When a person or their family is confronted with an addiction, they are also faced with a gauntlet of emotions and detrimental mindsets. Many of these can prove to be stumbling blocks that can inhibit the process of finding help and seeking sobriety.
Sometimes, due to these and other reasons, a person cannot see or accept that they need help. In these instances, an intervention may be necessary to help the person in need get the help they need.
Why Alcohol & Drug Interventions May Be Needed
Negative emotions and addiction are closely linked. For many people, it is these very emotions that people seek to avoid or temper by way of using drugs or alcohol.
This self-medication morphs from abuse into habitual use, becoming an addiction, and all along the way, the presence of these harmful and often untrue thoughts are fuel to this dangerous fire. Once a person is addicted, it is often these emotions and mindsets that play a significant part in driving them deeper into their drug or alcohol use.
Emotions can cloud a person’s outlook. They can prevent a person from seeing or acknowledging the truths that surround them. They can build walls and push people away and push a person farther within themselves so that they struggle to know which way is up.
When a person is consumed by addiction, they need help. Self-blame, self-hatred, self-loathing and self-deprecation are all negative mindsets that taint a person’s self-image, leading them to convince themselves that they’re unworthy of help, support or a better life.
Fear, loneliness, and shame are all emotions that are common to addiction. Though at times they might be founded on reality, a person who struggles with an addiction often has such a poor self-image and virtually no sense of self-love or self-care.
Negative emotions fuel each other. They can lead a person to think that they’re not a good enough person, or that they’re too damaged and don’t deserve a changed life. These mindsets and emotions can prolong and intensify the sense of isolation their addiction may have imposed on their life.
When a person is feeling isolated from the world around them, it can be hard to imagine regaining a place within it. They might have a hard time finding hope, and without hope, it is very hard to work towards sobriety. When a person is so overwhelmed by these often debilitating things, they may not be able to seek or obtain help on their own.
In addition, they might deny the truth of any overtures for help that their friends or loved ones make or lack the courage to admit and commit to it. Lastly, paired with these things, the nature of the drugs or alcohol can blind a person towards the full extent of damage that the addiction is causing.
It is at this point that an intervention may be the best thing to grant a person enough perspective so that they can get the help they need.
How To Do a Drug Intervention Before Recovery
Though many people may be familiar with the term intervention in relation to treatment, not everyone may be certain exactly what it is, or what it involves.
An addiction intervention is when a group of people—friends, family and even people like coworkers band together to reach out and educate the person who is struggling with addiction in the hopes of opening their eyes to the help they need.
This group of people may also include a professional that is qualified and trained to lead or facilitate the intervention. This may include a pastor, counselor, social worker, or any other mental health care worker as well as a person called a professional interventionist or drug intervention specialist.
Additionally, many people have misconceptions about what an intervention entails or how to best go about it. One of the most important is not to wait until a person has hit “rock bottom.” First off, it can be hard to determine when this is—this term is too vague to be used to gauge and employ an attempt at help on.
Remember, addictions are dangerous—the longer a person’s addiction goes without residential or outpatient treatment, the greater the risk and damage that can occur.
A person does not have to be under the influence of an intervention to happen. Some people may mistakenly think that this can help by providing an example of how the substance negatively affects them, but rather this creates a shaky foundation.
When a person is under the influence, they will be less apt to maintain focus and remember things; additionally, they may also have a tendency to be unstable, which could in the least cause tension, and in the worst cases, an altercation.
Family and friends are not the only people who can stage an intervention. In fact, oftentimes they can be the people that are least skilled and successful at planning an intervention, as the emotions, history, and fears that surround them and connect them to the individual can get in the way.
This leads us to the next important point—enlisting the help of a professional that is highly trained in intervention can make a huge difference.
Why Choose Professional Support and Services When Planning a Family Intervention?
