1) An addict needs to hit rock bottom before they’ll ever get help.
2) An addict has to decide when to get treatment.
Those two pervasive myths about addiction stop too many well-meaning and concerned family members from intervening to help their loved one get needed addiction treatment.
Addicts and alcoholics never need to hit rock bottom. Waiting for things to get worse only makes treatment harder and less likely to succeed, and many people never find their own rock bottom, until it’s too late.
Many alcoholics and addicts enter into substance abuse treatment programs initially on the urging of concerned friends or family members, at the request of employers or as mandated by the courts. Statistics show that people who do not enter into treatment as self-motivated participants are just as likely to succeed as anyone else. It does not matter how you feel walking in the door to that treatment center, it only matters how you feel walking out.
Talk to the person you love about drug rehab treatment. Sometimes you can convince them to get the help they need – sometimes they’re just waiting for someone to ask.
Often, though, it’s not that easy. Addiction hijacks the mind and treatment threatens the very existence of this addicted mind. Some of the strategies commonly employed to deflect treatment include:
Denying the problem or the extent of the problem
Lying about what they plan to do
Agreeing to get help, but not following through
Reacting with anger, deflecting the conversation away from their problem and back onto you
In many cases, an intervention is required to convince someone who is reluctant to get help into the addiction treatment they need.
A family intervention brings together everyone close to the addict or alcoholic for a loving conversation, during which the addict hears what harms their drinking or using does to them and to others.
When everyone comes together to tell personal stories of pain and to demand treatment, it is tough for the addict to continue to deny the existence of the problem and the need for treatment.
Interventions work well, but they should never be taken lightly. They are serious, difficult and emotional events that require forethought, planning and preparation. Be sure to get educated about the process before attempting your own, and consider enlisting the services of a professional interventionist to facilitate the event.