Few things are as frustrating and upsetting as watching a loved one lose a struggle with addiction. Whether an addict is struggling with abuse of drugs or alcohol, when the addiction has completely taken hold of their lives, they are in essence a slave to that substance. An addict is so fixated on procuring more drugs or alcohol that they place this above literally every other aspect of their lives. They will sacrifice work, shelter, and the most important relationships in their lives in order to find more drugs or alcohol. This is an incredibly dangerous way for a person to live. An addict who is nearing rock bottom is risking their lives every day and must seek treatment if they are ever going to return to their normal selves.
One of the only ways a friend or family member of an addict can help lead an addict towards the decision to seek help is to stage an intervention. There are several methods of intervening with an addict.
Perhaps the most common type of intervention (although other methods are gaining popularity) is a surprise intervention. Often surprising an addict is the only chance friends and family members have to talk to the addict. In many cases, if an addict has become moody or easily angered as a result of the drugs they are using, they will react to news of an upcoming intervention by becoming distant or impossible to get a hold of. An addict, who again, is singularly fixated on using, will read an intervention as something that is preventing them from procuring drugs or alcohol.
A surprise intervention should not feel like an attack, however. On the contrary, concerned friends and family should pose all of their questions and statements from a place of love and avoid making any negative or judgmental statements towards the addict. Rather than place blame on the addict, they should keep all statements focused on their own perspective and the way the addict’s use has made them feel.
Another type of intervention involves telling the addict about the intervention ahead of time. This is an effective method for an addict who has expressed to their friends and family that they know they have a problem and would like to quit. In this method of intervention, the discussion is focused more on how an addict can receive help. Friends and family members can offer ways in which they are willing to support an addict on their path to sobriety. They can also reiterate how important they feel it is for an addict to seek help. This method, because it is less likely to be perceived as an “ambush” may also be the best option for addicts who are particularly prone to bursts of anger.
If an addict’s entire family is exhibiting signs of dysfunction as a result of the addict’s behavior, and perhaps in ways that are enabling the addict, a full family intervention may be necessary. In this case, one family member or close friend may stage and intervention designed to convince the family to attend therapy together in order to work through the causes of destructive behavior, and ways in which all family members can work together to help the addict and themselves.
Consult A Professional
Regardless of what type of intervention is appropriate for someone addicted to drugs or alcohol, an intervention counselor should always be consulted before any type of intervention is staged. An interventionist will know the ways in which an intervention can be most effective and will help friends and family take the steps necessary to plan a safe and effective intervention.