Like we said before, getting a person help as soon as possible can lend to curtailing any further damage from occurring due to the drugs or alcohol. Friends and family are often the people most impacted by a loved one’s drug or alcohol addiction.
This brings us to one of the first problems when a person is that interconnected within the addicted individual’s life, they may not be able to separate themselves fully enough on an emotional level to truly see, embrace and implement the planning and steps that are necessary for a successful intervention.
During the course of an addiction, tensions rise — people get hurt — on both sides. When a person has an addiction, they often let their responsibilities and relationships fall to the wayside. As their life spirals out of control, they might feel like their friends and family are not supporting them enough.
Due to this, individuals on both sides may experience blame, resentment or shame — all of which can prevent both parties from working together in a manner that is most conducive towards change. An intervention is not a time to air your dirty laundry, nor it is not a time to point fingers or pass blame.
Yes, both parties are likely to hurt on many levels, but there is an appropriate time and method for exchanging this information. Too much, too soon and in the wrong words can be hurtful and detrimental to the outcome.
Due to the tension that could arise from the aforementioned encounters between family, friends and the individual suffering from the addiction, the thing could become heated. Also, due to the substances themselves, a person may become volatile.
Without proper training and understanding, a family member may not be able to handle a situation such as this, which could result in the person not receiving the help they need, and in the worst cases, injury or danger to one or both parties.
Certain concerns increase the need for an intervention specialist. If your loved one suffers from any other disorders, if they have been or are suicidal, if they are prone to instability or violence or if their drug use is such that their perception and cognition may be significantly altered, you should contact an intervention specialist.
A Successful Intervention Requires Planning and Help
If you have a loved one who is addicted, chances are that you’ve thought about how they need help for some time. As we’ve spoken about above, addictions can subject all parties to a variety of emotions, all of which can cloud a person’s judgment.
It can be easy to become overwhelmed by your emotions and your desire to see your family member or friend get well. Sometimes, this can push people towards organizing a spur of the moment intervention. This is not a good idea.
In order for an intervention to be successful, it needs to be well-planned and executed. Multiple possibilities and outcomes need to be planned for. Here’s one that is often overlooked — people form an intervention and convince a person they need help, but fail to have transportation ready to take the person to rehab. In the interim, while people are scrambling to make this a reality, the person suffers a craving, begins to doubt their choice and changes their mind.
An intervention specialist has the training and expertise to anticipate the variety of happenings that could occur during an intervention and has the knowledge and training to form and plan and execute it in a manner that ensures the most optimal outcome.
What Help Does an Intervention Specialist Provide a Family?
An intervention specialist’s main priority is to support the person who needs help, but they are also there to help the family or friends as this time can be difficult and overwhelming for them too. An added benefit for some is that the professional often has an office, which can be used as a neutral space for the intervention.
The interventionist or person assisting you begins to work before the actual intervention occurs. Typically, they will meet up with you and anyone else who might offer them a useful perspective on the person suffering from addiction several times before the actual intervention occurs. Here are the things they can help you with:
- Assembling Background Information: During these sessions, they will conduct a thorough investigation of the person’s drug or alcohol use and abuse. They will also seek to determine if there are any dual diagnoses present that could influence the addiction or the outcome. A person who has a co-occurring disorder often has symptoms that can partially inhibit their ability to clearly see the situation what the addiction has imposed upon them. It is important the professional leading the intervention to understand these disorders so that they can take into account how they aggravate the addiction or how they may influence the intervention itself. At this point, the professional assembles information not only on the person that is need of co-occurring disorder treatment but from the people that are going to be involved within the intervention. This is so they can preemptively determine where things might go and how best to handle them. They will also discern what information you have that might be useful or detrimental to integrate into the conversation.
- Researching And Choosing A Program: The professional that works with you can help advise you on residential treatment options and direct you towards programs that might work best for your loved one. They will help you to set about making a clearly defined treatment plan that you can present to your loved one, including setting goals and establishing boundaries.
