When most people think of addicts, the image that comes to mind is often someone who’s lost almost everything, who’s fallen into financial disrepair, lost their job and possibly even their home, who looks emaciated and unhealthy, and who’s turned to a life of crime in order to sustain their substance abuse habit. Unfortunately, there’s a large number of addicts who find themselves in such circumstances, brought up by years of active addiction and being in the throes of chemical dependency.
As a result, these individuals become shells of their former selves; they become dispassionate about things they used to love and often let even their most important relationships fall by the wayside. The truly unsettling thing is that most of this deterioration occurs willingly, sacrificed over the course of addiction as addicts become less and less concerned about or interested in anything that doesn’t relate to substance abuse.
However, it’s easy to forget—unless you’re someone who has an addicted loved one, of course—that addiction affects more than just the individual with the physical and psychological dependency. Substance abuse disorders are known for their ripple effect, causing a variety of hardships in the lives of those individuals who are close to an addict. It’s not unheard of for loved ones to experience more hardships than even the addict him or herself.
Especially when there is an addiction in a family unit, it can be an incredibly trying time for everyone involved. Most loved ones are unsure of how they can best help the addict in their lives, trying to balance support, encouragement, and love without enabling or giving up on the addict altogether. With emotions running high, families often stage
With emotions running high, families often stage interventions as a last-ditch attempt to help their addicted loved one, confronting the addict with the fruits of their destructive behavior in the hope that the experience will be an incentive to enter a recovery program. Individuals who have an addicted loved one may be wondering whether an intervention is worthwhile and whether an intervention could even work.
After watching a member of one’s family spiral downward into the dark abyss of addiction, it can begin to feel as if the time for the addict’s recovery has come and gone. In order to understand whether an intervention works, it’s necessary to learn more about addiction interventions—what they are and what they’re intended to do—and the possible outcomes of an intervention.
What is an Intervention?
By definition, an intervention is characterized as a strategy that’s intended to produce behavior changes or to improve health status, either for an individual or a group of individuals; this often takes the form of an orchestrated, non-aggressive confrontation, but can also include educational programs, policy changes or improvements, health promotion campaigns, and improvements in the environment. The most
The most effective interventions that produce the most lasting change tend to incorporate multiple strategies. Intervention has been used for a variety of purposes and in a variety of settings, which include but aren’t limited to the following: communities, schools, worksites, faith-based or religious organizations, healthcare organizations, and in the home. According to the evidence, addiction interventions have been effective when they influence positive change, such as influencing thought and behavioral changes and improvements, establishing a strong social support network, and creating a supportive environment.
Although they can be used in many places for many different purposes, the term “addiction interventions” is most commonly associated with the procedures in which the loved ones of addicts orchestrate confrontations intended to encourage the addicts to receive addiction treatment by participating in recovery programs. This often happens with the assistance of a professional interventionist or intervention specialist, who helps to facilitate the event by encouraging constructive discussion and empathetic dialog as well as in much of the intervention’s preliminary planning.
Loved ones will often research treatment programs and make arrangements for the addict in the event that the intervention is successful and results in the addict choosing to begin recovery. Over the course of the intervention, it’s most common for family members to take turns speaking, either to the addict or to the group collectively, expressing their thoughts and feelings, especially as they pertain to the addict’s disease and how it has affected others.
The Characteristics of Successful Addiction Interventions
The question of whether or not interventions truly work cannot be answered by a simple yes or no. It would be more accurate to answer that question by saying that there are effective, adequately planned and well-executed interventions that work and there are poorly planned, poorly executed interventions that don’t work. The answer to this question lies in determining what makes addiction interventions successful, knowing what parts of the planning and execution that make an intervention as likely to result in the addict’s recovery as possible.
When planning an intervention, it’s important to have a clear idea what the desired outcome of the event is. First and foremost, an intervention seeks to encourage the addict to admit his or her addiction before finally decided, with encouragement and support from members of his or her family, to enter an addiction treatment program. To this end, it’s essential that the intervention conveys understanding, empathy, and support to the individual who suffers from addiction.
If he or she feels attacked, the intervention will be unsuccessful and the addict will remain physically and psychologically dependent. Additionally, those orchestrating the intervention should plan to share details about how each has been personally affected by the addict’s disease, whether this has meant being stolen from, lied to, and so on.
Expressing how members of the family have been hurt by the addict’s disease and then offering them a solution—recovery—will make it more likely that the addict will want to protect his or her loved ones from any additional hardships brought on by addiction. Finally, it’s important to define clear consequences if the addict chooses not to begin addiction treatment, whether that means having to move out of his or her family’s home, no longer supporting the addict financially, and so on.
Recover from Addiction Today
Well-planned addiction interventions have helped many addicts to realize the error of their ways and begin recovery from substance abuse and addiction. If you or someone you love is suffering from substance abuse and addiction, Drug Treatment Center Finder is here to help. Our team of recovery specialists have helped countless individuals suffering from addiction to find the right recovery programs. We can help you, too. Call us today.