An intervention is the process of bringing together friends and family members to convince the addicted person to enter treatment immediately. This can be an intensely emotional process, but the addict must learn that their behavior has had negative effects on everyone, and it is time to bring it to an end. It is difficult for family members to come to the decision to conduct an intervention because the addict has controlled and manipulated them into being enablers, or they feel that nothing will work until the addict hits rock bottom. Doing nothing to help the person is the worst form of enabling, and this is why interventions are an important first step in the successful rehabilitation of an addict.
During an intervention each participant expresses their feelings and delivers ultimatums to the addict in an attempt to help them agree to going into treatment right away. These could include refusing to give the addict money, transportation, or a place to live unless they change. These stipulations are not done for the purpose of threatening or being cruel to the addict. It is simply the best way to help them realize how serious the situation has become, and anyone giving an ultimatum must be willing to follow through with what they have told the addict. In most cases, when the addict learns exactly how their addiction has affected others, and that they are no longer in control of the situation, they step out of denial and realize it is time to take responsibility for their future.
Most addicts effectively convince friends or family that they are in control of the drug or alcohol abuse and can stop any time. Some addicts shift the blame and convince family members that they are the reason for the addiction, and as long as everything is still going their way, the addict continues to avoid taking responsibility for the addiction. Intervention is needed to break this level of control and put the family back in charge of their own lives.
Studies show that during addiction the family dynamics are changed by the addict when he or she develops a position of control. The addict does this to make the addiction more comfortable for themselves at the expense of everyone they love. They lie, steal, and manipulate in order to obtain money to continue the addiction. The family must realize that an addict cannot continue the addiction without help. If they aren’t given money and are left to fend for themselves, they will not be able to obtain the drug of choice. Someone is always their enabler, and the fear of losing the enablers will often convince the addict that it is time to get help.
Due to their self-absorbed attitude, the addict is usually the last person qualified to make the decision about seeking treatment. They have been living in a world of instant gratification, and will most likely want a treatment program that is quick and close to home. This attitude will result in wasted time and money because this form of treatment will not be effective. What they don’t understand is that there are a number of factors involved in the addiction, and a quick fix is not the answer. Contributing elements include emotional problems, physical health issues, and unhealthy family dynamics that must be addressed before lasting recovery can be accomplished.
To be completely effective, an intervention should be attended by close friends or family members who genuinely care about the individual, and are willing to provide a strong support structure for them during the entire rehabilitation process. Anyone who feels animosity toward the individual should not attend, as it is important that the process be conducted in a non-confrontational manner for the benefit of everyone involved. If the individual senses that they are being judged or accused, they will most likely refuse treatment, plus there is the chance they could become physically aggressive.
If there is a concern that the addict would become hostile enough to cause physical harm to themselves or anyone else in the group, the best solution is to involve a professional interventionist who is trained to defuse the situation and continue the intervention with a favorable outcome.
All too often, everyone thinks the addict will simply refuse to go into treatment, so an intervention is not conducted. Certainly, there is always a possibility that the addict will refuse treatment; however, doing nothing will only make matters worse as the addiction continues its destructive path through everyone’s lives.
An addict has been entirely focused on getting their substance of choice, being high, and dealing with withdrawal. They need someone to break through this self-absorbed cloud they are in, and help them get the treatment they desperately need. A professional intervention provides the opportunity to bring awareness to everyone involved, and discuss a treatment plan that will guide your loved one into a future that is addiction-free.
An intervention is a great tool to help someone realize the negative things they are doing to themselves. For the most part, when someone goes through an intervention, he or she will receive help immediately. If you have a loved one who is dealing with an addiction in their daily life, consider planning an intervention as a way to get them the help they need.