In an ideal world, your loved one would wake up one morning and decide that the time is right to make a change and ask for help for his or her addiction. However, in reality, it often gets to the stage where family interventions become necessary.
Drug addict and alcoholic interventions are used when all attempts to get a loved one into treatment have been exhausted. Many see family interventions as a last resort, but there are times when they simply will not work.
If your loved one is not ready to accept help, there is not a lot you can do to force the issue. You may have begged and pleaded for this person to get help, but it may be the case that denial is playing a role in preventing him or her from seeing the truth of the situation.
How Effective Are Family Interventions?
Family interventions involve members of the family along with close friends getting together to hold a meeting with the addicted individual. The aim of the intervention is to encourage the addicted person to see how his or her illness is negatively affecting the people he or she loves.
Many addicted people are unaware of how their illness is affecting others until they are forced to face the issue head on. Addiction often makes individuals behave in a selfish and manipulative manner, and many cannot see what is going on around them. All they care about is their next drink or their next fix.
With family interventions, the addicted person is asked to listen to family members and friends who will spell out exactly how they are feeling and how the addiction has affected them. The intervention should be used as a way to help the addicted individual and not as a way to punish them or make them feel bad about themselves.
Around ninety per cent of family interventions are successful in terms of getting the person with the addiction into treatment. Drug addict and alcoholic interventions are said to be really successful when they help the addicted person and the others who take part. A family intervention is a therapeutic exercise that benefits everyone close to the addict as well as the addict him/herself.
Many family members will only realise the true impact of the addicted persons illness on their own lives after taking part in a family intervention. Many find it a liberating experience as it allows them to recognise the changes they need to make in their lives. There is a very good reason that addiction is often referred to as a family illness, but many only realise that after taking part in an intervention.
When Does an Intervention Make Sense
It may be tempting to arrange an intervention for a loved one as soon as you realise that he or she may have an addiction. Nevertheless, for family interventions to be successful, it is necessary to have already attempted to get the affected individual into treatment.
Interventions work best if you have plenty of evidence to use as reasons why your loved one needs to get help. If you arrange an intervention early on in the illness before it has begun to impact on other family members or friends, your loved one is less likely to be convinced of the harm it could do.
Having some examples of the impact the addiction has had on other people is hard-hitting and can often be the catalyst for making the addicted individual finally see the truth of his or her situation. Nonetheless, if you cannot show you loved one evidence of the harm the addiction is causing, he or she may find it easier to believe that you are exaggerating the problem.
Who Should Take Part?
If you have exhausted all avenues regarding getting a loved one into treatment, then a family intervention could be the next step. While some employ a professional facilitator to take care of the proceedings, this is not always necessary.
Arranging a family intervention is simple enough, provided you do your research beforehand and as long as you invite the right people to participate. You may be tempted to ask all family members to attend, but doing this could be counter-productive, especially if the addicted individual does not get along with one particular person.
Whom to Avoid
If one family member brings out the worst in the addicted person or triggers anger in the addict, he or she should not be invited to attend. It is best to invite only those who the addict respects, as these will be the people that can be effective when it comes to getting the addict into treatment. It is inadvisable to include young children but in many cases, older children and teenagers can be very effective at getting an addicted individual to seek help.
When it comes to staging family interventions, most people are of the opinion that the addicted person should not find out about it until the meeting is to take place. This is not always the case, however. Some people believe that giving the addict warning by way of an invite is an effective strategy.
Others think that allowing the addict to know about the intervention beforehand could give him or her a chance to make excuses for the addictive behaviour and could make the whole process ineffective. Either way, staging an intervention is an excellent method of helping your addicted loved one see the hurt he or she is doing to those around them and, hopefully, get him or her into treatment.