An intervention is a process of getting an addicted person to overcome their own resistance to getting treatment for that addiction. In most cases, families have pleaded with the addicted person and made treatment options available to him or her. But the person has rejected the help or perhaps went to rehab and then walked out before the treatment could help him. Families, close friends and others of influence will meet with the addicted person and present a united front on the subject of treatment. There is usually an agreed-on plan of what will be said and done, prepared before the meeting.
Any person who is addicted to illicit drugs, alcohol or abuse of prescription drugs who persists in that addiction and who repeatedly rejects the idea of addiction treatment.
There are many possible reasons. These include:
- Drug and alcohol abuse lower a person's awareness. As the damage mounts in the form of financial ruin, damaged relationships, health and legal problems and harm done to friends, family, children and one's community, an addicted person will tend to blot out this harm with continued use of drugs or alcohol.
- An addicted person may feel they cannot deal with the pain and sickness of withdrawal.
- He (or she) may be so driven by his need and cravings for drugs or alcohol that he is unable to conceive of being able to function normally without them, ever again.
- He may also have developed such a low opinion of himself, after years of being addicted and being involved in criminal activities to support that habit, that he is certain that he does not deserve to recover.
Drugs or alcohol may provide the person with a euphoria that blocks the depression that results as soon as he tries to get sober. He may feel that he cannot bear experiencing the depression he is sure will result from going through rehabilitation.
Many of these concerns can be handled by finding a rehab program like the Narconon drug recovery program that can ease a person's way into sobriety with a tolerable withdrawal process, and that directly addresses the guilt, cravings and depression that result from addiction.
After the addicted person has refused help repeatedly, the family should stage an intervention to do their best to bring about a desire for sobriety. The best time of day to hold an intervention is usually the morning or whenever the person is most likely to be the most sober.
The most stable, rational members of the family or group of close friends should participate in the intervention. Anyone liable to lose his or her temper or who will indulge in recriminations or harsh accusations should be excluded. This is not a time for high emotions. They are likely to drive the addicted person away or cause them to dig in and resist any efforts to help him or her. Competent individuals who may be authorities for the addicted person may be able to help, for example, a respected priest or counselor.
No one wants to be an addict. This is true no matter what the person says. Somewhere in that person's heart is a desire to be sober and in control of his or her life again. The point of an intervention is to draw out that desire and reinforce it. Families can do this by talking to the person about who the addicted person used to be, the real person they love and care about, and want to help. They need to remind him of his real nature and offer the help that will get him back to that state. It may be useful to expose the addicted person to the many kinds of damage that have resulted from the addiction, but keeping it factual, not emotional.
Families often have a set of penalties that they promise to impose if the addicted person does not choose to get help. For example, no more financial support, no more bailing them out of jail, changing the locks in the parents' home and no more crashing on the couch. No more helping the person with jobs, health care, money, housing, groceries. In many situations, addicted people have been relying on and exploiting the love of the family in order to continue to abuse drugs.
The family should have a rehab center lined up and ready to accept the addicted person as soon as the intervention is done. The addicted person should be taken straight from the intervention to the rehab with no stops or delays in between.
The best result is that the addicted person makes a sincere choice to get sober at last. If a person at least agrees to go to rehab and give it a try, this is better than their continuing to abuse drugs. The rehab center must be told that this is all the person has agreed to so they can help the person make a more definite decision as soon as possible.
When family efforts to bring about a decision by the addicted person to get help have failed. There is no embarrassment in failing to have a successful family intervention. This is one of life's most difficult tasks, to be honest. A family preparing for an intervention should know exactly what they will do if it does fail, and have a backup plan that includes contacting a professional interventionist.
Many drug rehab centers, especially larger ones, will have relationships with professional interventionists. Ask the intake specialists at the rehab center you are talking to. Many of the Narconon drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers around the world work with highly competent and effective interventionists who can help you achieve your goal of recovery for your addicted loved one. For complete details, contact the international offices of Narconon at 1-800-775-8750.