- Preparing And Outlining The Actual Intervention: For reasons that we discussed above, it is important that an intervention remain structured and focused. This helps to keep the discussion on track and away from overly emotional conversations that can derail the focus and impact. The professional will likely give you guidelines of things to say, and may even have you practice rehearsing them prior, that way things run smoothly and efficiently. They will help you to organize your thoughts in a way that is most beneficial to the outcome. According to Mayo Clinic, an intervention: Provides specific examples of destructive behaviors and their impact on the addicted person and loved ones, offers a prearranged treatment plan with clear steps, goals, and guidelines and spells out what each person will do if a loved one refuses to accept treatment. The intervention specialist will help you in all three steps, but they will pay specific attention in directing you in the first and last steps, as these can be very personal and overwhelming tasks. They can help you to find clarity and confidence so that you can say things concisely and in a way that presents your loved one with the truth in the most edifying manner.
- Transitioning To Treatment: A specialist can be helpful during the transition from the actual intervention to after, as they can help to make arrangements to have your loved one transported to the facility and make sure all the final details are in place. This helps to alleviate a lot of stress on the friends and family during a time that is already highly stressful.
- Creating A Plan For Follow-up: Lastly, they will help to plan and implement any follow-up that is necessary. Recovery is a journey, getting into treatment is the first major step after a person accepts that they have a problem. Achieving sobriety is another landmark, but the recovery itself takes work and insight—things that the intervention professional can help prepare you and your loved one for. The intervention specialist will give you ideas on how you can support any necessary lifestyle changes or behaviors for your loved one. They will also direct you to resources like support groups and counseling, both for yourself and your loved one.
Even though enlisting the help of an intervention specialist typically takes money, it is very much worth it. It allows you and your loved to focus on finding the best solution and increases your chances of getting your loved one into a drug detox and treatment program.
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Every aspect of addiction can be daunting to both you and the person that is struggling with it. It can be hard to keep your head clear when you’re faced with this level of adversity. Let us help direct you to resources and treatment options that can get your loved one the care they need to succeed and find sobriety. Contact us today to learn more about what Vertava Health Mississippi can do.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Does it Mean to Have an Addiction Intervention?
It means to put together a group of people — friends, family, and even people like coworkers to reach out and educate someone who is struggling with addiction in the hope of opening their eyes to the help they need. It’s kind of combining education with compassion, showing you care about the person deeply and want to help them understand their addiction, and that you are on their side.
How Do You Do an Intervention for Addiction?
There are a lot of ways, but the most common is to contact people who are all compassionate and interested in finding help for the person struggling with addiction. Once everyone knows they want to help, schedule a time for everyone to meet and talk with the person who is struggling and discuss ways everyone there can and will go about getting help. The group doesn’t have to be just family and friends, it can also include religious officials, counselors or therapists, and even social workers.
What Are the Different Types of Interventions?
There are a lot of different types, too many to list, in fact, but the most common aspect they have is a gathering of people to help someone get professional help for an addiction. Because there are many forms of addiction, as well as personalities for those struggling with addiction, you will come across a lot of different setups. There isn’t a best one, other than the one that works for the person in need.
What Are Some Examples of Addiction Interventions?
An example would be when you consult an intervention specialize who will gather background information on the person struggling with addiction. The drug intervention specialist will then present research on which treatment program would suit the person in need, followed by outlining and eventually conducting the intervention. After that it’s all about transitioning the person into professional treatment and establishing a plan to follow-up and help them in recovery.
What If an Intervention Doesn’t Work?
It doesn’t mean the person is beyond help or that the intervention failed. Occasionally interventions can lead to heightened emotions and feelings of being attacked or judged, and this can make the person the intervention is focusing on storm off in anger or act in ways that seem hateful. If their addiction continues it’s always a possibility to try another intervention, maybe a different kind, with less (or more) people. It doesn’t mean you should give up on helping, just that you should try approaching from a new perspective.