Important: The Devastating Event
An Addict’s Ruin
The addict has things in his/her past or present that seems like a devastating event and which has something to do with drugs. One example is a person that has lost his best friends because of addiction. Another example is a person losing his wife or husband and child over drug abuse.
A family member can look at an addict’s life and see hundreds of reasons he/she should quit using but unfortunately these reasons are not REAL to the addict. There are however problems the addict encounters that are real or significant in the addict’s life, which he/she sees as a reason to quit using drugs. These are important to identify because they can be used during the intervention to remind the addict why he/she must seek help.
The addict doesn’t necessarily have the same reality about their drug addiction that non-addicts might. For instance, he/she may have semi-serious health problems, no friends, and no job or income, but feel like they are “doing OK”. Many addicts have actually overdosed on drugs coming very close to death and are right back using drugs the very next day. This may appear crazy but in fact, it is only part of the pain for the addict.
With this in mind, the addict from time to time will encounter added pressure, which forces them to make an actual decision about whether to seek help or continue to use.
Pending legal charges that could easily lead to jail time, the threat of losing spouse, pending loss of a job, all are possible situations where a person has enough pressure to fight the addiction and seek help. Although any one of these, in particular, may not work in your situation, there are pressures that can come to bear which will help prod the addict into a decision to seek help. It is easy to assume the addict is “only seeking help to avoid jail” or some other evaluation which in many cases is true. The fact remains that an addict will only seek help when someone or something pushes him out of his “addiction comfort zone” and forces him into a decision. Very few addicts with access to money, a place to live, people who agree with his usage, and no legal issues seek help. They “don’t have a problem.”
This is very important to understand and will be crucial in any attempt at intervention. With this in mind, the addict from time to time will encounter added pressure, which forces them to make an actual decision about whether to seek help or continue to use.
This next point is also important in planning an intervention and should be taken into consideration.
Who Should Be There?
If at all possible, the person in the family whom the addict respects the most should be there. This person is an opinion leader to the addict and needs to be there fully supportive of getting the person help and informed well about the actual agenda.
As many family members as possible should be there as long as they are all in complete agreement that the person needs help and will support him/her throughout the process. If someone in the family is antagonistic against the addict and is not capable of restraining themselves from arguments and blame, then you might consider leaving them out.
Usually, the addict has many enemies and has done wrong to most of the family but arguments and disruption will not benefit the cause of getting the addict to seek treatment and in fact, will usually result in stopping this from happening because the focus of attention gets placed on the argument and not on the matters at hand.
Many people hire a professional interventionist to run the intervention. This is advisable in many situations but not a necessity in most. This depends largely on individual circumstances. For instance, does the person have pending legal issues, external pressures, etc., or does the person deny completely any drug usage. These types of factors need to be considered intensely before bringing in an outside person. … Next – the appropriate time
You may want to seek help in establishing who should be present at the intervention because it is a strategic factor.
If you are uncertain and need help please give us a call,