Getting Help Through Intervention
Who Needs an Intervention?
When someone important to you in life is sick with a drug or alcohol use disorder, it can put you into a tough spot and keep you awake at night not knowing how to help them. If someone you know is addicted to drugs or alcohol, you have watched as it has destroyed their life and put a strain on your relationship with them. Sometimes, the hardest thing to do for an addict is to confront them with an intervention about their substance abuse, but it is worth it to do so.
How Do Interventions Work?
Here in Arizona, over 2 million teens and adults consume alcohol every month. Many of these people develop an addiction and can refuse to admit they need help.
An intervention can be a great way to get your loved one to agree on making some lifesaving changes. If an alcoholic or addict knows that their family and friends support them enrolling into rehab or another sober program, they will be more likely to go. Substance abusers often begin taking drugs or drink to feel accepted in a group setting. An intervention can show your loved one that they will still belong while being sober, which can help them feel at ease to take the next step. This support can help them fill the hole in their life that drugs or alcohol were occupying before.
When setting up an intervention there are many things that you need to focus on in order to make sure it is a success. First off, make sure you assemble the right group of people. Selecting the right people is half of the battle. Gather family members and close friends who have seen, firsthand, how the addict or alcoholic’s actions have negatively impacted them.
Do not invite anyone who may act as enabler or gives excuses as to why the addict should continue to drink or do drugs. Make sure everyone is prepared with a scripted statement to read. The script can help those during the intervention who become too emotional or lose focus of the overall message. It’s easy to get carried away when airing grievances to the substance abuser, but the goal is to show them that you are affected by their behavior and that it needs to change.
Achieving sobriety is not easy. This is why an addict needs the support and concern from those close to them. Show your loved one that they are not alone, and set up an intervention to help them. Getting sober is no easy feat but in the right environment and surrounded by the right people, anyone can accomplish it.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Intervention
Do: Set a concerning and supportive tone. Let your loved one know that the intervention is happening because everyone wants to see them get healthy and sober. Let your loved one know that they will not be alone to fight against their addiction. Keep your emotions in check, and do not give off the impression that you are mad, upset, or fed up.
Don’t: Criticize your loved one for their actions. If the alcoholic or addict feels they are being judged, they will tune out your concerns and not want to take the next step towards recovery. You are not setting up a trap to point out all the flaws in their life. An alcoholic may have turned to drinking to cope with a bad life situation and rubbing their face in it might lead them to drink more. Again, keep the focus on their drinking and your desire to see them get help.
Do: Get help from a professional interventionist. Having an interventionist present to act as a neutral third-party will help with the communication flow of the intervention. Sometimes, it can be hard for family members or the alcoholic to talk about how the loved one’s drinking problem has affected everyone. The interventionist can make sure everyone’s questions, comments and concerns are addressed. The interventionist can also let the alcoholic know what the next steps may be if they decide to go for alcohol treatment.
Don’t: Give up. It is not uncommon for an alcoholic to reject the first intervention. It can take multiple gatherings of friends and family to get your loved one to want to change their ways. Do not feel discouraged if you must plan multiple interventions.
Do: Use specific examples to prove to the alcoholic or substance abuser that their drinking/drug use affects more than just them. An intervention may be the first realization for an addict that they have a problem. And maybe they will feel they owe it to their loved ones to try to change their ways. Choosing the right order in which family members and friends share is important too. It would be a good idea to have the most damaging experiences read first to shock them in paying attention and then ease them into looking toward recovery.
Don’t: Go in unprepared. Hold a rehearsal intervention so that you may be able to be ready for any obstacles which may occur. Most alcoholics say start out saying the same things, “I don’t drink that much,” “it’s only on weekends” or “I only drink when I’m with friends.” Drug addicts will claim that their substance use is for medical reasons, or to help ease pain caused by an injury. Alcoholics and addicts tell themselves these things so much that they may truly believe it. Have comeback responses ready to prove to them that those statements are not entirely true.
Taking the Next Step to Staying Sober
It is important to remember that an intervention is only the first step. Once the alcoholic or addict in your life admits they have a problem, the next stage is to get help. Be sure to encourage your loved one to look into professional help regarding detoxing, rehab, therapy and sober living accommodations. Your loved one will need to feel support throughout their entire recovery process. Sobriety is hard to gain, but it is possible. Admitting the problem is the first and hardest step of the recovery treatment.
Get Your Intervention Started Today
If you wait too long, your chance to save your loved ones life may be too late. Act now. Alcoholism or drug addiction will only help your loved one end up in prison or death. Planning an intervention can be scary, sad, and frustrating all rolled into one. But keep a level head and focus on the overall goal of getting your loved one help, and it will pay off.
A successful intervention is not about how many people attend, but rather making sure the person close to you feels safe and loved. You don’t want them to become another death statistic because of alcohol or substance abuse. For more information, pick up the phone to call (623) 263-7371. Representatives will provide you with everything you need to start planning a successful intervention. Help open your loved one’s eyes to a happy life, not under the influence.