Anxiety and Substance Abuse

People who suffer from addiction are often in denial about their situations and not fully aware of the impact substance abuse has on their loved ones. An intervention is a carefully structured plan that allows your loved one to get help and make positive changes in their life before their addiction becomes worse and causes additional harm.Sometimes, having a heart to heart with your loved one is enough to encourage them to get help at a drug and alcohol rehab center. However, for those who aren’t fully convinced they have a problem, an intervention can be an ideal, effective way to connect your loved one with the treatment they need to achieve long-term recovery.

Outline a Plan

The first step in staging an intervention is developing a plan, which mainly involves forming a team composed of people who have your loved one’s best interests at heart. If you need help with outlining a plan, consult with a professional who specializes in staging interventions.

Look for intervention specialists in your local area, or contact a drug rehab center that offers intervention services or that can refer you to someone who performs this service. In some instances, an intervention can result in heated, unproductive arguments and situations that can make the problem worse, which is why many people end up hiring specialists to help them stage an intervention.

Educate Yourself on Treatment Options

An addiction treatment program usually combines drug and alcohol detox with behavioral therapy and counseling. Drug detox addresses physical dependence on drugs and alcohol, and helps people safely withdraw from these substances. Behavioral therapy and counseling address the psychological side of addiction and help people change harmful drug-using behaviors and attitudes.

Make a list of drug rehab centers that offer these services, and contact each one to determine exactly which services your loved one needs.

Form an Intervention Team

An intervention team should consist of people with close relationships to your loved one and who are impacted in some way by their substance abuse. This may include friends, relatives, neighbors, coworkers, and anyone else who may care about your loved one’s well-being. Reach out to these individuals, explain your plan, and start forming a team of people who can attend the intervention.

Make sure everyone on your intervention team knows to keep the intervention a secret to prevent your loved one from evading the meeting.

Establish Consequences

Establishing consequences makes it more difficult for your loved one to avoid or put off getting treatment after making the commitment. Without consequences, your loved one may lack the motivation to stay sober and relapse shortly following the intervention.

Relapse is common and a normal part of recovery that affects 40 to 60% of people being treated for substance use disorders, reports the National Institute on Drug Abuse. However, it’s important to minimize the risk of relapse as much as possible to prevent your loved one from staying caught up in addiction or experiencing a fatal overdose.

Have each person on the intervention team come up with a consequence your loved one will face in the event they aren’t willing to seek treatment at drug and alcohol rehab. Examples of consequences include asking your loved one to move out or initiating a divorce. Make sure everyone establishes a consequence they can follow through with so your loved one understands the severity of the situation.

Prepare Individual Speeches

Each person on your intervention team is there because your loved one’s addiction has affected them in some way. Ask each person to come up with one or more specific incidents in which your loved one’s addiction affected them so they can present them to your loved one during the intervention.

For instance, if your loved one hurt a relative’s feelings, that relative can explain to your loved one how it made them feel and why they no longer want to spend time with your family. During the intervention, have each person share their individual stories to help your loved one understand how addiction affects others, and why it’s important to seek treatment.

Hold the Intervention

Plan to have everyone meet up at a designated place for the intervention, then have each person take turns sharing their individual speeches in front of your loved one. The goal of the intervention is to have your loved one acknowledge they are struggling with addiction and agree to receive treatment. Have each person also state the consequences your loved one will face if they do not seek treatment.

Make Sure the Plan Sticks

In some cases, the person suffering from addiction will commit to seeking treatment during the intervention but fails to follow through with their commitment. Make sure your loved one follows through and gets help for their addiction, and help facilitate the process, if necessary.

Visit the drug rehab center with your loved one, and offer your support as they make plans to embark on their recovery. A successful intervention will result in your loved one ultimately receiving addiction treatment and gradually working toward lifelong recovery.

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