Understanding Drug and Alcohol Addiction
A long-held belief is that an addict must reach rock bottom before they will be ready to seek help, but this is a myth. Research shows that the most effective way to help a loved one who is struggling with a substance use problem is to intervene early, before their addiction gets worse. A skilled professional drug and alcohol interventionist can help you communicate effectively with your your loved one and improve the chances that they'll agree to treatment. And by intervening early, family and friends can help their addicted loved one before irreversible damage occurs.
Addiction involves craving for something intensely, loss of control over its use, and continuing involvement with it despite adverse consequences. Addiction changes the brain, first by subverting the way it registers pleasure and then by corrupting other normal drives such as learning and motivation. Although breaking an addiction is tough, it can be done.
Drug problems affect not only the user but the individual’s entire network of friends and family. Several family-oriented family interventions have been developed over the years to provide concerned loved ones with a structured, solution-oriented process to help motivate someone who has a problem with drug or alcohol abuse to seek help.
It is common for addicted loved ones to deny that drugs are the source of the difficulties they face. They may instead blame other people or circumstances in their lives. When that happens, studies show that methods such as the Johnson Intervention can break through the denial and help these individuals engage with treatment.
How to Stage an Intervention
The intervention assumes the picture of a gift from the heart from a family that will recognize that he/she cannot start the journey by himself. The Journey of recovery must include the family, team, or circle of supporters in the purposeful event. To that end, the process is not over when the loved one accepts the treatment placement.
Staging an intervention is only the beginning. Once the formal intervention is over, we plan for the continuum of care and service. It is essential that this team remain together, as a unified circle of care and support for each other. When your group disperses we ask that you continue communication as a solid group. This is part of your commitment to the cause. You may elect to do this in person – if you are all geographically close. Other options include a group text, or phone conference.
The Team counseling part of the intervention will discuss how members must be honest and truthful with each other. All disagreements and reservations should be brought to the table. It is common that the addict will reach out to the person he feels closest to. This person may be the chief enabler. He will call the person who will listen to him. The addict may call with a variety of complaints about the treatment site, ranging from complaints about the food, showers, no free time, or the staff who set up the rules. You must recognize that, as occurred in the active addiction, he will go to any lengths to convince you he is a victim and simply cannot tolerate this.
Remember, if you respond, he will only continue to express his pain. Once you absorb and listen, he has placed success and you in harm’s way. You will end up as sick as he is. Initiating or responding to a text from the addict/alcoholic in treatment, even with a single word like “applesauce,” gives him the opening and leverage to continue and you will be trapped.
How Does an Intervention Work?
Severe drug addiction is a truly fatal problem, but it is also 100 percent treatable. In our drug abuse interventions, we explain to families and substance abusers how to make the family less accountable and the drug addict more accountable for the addiction.
Familial roles are always a major factor in interventions because the addiction has created a system that cushions and enables the drug user. Interventions teach families how important it is to change behaviors to make the addiction more difficult for their loved one. It is true that addicts need to feel some sort of a bottoming out, and that cannot happen if everyone is aiding and supporting the loved one’s drug habits.
Our drug and alcohol intervention process is designed to get your loved one willing to accept help and go directly to treatment. It is important for families and addicts to understand that intervention is built on the premise that the problem is the addict, and not necessarily the drugs themselves.
Once the addict or alcoholic agrees to seek treatment, it is easier to undertake and complete the program and follow through with the discharge plan if the family stays on board and sticks to their boundaries. Many times, you hear that the treatment program has not worked, or that it was not the right place for the loved one’s addiction.
This occurs almost exclusively when the family slips back into old behaviors, allowing their loved one to return home or leave treatment early. The help provided by Addiction Treatment Group and Intervention 365 can assist in both situations. Our professional interventionists will come to you and meet with your family. Together, we will decide the best course of action and find the right treatment for your loved one.
Life can be normal and happy again for the entire family so long as the family stays on board to ensure that their loved one completes treatment and follows the after-treatment plan. By using intervention help, you can get your loved one willing to accept help, finish treatment, and become accountable for the future.
For more information on drug and alcohol addiction visit our partner site at Addiction Treatment Group