Family members of alcoholics or drug addicts often feel as though there is nothing they can do to help their loved ones. To a certain extent, that is true. No one can force an addict to get the treatment he or she needs. Until the addict chooses to get well on his or her own, he or she cannot truly be helped. That said, family members and friends are not completely helpless. They can conduct what is known as an intervention.
We will explain the details of the intervention in the following paragraphs. Before we do however, we want you to know that the free support services we offer are not just available to addicts themselves. They are available to you, also. We are here to assist you in doing whatever you can to reduce the damage done by addictive behaviour within your family, including accessing counselling and therapy.
Where conducting an intervention is concerned, we can outline the basic steps for you as well as getting you in touch with professional counsellors who can assist you. All it takes is one phone call to our addiction recovery helpline to get started.
The Intervention Explained
The best way to explain the intervention is to describe it as an organised process whereby concerned family members and friends confront the addict about his or her behaviour. The idea is to bring the addict face-to-face with reality, if but for a short amount of time, in order to motivate him or her to get help. Experts say the intervention can be a very powerful motivational tool when implemented correctly.
In order to make an intervention a success, a number of components must be in place:
a group of family members and friends willing to participate
a neutral, non-hostile meeting place
a well-planned strategy for addressing the addict
a clear set of conditions to be met
a list of available recovery services that can be quickly accessed.
Many families choose to meet with a professional counsellor before conducting an intervention. Some meet with the counsellor in order to develop a strategy and get some helpful tips. Others utilise the services of a counsellor from start to finish, even using the counsellor’s office as a neutral meeting place.
How It Works
A successful intervention begins by organising a group of family members and friends willing to participate. These individuals should have fairly close relationships with the addict in question to be most effective. The group can include immediate family members, close friends, and even co-workers.
At the appointed time, everyone meets in a neutral location. Having a neutral location is essential in order to provide an environment the addict does not deem hostile or threatening. With everyone assembled, each member the group then takes his or her turn addressing the addict at a personal level. After each one has had a turn to speak, the addict is given the opportunity to respond accordingly. Hopefully, he or she will agree to seek treatment.
Here are a couple of important tips for conducting a successful intervention:
Atmosphere – The intervention should be conducted in an atmosphere that is not accusatory or challenging. In other words, the group is not assembled for the purposes of hurling accusations or trying to make the addict feel guilty. If group members are overly aggressive, it could cause the addict to leave the proceedings without any decision being made.
Approach – Some experts believe the best approach is to demonstrate how addictive behaviour is damaging the life of the addict. Others say this approach is unfruitful due to the fact that the addict has already demonstrated he or she has no concern for their own well-being. They suggest a better strategy is to explain how the addict’s behaviour is hurting their loved ones and others around them.
Consequences – In order for an intervention to truly be successful, the group must lay out a series of benchmarks to be met, along with consequences if unmet. The addict must be held accountable for his or her actions to the extent that they understand the group will no longer tolerate their behaviour. What’s more, the group must be willing to follow through on those consequences.
Support – Family members and friends must make it clear throughout the intervention that they are willing to support the addict in his or her attempt to get well. That support can include everything from providing a listening ear to helping arrange for treatment. A healthy support system definitely goes a long way toward ensuring long-term recovery.
Know Your Treatment Options
When an intervention is successful, the addict in question comes to realise he or she needs treatment. However, the intervention does not end there. Should the individual decide he or she is willing to get help, the group needs to be immediately ready to spring into action with a list of treatment options and, when appropriate, a way to pay for them. Keep in mind you might only have a short window of time before the addict changes his or her mind.
One of the things we do to help family members and friends is provide information about support services and treatment options. When you call us, we can let you know what is available in Essex, throughout England, and abroad. We can help you determine what might be the best type of treatment for your loved one so that you are ready with all of the options should your intervention prove successful.
If your intervention does not achieve the results you wanted, please don’t despair. Some addicts require multiple interventions before they finally come to terms with their situation. If you fail the first time, just take a little time off and then try again.
In the meantime, do whatever you can to limit the harm the addict causes to your family. This may include family counselling and other support services available throughout Essex and England. Even if your addicted loved one never changes his or her behaviour, you cannot allow him or her to ruin the rest of your life. If you are ready to get the help for your family, please contact us right away.