In the United States, drug and alcohol abuse is a lot more common than you might think. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, approximately 21-29% of patients who are prescribed opioids for chronic pain misuse them, and 8-12% of those patients develop an opioid use disorder. That's not even taking into consideration those who misuse opioids without a prescription or those who are addicted to alcohol and illicit substances. In some cases, the individual will realize they need help and seek out treatment for addiction on their own; in others, friends and family members may choose to come together to stage an intervention and offer the opportunity for their loved one to attend an addiction recovery center to turn their life around. But what exactly is involved in an intervention -- and is it always the right course of action?
What is an intervention?
Essentially, an intervention is a carefully constructed meeting or conversation that friends and family members have with a person who is engaging in active addiction and whose dependence on this substance is having negative effects on their life and the lives of those around them. In many cases, the intervention may also involve a counselor, a medical professional, or someone who works in the field of addiction treatment. During this conversation, loved ones provide specific examples of how the addicted person's choices and behavior have impacted their lives, as well as outlining their offer for the individual to undergo treatment at an addiction recovery center. Loved ones will also set boundaries pertaining to what the addicted individual can expect if they refuse to get help.
How do you stage an intervention?
It's important to note that spontaneity has no place in an intervention. Even if you cannot predict how your addicted loved one will react, you must do everything you can to plan out and anticipate every detail. Often, this may require meeting with an intervention specialist or addiction counselor. It will also involve finding out more about your loved one's addiction and researching available addiction treatment programs that could be of help to them. In addition, you'll need to form an "intervention team" consisting of people who will participate in the intervention and rehearse what will be said. The addicted individual will be asked to come to the location of the intervention without being told why, at which time they'll be presented with the gift of attending an addiction recovery center and the consequences of dismissing the treatment opportunity.
Are interventions always necessary or successful?
First of all: interventions are not always a necessary step on the road to recovery. While they can put necessary events into motion and inspire people struggling with substance abuse to seek out help, staging an intervention may not be the only way to go -- despite the way in which addiction is often portrayed in the media. Ultimately, an intervention is just one method some families and friends may utilize to communicate with their loved one and encourage them to seek out help.
It's also essential to note that not every intervention is a successful one. Someone who is in denial of their substance abuse problems will likely not be very receptive to an intervention. Even a person who is well aware of the depths of their addiction and how it's ruining their life may be combative and may refuse to seek treatment. In other cases, the addicted person may agree to go to an addiction recovery center, only to leave after a short amount of time. In these cases, that person may not be ready to make the change that's necessary. But by refusing to enable their behavior and by carrying out bottom lines, the family still may inspire that person to seek help and start anew.
Whether you decide to stage an intervention or simply present the idea of a treatment program, it's crucial to conduct thorough research and seek out help for yourself during this pivotal time. For more information about how our addiction recovery center can help your loved one turn their life around, please contact us today.