Are Interventions for Addicts a Good Idea?

If you are currently dealing with an addicted friend or family member, you may be feeling as if you’ve been backed into a corner. How can you possibly help? What steps can you take to push your loved one in the right direction – the direction of recovery? If you feel helpless and overwhelmed, you are certainly not alone. It’s important that you realize you aren’t out of options; while throwing in the towel may seem like the only choice, it isn’t. There are other ways to help – ways that you may not have previously considered.

One of the most effective ways to nudge an addicted loved one in the right direction is to stage a professional addiction intervention.

Are Interventions for Addicts a Good Idea

Why Stage Drug Addiction Interventions?

Unfortunately, because of the psychological implications of addiction as a disease, logic typically flies out of the window. After a while, the addict or alcoholic cannot make rational decisions for him or herself. Regardless of how many times the severity of the situation is explained, they are physically unable to stop – oftentimes, they are physically unable to so much as ask for help.

The disease takes complete control. For this reason, staging a professionally run intervention can prove to be exceptionally beneficial. It isn’t uncommon for the friends and family members of the addict to attempt an intervention without a certified interventionist present. This plan usually backfires because the addict feels more attacked and cornered than safe and understood. In order to ensure that the intervention is successful, there are several important steps that you must take.

Important Steps for Successful Interventions

  1. Contact a specialist – get in touch with someone who has extensive experience with addiction, and who has staged numerous successfully interventions already. Having a knowledgeable source to instruct and support, you will be absolutely crucial. Do not attempt to speak with your loved one in a one-on-one setting; this can result in your pushing him or her even further away. Defensiveness is a major part of addiction.
  2. Form a small group – bigger isn’t always better. Forming a small, intimate group of very close friends and family members will likely bode better than bombarding your loved one with a huge group of people that he or she may not feel like hearing out. Form the group carefully, and choose people that your loved one respects and will be willing to listen to.
  3. Rehearse and hone in on a message – one mistake that many people make is failing to adequately prepare. Make sure that your message is clear and to-the-point. Make sure that you aren’t coming across as accusatory, but as loving and concerned.
  4. Set boundaries – one of the most important parts of every intervention is the setting of personal boundaries. For example, if your son is addicted and actively using while living in your house and asking for money, you may want to confirm that you will no longer support his habits – that is he wants to continue using, he must find another place to live (or go to treatment). It may seem harsh, but most addicts will opt to go to rehab over enduring homelessness.
  5. Maintain your boundaries – boundaries do no good unless you strictly enforce them. If you go back on what you say, your loved one will believe that he or she can manipulate and take advantage of you. If you need support in the remaining firm, refer to your interventionist, or a support group.
  6. Be prepared for any outcome – because addiction is so unpredictable, you may not immediately get the result you want. Your loved one may run out angrily, or refuse the treatment that you’re offering. Be prepared for anything, remain patient, and know that things are likely to improve over time.

If all goes according to plan, the boundaries that you have set will help your addicted loved one recognize that he or she is out of options. If you have more questions about interventions and their role in recovery, please feel free to contact us at Garden State Treatment Center today – we look forward to speaking with you, and guiding you in the right direction.