When an individual is struggling with drug addiction problems, they are often struggling for the right to control and direct their own life. Even when an individual has made the decision to put an end to their drug use habits, they can find it incredibly difficult to do so, especially on their own. More often than not, a drug addict who recognizes that they have a problem with drug use and that it is adversely affecting their life is yet unable to recognize that there may be a way out. They may believe that recovery is impossible, that no one truly understands what they are going through, and that no one else has ever experienced what they are struggling with. This is where peer-led interventions can be so incredibly useful.
The Effectiveness of Peer-Led Interventions
Whenever an individual is working through something in their life that is challenging and difficult, the support and encouragement of others can go a long way in bolstering their confidence and courage. When it comes to recovering from drug abuse and addiction problems, it is important to recognize that the individual alone made the decision to turn to drug use in the first place, and the individual alone must make the decision to put an end to their drug use. That said, the support and encouragement of peers who have themselves worked through these same problems and come out the other side can be instrumental in the individual’s continued dedication and success. The embarrassment, the fear, the helplessness and the hopelessness that many individuals struggle with as a result of succumbing to drug addiction can cause the intervention process to be difficult to face and work through. However, there is a degree of comfort that can be brought about simply by knowing that the individual who is leading the intervention is a recovered drug addict, and will not be judgmental.
With peer-led interventions and support, the individual retains their self-determination in making the choices about their life. In many cases, traditional interventions can feel like emotionally-charged confrontations that essentially guilt or shame the individual into participating in rehabilitation treatment. In some cases, the individual simply agrees to treatment to get family members and friends “off their back”, but they don’t truly dedicate themselves to their recovery and therefore often fail to fully recover. In peer-led interventions, however, the individual is simply able to discuss their issues with someone who understands what they are working through, and they are able to retain the right to make their own choices for their treatment and future.
Another benefit of peer-led interventions and support in recovery is the fact that the individual often feels more willing and able to participate in his own recovery process, as he feels as though he has equal relationships with those around him. Also known as reciprocity, these two-way helping relationships allow the individual to experience the kinship of common experience, and how helping another through their problems serves to diminish one’s own problems. This can raise the individual’s willingness and ability to participate in the recovery process, which is critical to his overall success as it is his willingness and ability to change his life that allows him to fight for, win and maintain his sobriety.
Obviously, aiding an individual in their recovery process in any way can help one to foster hope for their own recovery. The apparent impossibility of full and lasting recovery can be gradually reduced as hope slowly grows, and the individual is drawn more and more out of worrying over their own problems. Peer-led interventions and support therefore have the power to change an individual’s life, successfully intervening where traditional methods may not be as effective.