Sometimes friends and family members may feel that they constantly express concerns about a loved one’s substance use but never see any changes. You may have reached this point after weeks or months of giving lectures, making threats, ignoring behaviors, accepting promises of change, giving second chances, or imposing consequences. People often worry that initiating a discussion will lead the person with the problem to take drastic steps.
They might make a scene in front of other family members, move out of the house, drop out of school, drink or use other drugs even more and hide it from everyone, or retaliate against them or other family members. However, you might find the conversation to be a wonderfully productive experience.
Perhaps the person simply hasn’t noticed behavior changes, or didn’t realize that his or her substance use was a problem or was causing problems. An intervention with an addict can be a very daunting ordeal, but with the proper steps taken, an effective intervention and positive outcome may result.
An intervention is an orchestrated attempt by one, or often many, people (usually family and friends) to get someone to seek professional help with an addiction or some kind of traumatic event or crisis, or other serious problem. The term intervention is most often used when the traumatic event involves addiction to drugs or other items. Intervention can also refer to the act of using a technique within a therapy session.
Drug intervention encompasses ten steps:
Drug Intervention Step #1: Don’t Rescue the Addict
Friends and family members can attempt to protect an addict from the consequences of his behavior by making excuses about his addiction or getting him out of trouble. This behavior must stop! Once the addict experiences the effects of his behavior, he may become more motivated to stop using drugs.
Drug Intervention Step #2: Don’t Become an Enabler
Family members should be careful not to reward the addict by paying his bills, bailing him out of jail, letting him stay for free or ignoring his behavior.
Drug Intervention Step #3: Find the Right Time
If possible, select a time to talk with the addict when he is sober, when the entire intervention party is in a calm frame of mind and when you can speak privately.
Drug Intervention Step #4: Find Strength in Numbers
Enlist the support of family members, relatives and friends in confronting the addict as a group, selecting one person to be the initial spokesperson. Remember, the idea is to make it safe for him to come clean and seek help.
Drug Intervention Step #5: Be Honest
Tell the addict that you are concerned about his drug addiction and want to be supportive for him while he gets help. Support your concern with examples of the ways in which his drug use has caused problems for you, including any recent incidents.
Drug Intervention Step #6: State the Consequences
Tell the addict that until he gets help, you will leave him to the consequences of his behavior and will no longer bail him out. Make it clear that you are not trying to punish the addict, but protect yourself from the harmful effects of his addiction.
Drug Intervention Step #7: Listen
During your drug addiction intervention, the addict might ask questions regarding potential treatment. Listen! These questions are a sign that he is reaching for help.
Drug Intervention Step #8: Be Prepared
If the addict is ready to take action, don’t wait. Once he’s agrees to go into rehab, work immediately to get him admitted into rehab. Prior to the intervention, pack him a bag, make travel arrangements and ensure he has acceptance into a program.
Drug Intervention Step #9: Don’t Give Up
If the addict refuses help, don’t give up. Be supportive and don’t enable or allow his behavior. Listen whenever you can and be ready to help the addict into therapy when he is ready.
Drug Intervention Step #10: Find a Good Rehab Center
Unity Recovery Center can help engage your loved one in treatment for alcohol or drug addiction. They can help them get past denial and move forward with a drug-free, healthy and honest lifestyle. Help your loved one get free from denial and addiction. Call Unity Recovery Center of Florida (877-772-5505) and make changes now.