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Drug & Alcohol Interventions

Watching a loved one battle drug or alcohol addiction is never easy, and convincing them to go to rehab is one of the hardest parts. When confronted with their behaviors, people who suffer from addiction may become defensive or angry with their loved ones. Moreover, many people have a hard time seeing the truth behind their substance abuse – they believe that their drug or alcohol use is only affecting themselves. The truth is that addiction affects everyone in families who are touched by it. Sometimes, families need additional help in convincing their loved one to get help. This is where drug and alcohol interventions come into play.

Interventions are structured and controlled conversations that are held between an addict and their loved ones while under supervision of an intervention specialist. During the intervention process, loved ones discuss the different ways in which their loved one’s substance abuse has affected their loves. In the end, the ultimate goal of drug and alcohol interventions is to make the addicted individual realize that they have a problem, that their behaviors are hurting loved ones, and that going to treatment is necessary.

When is it Time to Intervene?

It isn’t always easy to know when the right time to intervene is. When families are affected by addiction, they may struggle with codependent behaviors that stop them from confronting a loved one or admitting the full weight of the problem. On the other hand, some loved ones may deny that their loved one is abusing drugs or alcohol, leading them to be unsure of when to stage an intervention. As a result, the first step is to determine whether or not an addiction or substance use disorder is present.

Drug and alcohol addiction is characterized by mental, emotional, and physical symptoms that cause an individual to continue using despite negative consequences. Some signs and symptoms that your loved one is addicted and that it is time to intervene include:

  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not using drugs or alcohol
  • Developing a tolerance to drugs or alcohol
  • Being unable to control the amount or frequency of drug use
  • Isolating from friends and family
  • Struggling with finances
  • Lying to friends and family about drug or alcohol use
  • Having problems at work, school, or home
  • Continuing to use despite a worsening physical or mental health condition
  • Hanging out with friends who abuse drugs or alcohol
  • Changes in sleep patterns, moods, and eating patterns
  • Attempting to cut back or quit but being unable to do so
  • Experiencing intense cravings for drugs or alcohol
  • Engaging in risky or illegal behaviors

Furthermore, people who struggle with addiction often battle co-occurring disorders like anxiety, depression, or other mental health conditions. If you have noticed several of these signs and symptoms in your loved one, it may be time to consider staging a drug and alcohol intervention.

How to Stage a Drug and Alcohol Intervention

The most important thing to remember before staging an intervention is that you should never do so alone. Additionally, interventions should never happen last minute. If you want an intervention to be successful, it takes time and detailed planning.

Hiring an Intervention Specialist

If you suspect it is time to stage a drug and alcohol intervention, the first step is to contact and hire an intervention specialist. Intervention specialists are often licensed therapists who specialize in mental health and substance abuse. By hiring a specialist, you and your loved ones will learn the best ways to not only confront your addicted loved one, but support yourselves as well.

Oftentimes, family members will prepare to intervene and then back away. Intervention specialists help keep the process moving by holding families accountable and breaking the shackles of denial. In addition. Confronting an addicted loved one alone is a risky act – your loved one may lash out in anger or refute help. As a result, addiction interventions should always be held under the supervision of a trained professional.

Inviting Loved Ones to Participate

Once you’ve hired an addiction specialist, it’s time to get started with the intervention process. The next step is to invite family and friends to participate. Every intervention is different, so it is okay if some family members or friends choose not to participate, but the more people who have been affected and who are willing to speak up, the better.

Some intervention groups consist of only immediate family members while others consist of extended family, primarily friends, children, co-workers, and more. Before inviting people to join your intervention group, consult with your intervention specialist to make sure it is a good idea.

Prepare and Rehearse

The next step in staging a drug and alcohol intervention is to educate members in the group about the disease of addiction and the recovery process. The more knowledge you go into the intervention with, the more prepared the entire group will be. In addition to gaining education about the process, members should write down how their loved one’s addiction has affected them and which boundaries they wish to set. This gives group members the opportunity to express their emotions and plan what they would like to say before the day of the intervention.

People who are struggling with addiction may not see how their behaviors and substance abuse affects those around him or her. For this reason, many addicts believe that their addiction isn’t that bad or doesn’t hurt those around them. However, this is far from the truth, but interventions give loved ones the opportunity to express these concerns and have their voices be heard. That being said, nobody should go into this confrontational type of conversation without preparing and rehearsing, so it’s important to plan what you will say and practice how you will say it before speaking with your loved one.

Choose a Time and Place For Your Intervention

Since drug and alcohol interventions take thorough planning, another step to staging an intervention is to carefully pick a time and place for the conversation. Generally, interventions should be held in a non-threatening environment, such as the addict’s home. Furthermore, you will want to pick a time when the addict is sober or somewhat clear headed, so you may decide to stage an intervention when your loved one first wakes up or as he or she is leaving work.

Overall, the actual intervention isn’t that time consuming. Most interventions take less than an hour, but this varies depending on the circumstances. However, it is always important to stay prepared for the unexpected. You can’t control how your addicted loved one will react to the intervention and whether or not they seek help. In the end, all you can do is set your boundaries and do what you can to get your loved one to see the need for treatment.

During the Drug and Alcohol Intervention

During an intervention, group members will take turns expressing their concerns to their addicted loved one. The loved one will be given a chance to listen and respond as their family and friends confront them. Then, the group members will set forth specific expectations, boundaries, and recovery goals that they want their loved one to adhere to. The intervention specialist will provide the addict with a list of treatment options and recovery resources, so if your loved one accepts the help, they will be prepared to get help that same day. If the addict doesn’t comply or leaves treatment early, he or she must be held accountable to the boundaries set forth during the intervention.

Hopefully, once the intervention is over the addict will see how their drug or alcohol use has affected his or her loved ones. In realizing this, he or she should comply with going to an addiction treatment program. Similarly, members of the group may also be set up with a family addiction therapy program to help provide counseling and support to everyone who needs it.

Get Help for an Addicted Loved one Today

Staging a drug and alcohol intervention is a vital part of getting a loved one to go to rehab. Additionally, interventions give family members and friends a place to let go of any resentments or concerns that have been plaguing them. Although you cannot control the outcome of an intervention, it is better to try and fail than to let your loved one continue with their addiction consequence-free.

If your loved one won’t accept that they have a problem and need professional addiction treatment, it may be time to stage an intervention. Take control of the situation today by contacting one of our trusted addiction specialists at Carolina Center for Recovery today.