When someone is addicted to drugs or alcohol, it can have far-reaching effects. They extend well beyond the person living with dependence, having negative impacts on the lives of the people they love most. Of course, those facing addiction often don’t realize just how significantly their habits affect their loved ones. If someone you love is living with addiction, you want to help them overcome it. That’s generally much easier said than done, though.
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Planning an Intervention
Intervention is one of the most effective ways to help get a loved one started on the path to recovery. An intervention is an act of love and compassion, but it can certainly be challenging. It’s important to approach it in the right way. One crucial step in the process is seeking professional guidance from an authority on the matter, such as an addiction recovery clinic. This will be helpful in not only planning an intervention but also fostering long-term recovery after the fact. Additionally, keep the following points in mind to help you make the most of your efforts.
Understand Addiction and Treatment Options
Understanding addiction is an essential part of the process. It’s not just a habit or acting irresponsibly. It’s a complex condition that affects how the brain functions. It impacts people’s behaviors, thought processes, decision-making abilities, and other aspects. It’s often the result of underlying factors as well, such as anxiety, depression, or physical pain. Research addiction before intervening. Educate yourself on the substance your loved one is addicted to and the reasons he or she may have fallen victim to substance use disorder. Know which treatment options are available. From there, you’ll be better prepared to proceed.
Be Loving, Supportive, and Understanding
An intervention should include the loved one who’s suffering from addiction as well as family and friends. Having a professional counselor or interventionist in your corner can also be helpful. An interventionist can evaluate the situation, help you determine who should or shouldn’t be part of the intervention, and provide guidance on how to best help your loved one.
During the intervention, be sure everyone keeps judgment, accusations, and anger out of the picture. Those emotions will only make your loved one feel as though he or she is under attack. In turn, they’ll make matters worse. Create an atmosphere of love, empathy, and support. Attendees can prepare heartfelt statements to express their concerns for the person struggling with addiction, but it’s important to avoid outright blame, antagonism, and other negative approaches.
Emphasize that no one is inherently angry with the loved one in question. Everyone is just worried. You miss the person your loved one was before addiction, and you want that person back.
Timing Is Crucial
Timing is crucial for an intervention. It should be held when your loved one is at least relatively sober and not in crisis. It should happen at a time when your loved one may be more receptive to the thought of making positive changes. That being said, it’s also important to avoid waiting too long to intervene. There’s really no perfect time to hold an intervention, but choosing a time when your loved one is in the right state of mind is essential.
Keep in mind that your loved one may not immediately be receptive to everyone’s statements and the prospect of rehab. He or she may deny that there’s a problem or become defensive and angry. Be prepared for this, and remain calm no matter what your loved one may say during the intervention. Be persistent, though. Don’t simply give in and walk away if your loved one doesn’t embrace the idea of seeking help right away.
Stepping in to Help a Loved One
Seeing a loved one struggling with addiction can be a heart-wrenching experience. Your loved one’s addiction may even be affecting your life in numerous ways. Although you want to step in and help, that’s not always easy to do. Many people don’t even know where to start. Turn to an addiction center for professional help with the process. Take some time to research addiction and fully understand it. Be aware of possible treatment options as well.
When planning and holding an intervention, include people who are close to your loved one. Avoid judgment and blame. Instead, try to maintain an atmosphere of love and kindness even if your loved one reacts negatively. Above all else, be supportive during the intervention and afterward. Continue to show support for your loved one even while he or she participates in a rehabilitation program, and be sure to express plenty of love, patience, and encouragement throughout the journey to recovery.