One of the most difficult experiences family members can face is to watch a loved one deteriorate because of a drug or alcohol addiction. Loved ones feel helpless when they are unable to communicate to the individual the great need for help. Sometimes family members try over and over to get the addict to accept help. Other times loved ones are too afraid to bring up the subject. Still, others hold out hope that things will get better on their own, without having to draw attention to the addiction.
The fact remains, however, that the longer an individual and their family wait to get help for a drug or alcohol addiction, the more difficult recovery will be because the person will continue sinking into their addiction until they get help. When families make excuses about the person not listening to them or saying they can quit anytime, they only put recovery off, instead of accepting help and real recovery now.
For families needing an intervention to convince a loved one to enter treatment, Northland works with several licensed interventionists and we can make a referral at any time. Our partner interventionists can be dispatched usually within 24 hours.
What Can I Expect from an Intervention?
Interventions have been portrayed in various ways on television and the movies, but a real intervention is simply a way for families to work with a professional to get their addicted loved one to accept help. Families first meet with the interventionist in person or on the phone to talk about the addict, their substance use, their history, and the family dynamics. The professional will provide insight into how the mind of an addict works and how loved ones can best reach out to the person. With guidance, the family will then prepare to confront their loved one. Family members are sometimes encouraged to write their thoughts down in a letter so that they can be sure to express what they are really feeling without getting too angry and upset.
Interventions can become heated if the addict is defensive and if loved ones become angry and resentful. A professional interventionist will be there either in person or by phone or video to keep the situation calm and productive. By prepping loved ones ahead of time, some errors can be avoided, such as accusing, yelling, verbally attacking the person, or giving up.
Once loved ones have had their chance to talk and let the addict know how they feel about the addiction and the problems it has caused the family, it is time to help the addict see that they only real option is to accept help. Again, with the help of the professional, family members will give the person information about a rehab program that has been pre-selected. Having options determined ahead of time will make it easier to move the individual right into treatment after the intervention.
What Happens after the Intervention?
Part of the intervention planning process includes looking at treatment options and deciding on one or two good choices for the individual. Many families know ahead of time exactly which rehab program they want their loved one to enroll in. This is helpful because it relieves the addict of having to make a major decision other than to accept help. It is also helpful because the admission process can already be set in motion before the intervention. Once the person agrees to enter rehab, there will be little waiting and thus little time for the addict to change his or her mind. Once the person admits they can’t do this on their own and is willing to enroll in a rehab program, the family needs to move quickly and get the person to the program as soon as possible.
Families who have succeeded in getting a loved one into treatment will be relieved that the person is safe and receiving the help they need. However, there is still work for loved ones to do, as they become a source of support and encouragement for the individual and work to improve their own lives and relationships. Families should be ready to participate in family therapy, where they, together with the recovering addict, will learn how to communicate effectively and work to rebuild strained relationships. Families should also consider joining a support group such as Al-Anon, which helps loved ones work through their own emotional struggles independently of the addict.
Supportive families play a vital role in addiction recovery and are often the ones to first seek help for the addict. If you need help talking to your loved one about addiction rehab, contact us today to learn about our intervention services.
An intervention is simply a way for families to work with a professional to get their addicted loved one to accept help