As of 2015, 40 million Americans ages 12 and over meet the clinical criteria for drug addiction. An additional 80 million Americans are risky substance abusers, which means that while they are not addicted, they use drugs in ways that threaten public health and safety. Of the 8.5 percent of people who needed help with an illegal drug abuse problem, only 4.2 million people actually received treatment.
Drug abuse is an increasing problem in our country and it is one that many people do not know how to deal with. It is not solely up to the addict to get help. Very often, an addict will only admit he/she needs help when they encounter some major problem, such as getting arrested, being kicked out of the house, or losing their job. Up until then, they may not realize that their drug use is becoming a problem.
With the increasing numbers of deaths and overdoses in our country, waiting for such events to take place may not be the best course of action. If you suspect that your loved one has a problem with drugs and/or alcohol, what should you do? Should you confront them? Should you give them ultimatums?
Seeking the help of an Interventionist or Addictions Specialist should be where you start. Having an outside party that is experienced with such issues will be your best way to avoid a negative outcome or confrontation. This is never something you want to do alone. Many times, the user will feel attacked or cornered and they will either put up their defenses and argue, or completely shut down. We want to be able to avoid both scenarios entirely, thus the importance of having a professional present.
Staging an intervention requires some planning. There are all kinds of considerations, from the timing, to the people involved in the process. Every Interventionist’s process may vary, so speaking with them first is vital. Nevertheless, there are some things you can keep in the back of your mind, when considering to have an intervention for a friend or family member. Let’s go over some of the key points to an intervention…
Determine who is going to participate
Be selective about the number of people. Put yourself on the receiving end. The end goal of an intervention is to get the addict to agree to addiction treatment. It is imperative to employ the services of an Intervention Specialist or someone that works in the field of Drug and Alcohol.
The plan is obviously not to ambush the individual. Speaking to them when they are most vulnerable is a recipe for disaster, so timing is definitely key. Additionally, you may want to try to speak to them when they are not under the influence, but those times are often hard to come by. Many questions will arise when trying to time an intervention, so it is best to consult a professional.
Plan the Intervention
Think about what the purpose behind the intervention is. It is not scold the drug user or belittle them. You want to be able to express your feelings and concerns in a loving manner. Rehearsing what you are going to say and even writing it down on paper will be helpful. Sometimes, writing a letter of how their behavior and drug use/alcoholism has affected you is beneficial and often received better than just “flying off the cuff.”
Be Prepared for Consequences
Do not be surprised if your intervention is met with resistance. If this does occur, what is your plan if your loved one rejects your efforts to help? Will you walk away? Be more persistent? Again, seek counseling to understand the correct way to handle prospective situations.
Have an Action Plan
Have you sought out rehabilitation options for your loved one? In the event that they agree to enter drug and alcohol treatment, you will want a plan in place, so you can get the recovery process started right away. Often times, Interventionists or Addictions Specialists will have a variety of recommendations in regards to the proper facility, and what best addresses the needs of your loved one.
There is a better chance of success when a professional is used. The most important thing to keep in mind during an intervention is that there is no quick and easy fix for addiction treatment. Even when they decide to get help, you must understand that a month away simply won’t be enough. Extended care and outpatient therapies are often necessary, along with engagement in support groups, for ongoing sobriety. You need to prepare yourself for the long haul.
At Clearbrook Treatment Centers, we suggest that interventions take place after consultation with an Intervention Specialist. Seeking the help of a professional will only further your chances of success.
If you or a loved is suffering from drug addiction or alcoholism, we can help. For over 4 decades, Clearbrook has been providing quality treatment to the chemically dependent person. Secluded in the mountains of Northeastern Pennsylvania, your loved one will have the opportunity to recover in a serene and peaceful environment. Please contact our Admissions Specialists today and begin the process of recovery.