Everyone around an addict knows he or she needs help, but often the addict can't see it.
What action you take to help him or her may be a matter of life or death. Just the fact that you are searching for answers is the first step in the right direction. Our goal is to provide you with as much information as possible so you can get them the help they need.
If you need help finding a rehabilitation program, please give us a call at 1-800-775-8750. Our counselors will assist you in getting him or her the treatment they need.
The Narconon drug and alcohol rehabilitation program has successfully helped addicts end their addiction for nearly five decades.
Steps You Can Take
Very often, an addicted person will know deep inside that he or she needs help but be unable to break the cycle long enough to receive the needed help. An example that is very common is when an addict encounters some major problem (e.g. they get arrested, kicked out of house, lose job etc.) and at that point is completely willing to discuss the addiction with loved ones. Unfortunately, if this opportunity is not quickly siezed, the drug cravings and overwhelming environment will force the individual back into using drugs and it will be some length of time before he/she will encounter forces that will prompt them to cooperate.
The addict has things in his or her past or present that seem like devastating events and that have something to do with their drug use. One example is a person who has lost his best friends due to his addiction. Another example is a person losing his wife and child over drug abuse. A family member can look at an addict's life and see hundreds of reasons why he/she should quit using but unfortunately these reasons are not REAL to the addict. There are, however, problems the addict encounters that are real to them which they feel are ruining their lives, which he or she will see as reasons to quit using drugs. These are important to identify because they can be used during the intervention to remind the addict why he or she must seek help.
The addict doesn't necessarily have the same reality about their addiction that non-addicts might. For instance, he or she may have semi-serious health problems, no friends and no job or income but feel like they are 'doing okay'. Many addicts have actually overdosed on drugs coming very close to death and are right back using drugs the very next day. This may appear crazy but in fact is only part of the pain for the addict.
With this in mind, the addict from time to time will encounter added pressure, which forces him or her to make an actual decision about whether to seek help or continue to use. Pending legal charges that could easily lead to jail time, threat of losing spouse, pending loss of job, all are possible situations where a person has enough pressure to fight the addiction and seek help. Although any one in particular may not work in your situation, there are pressures that can come to bear which will help prompt the addict into a decision to seek help.
It is easy to assume the addict is "only seeking help to avoid jail" or some other evaluation which in many cases is true. The fact remains that an addict will only seek help when someone or something pushes him out of his "addiction comfort zone" and forces him into a decision. Addicts with access to money, a place to live, people who agree with their usage and no legal issues rarely seek help. They "don't have a problem". This is very important to understand and will be crucial in any attempt at intervention.
One of the major considerations involving intervention is selecting who will be there. This matter should be well thought out beforehand. The number of people there is less important than who is there. If at all possible, the person in the family whom the addict respects the most should be there
As many family members as possible should be there as long as each and every one are completely in agreement about the fact that the person needs help and supportive of the general agenda. If someone in the family is antagonistic against the addict and is not capable of restraining themselves from arguments and blame then you might consider leaving that person out. Usually, the addict has many enemies and has done wrong to most of the family but arguments and upset will not benefit the cause of getting the addict to seek treatment. In fact it will usually result in stopping this from happening because the focus of attention gets placed on the argument and not on the matter at hand.
The overall goal is to bring the addict up to a point where he or she realizes there is a problem and is willing to seek help. When this has been achieved, be prepared to get them to treatment without any delay.