Watching a loved one struggle with drug abuse and addiction problems can be incredibly difficult for family members and friends, and they often hope that their loved one will reach out for and get the help they desperately need. Unfortunately, while many individuals who are suffering from drug abuse and addiction problems are well aware of the fact that they have a problem and are often very desirous of ending their relationship with drugs, they are rarely able to outwardly admit this to self or others. Even if they can admit to their drug problems, they are unlikely know what to do about them. This is where intervention comes in.
Intervention is a valuable tool that can be used by family members and friends to encourage a loved one to seek the drug addiction treatment they need. It is a well-planned and organized meeting that seeks to bring the drug abuser or addict into an understanding of how their drug use is related to the problems they are encountering in their life. They are presented with facts regarding their drug use and the adverse effects it is causing the individual and others around him, and they are presented with consequences that will occur should they choose to reject treatment and continue their drug use. Obviously, the ideal outcome of an intervention is an individual who has accepted the help being offered them, and who enrolls in an addiction treatment program. However, this doesn’t always occur.
When Intervention Fails
No matter how well planned and carried out an intervention is, there is no guarantee that it will result in the individual’s agreement to enroll in a treatment program. In some cases the individual just needs more time to consider what is being offered him, in other cases the individual simply doesn’t believe he has a problem for which he needs help. Regardless of his specific reason for refusing treatment, the individual obviously needs something more before he will step onto the path for recovery. So what’s next?
1. Keep your word. During the intervention, family members and friends should have discussed some consequences that will occur should the individual fail to enroll in addiction treatment and continue their drug use patterns. It is absolutely critical that you follow through on these consequences, so that your loved one experiences clearly defined repercussions for their actions. They may try to bully or emotionally manipulate you into changing your mind, saying that they need your help, but the truth is that the only help you can and should offer is assisting them into an addiction treatment program–everything else could be considered to be enabling their continued drug use.
2. Seek help for yourself. Many family members and friends slide into blaming self for their loved one’s addiction problems, but this is hardly helpful. Receiving support and encouragement from others who understand what you are going through can help you to stand strong and ease your own frustration and anger over the situation.
3. Stage another intervention. It can occur that a loved one who experiences the consequences of continuing their drug use begins to reconsider their choices, and may therefore be more open to the idea of enrolling in addiction treatment. A second intervention, overseen by a professional interventionist, may be able to address issues that were skipped the first time, and may result in success.
4. Never give up hope. The fact is that an intervention that may appear to have failed, because the individual refused to immediately enroll in addiction treatment, may only need time to work. Remaining hopeful that your loved one will eventually see the truth and reach out for the help that is being offered to them can go a long way in strengthening your mental state and perseverance.
There is no arguing that drug addiction is powerful, but it can be and has been successfully resolved time and again. Family members and friends who care enough to stage an intervention are invaluable allies to the drug addict, and when they remained dedicated even past a failed intervention, they are truly the best hope the addict has for achieving full and lasting recovery.