Watching someone you love descend into addiction is frightening. The process can take months or even years, and those individuals who are closest to the addict might find themselves making excuses for or covering up dangerous behavior. Unfortunately, because addiction negatively affects memory, reward, and decision-making skills, it can be nearly impossible for the addict to believe there is a problem. If you’re living with or close to someone who is addicted to drugs or alcohol, there may be a solution.
Intervention is an effective way to help your addicted loved one accept that getting help is necessary. It’s also extremely powerful — for intervention to be effective, professional help is necessary.
How Intervention Works
During intervention, people who are close to the addict confront him or her about the problems caused by substance abuse. Each participant takes a turn describing how the addict’s behavior has caused problems. These problems may be financial, health-related, legal, professional or personal. Participants will stress that substance abuse help is the only solution to these problems.
Interventions are difficult. Participants often have pent-up feelings of resentment, disappointment, sadness, concern and anger. The addict may also have these feelings, especially if he or she is self-medicating depression or anxiety with alcohol or drugs. A professional interventionist can help keep emotions in check while keeping the focus on the goal: convincing your loved one to enroll in rehab right away.
The professional interventionist has other responsibilities as well. Interventionists help concerned loved ones plan and manage the meeting itself. If the intervention is successful, the professional will bring and enroll the addict in rehab. If it is not, the interventionist will help participants plan what to do next.
Interventions may be powerful but they are not always successful. If the addict feels ambushed, it may be more likely to end unsuccessfully. Many times an addict will grow angry and leave an intervention suddenly. If that happens, don’t give up hope. Interventions are not easily forgotten, and your loved one’s intervention may eventually become the event that convinces him or her to get help.
Preparing for Intervention
Before you choose an interventionist, it may be wise to choose a rehabilitation center. Most drug and alcohol rehabs have an interventionist on staff or work with professional interventionists on a regional basis. Prepare a small list of people who are good candidates for participation. The rehabilitation center will be prepared to enroll your loved one following the intervention.
It’s also a good idea to address practical issues before the intervention takes place. These issues include childcare, pet care, taking a leave of absence from work, paying bills during rehab and getting packed. If your loved one knows these everyday problems have been addressed, he or she may be more likely to enroll in rehab when the intervention ends.
Packing a bag of belongings can also help your loved one feel more comfortable in rehab. Your rehab center can tell you what is and what is not allowed. Clothes, alcohol-free toiletries, insurance information, identification, cash and credit cards are usually allowed. You may or may not be allowed to bring cigarettes, a cell phone and laptop computer.
There are many choices for residential rehabilitation. What rehab center is right for your loved one depends on individual health needs and personal preferences. Factors such as location, size, cost, insurance billing, amenities and treatment philosophy are some of the things you will need to consider. Remember that a “luxury rehab” is not the same thing as a successful rehab. For more information on our Top Ranked Rehab Centers for this year, click here.
For many addicted people, getting sober begins with an intervention. For more information on intervention or substance abuse treatment in general, contact a counselor now.