tale, one we hear too often.
Many addicts don’t realize the extent of their addiction until they are being charged with a felony. A felony stays on your record for life. At this point, the addiction has caused an issue that will haunt the addict long after recovery. An early intervention could have prevented this. Sadly, many families tolerate addiction until the addict is in serious trouble with the law. This is baffling to researchers who have found that in 83% of interventions, the family had known for some time about the addiction.
If your loved one is facing or has faced charges for drug or alcohol related offenses, an addiction treatment program is overdue.
Staging and intervention will allow you to gather all of their friends and family members and be open and honest (yet non-attacking) about your feelings. This may be just the push your loved one needs to finally get the needed treatment. Supporting a loved one means doing so at every point of the recovery process, starting with the first discussion.
HAVE AN INTERVENTION PLAN IN PLACE
Before you organize the intervention meeting it is important that you have a plan in place. You will need to know exactly what problems you want to address and practice saying them without anger in your voice. Raising your voice and being accusatory toward the person suffering with addiction will only serve to push them further away. You may wish to have an interventionist present in case the situation was to get out of hand.
Have a plan of action (an ultimatum) if your loved one refuses treatment and be prepared to stick with it. Have a treatment plan in place so that they may be admitted immediately after the intervention, if they agree.
When you’re ready for help, contact us. Most private health insurance covers the treatment.