There is nothing so heartbreaking as witnessing a loved one’s descent into alcohol or drug addiction. Watching a life, which once held so much promise, crash and burn is a tragedy for them as well as for their loved ones. As is often stated, addiction is a family disease. The disruption to the family dynamic and finances, as well as the constant stress caused by the addict’s behaviors and choices while in the grip of this disease, leaves families feeling desperate and alone. Often, in an effort to help the addict, families become codependent, enabling the addicted family member and leading to even more dysfunction.
Often, a person who is involved in a self-destructive pattern (for example, substance abuse or an eating disorder) will be resistant, reluctant or in denial about addressing his/her addiction issues. An intervention mobilizes a group of concerned friends and family to meet with the identified patient in an attempt to convince him/her of the need to enter treatment in a caring yet firm manner. In many cases, this action (taken by a group of caring, loving individuals) is sufficient to overcome the denial and enable the patient to recognize his/her need for recovery.
"Eventually, the family comes to realize that they have no control over the addict’s behaviors and realize drastic measures must be taken to save them."
Because the addict is often unaware of the destruction caused by their substance use struggles, they are unable or unwilling to acknowledge the damage their behavior is doing to themselves or their loved ones. Understanding the psychological elements of denial is key in identifying the grip it has on the person struggling with substance abuse.
Breaking through denial and/or unresolved fear is often the first step to saving an addict’s life. Denial is a core symptom of addiction and co-dependence, and often requires an intervention with those that care about the addicted individual.
Often an addicted individual will justify their abuse and the trail of destruction it leaves by blaming, reasoning, minimizing, or avoiding the truth. Most addicts are terrified of giving up their drug of choice and are very resistant to getting treatment for the addiction. It is not uncommon for family members to have tried and failed multiple times to convince their loved one to get help for their drug or alcohol problem. An expertly guided intervention managed by a talented interventionist can actually motivate the person to want to seek help.
WHY AN INTERVENTIONIST CAN HELP
An intervention is by nature a potentially uncomfortable meeting in which friends and family may be concerned about saying/doing the wrong thing, and equally concerned that the identified patient may refuse treatment. A Sober Life Services professional interventionist possesses the knowledge and skills to organize and facilitate this meeting, adding weight and support to the cause of the intervention on behalf of all concerned individuals, and respectfully communicating with the identified patient about his/her destructive behavior and the need to enter treatment. The assistance of the interventionist and the method of intervention used increases the probability that intervention will be successful.
There are many professional models of Intervention, both direct and indirect, such as:
- Crisis Intervention
- Tough Love
- The Confrontational Method of Intervention
- The Johnson Model of Intervention
- The Love First Approach to Intervention
- The Systematic Family Model of Intervention
- Arise Intervention
While LSK Counselors are well-versed on the various theories, philosophies, and modalities of each type of intervention, our primary focus is to design a custom intervention that is tailored to the specific needs and traits of the client, rather than following a prescribed template. We design and conduct each intervention in a manner that will safely get the client to detox and/or treatment with the least amount of harm to their self-esteem. The reason is simple: addiction treatment may just save the client’s life.
To learn more about how a structured intervention can help your loved one start on the pathway to recovery, contact Skills in the Key of Life today.
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