Treatment Interventions for Substance Abuse

Putting a Stop to Addiction

Being a parent, sibling, relative or even a friend to someone who is struggling with a substance abuse problem can be hard. You want to help them but might not know how to. Your feelings are mixed with frustration, sadness, concern and fear. You want to shout at them, hoping to prove that the only reason you are mad is because you care. But if you really care about your loved one who is having a hard time with addition, there is a better way. Holding a treatment intervention for substance abuse can be the best way to reach your loved one.

Interventions are geared toward getting people who need help with a substance abuse problem to realize that they have an issue. The ultimate goal should be to get your loved one to agree on attending rehab. It is normal to feel confused about how to help someone recover from a drug addiction or alcoholism problem. If you hold an intervention for your loved one, you might just provide them with the wake-up call they need to want to make changes.

Being nervous about setting up an intervention is normal. Not everyone knows how to put an intervention together on the spot. In some cases, you can plan it out for weeks. In other cases, where the loved one’s addiction is severe, it might have to be on the spot. While you want your intervention to work, do not be discouraged if the gathering does not go well the first time around. Most people need multiple wake-up calls before they are ready to seek the help they need.

Do not give up on your loved one, there are only three ways an addiction ends: rehab, prison or death. Keeping that in mind, you probably want to see your loved one go to rehab. You can be the one to help them realize that there are options to recover from the bad situation that they are in.

How Do I Know My Loved One Needs an Intervention?

Some common signs that your loved one is sick and tired of being sick and tired are: secretive behavior, borrowing and not returning it, aggressive outbreaks, lack of motivation for anything other than getting wasted, health side effects and problems with friends, family, work and all other relationships.

Each day that you let pass without holding an intervention for your loved one becomes another day closer to death. If you have tried to talk to your loved one about decreasing his or her drug or alcohol consumption and rejected the notion that there is a problem, then it is probably time to stage an intervention. Many people live in denial about their drug addiction or alcoholism issues.

Show Them You Still Care

Addiction fuels itself through the feeling of isolation. People who are having a hard time laying off drugs feel alone and helpless. This makes it hard for them to come forward for help because they do not think that anyone will understand. Guilt overtakes their mindset, so they assume everyone will treat them like a criminal if they ask for help. If your loved one is having a hard time with drugs and alcohol, then obviously all you want is for them to get better.

Taking away isolation might urge your loved one to start changing his or her ways. In an intervention, you can prove to your loved one that people still care and want to see him or her get better. Often times, people continue their cycle of abuse with drugs and alcohol because they feel no one will help them or care about them. Show your loved ones that people still care about them and do not want to lose them to an overdose.

Some Intervention Tips

1. Set your tone to be supportive and concerning. Get the point across that the intervention is happening for your loved one. Assure them that they will not be alone in their fight against their addiction.

2. Seek help from a professional interventionist. With an interventionist present, your group will have a better chance of reaching your loved one. An interventionist will know the best way to go about getting everyone’s questions, comments and concerns addressed. Your loved one might also have questions and concerns about rehab that you might not be able to answer, which is another way an interventionist is handy.

3. Prepare written statements to read to your loved one. Ask each person who will attend the intervention to prepare a scripted statement to read. They should use specific examples of how your loved one’s drinking or drug problem has effected their relationship with that person. Using specific examples might help your loved realize that their problem has taken a toll on everyone.

The Don’ts

1. Do not let your emotions run wild and get the best of you. In a lot of interventions, people tend to get too emotional. This might give off the idea that everyone has gathered to attack your loved one. If that happens, he or she will bottle up and not want to get help. But supportive and assortative but not judgmental.

2. Do not go in underprepared. Make sure to hold a rehearsal with everyone who plans to be in attendance. Give everyone a chance to know what to expect and be ready to come up with comebacks for when your loved one says things like, “I don’t drink that often.” Or, “I only do drugs when I’m at parties.”

3. Do not by any means give up. It might take multiple interventions before your loved one realizes that he or she needs to attend rehab. Don’t get discouraged if your first, second or even third attempt does not work.

Time and Location Can Be Key

Knowing when and where to hold the intervention can be tricky. Obviously, the sooner the better. But at the same time, you do not want to rush things and go in with a group that is not ready. Choose a time that most people attending feel ready to confront your loved one. You will have to select a time in that your loved one is not on drugs or alcohol. Mornings usually work better, considering most people with a substance abuse problem are impaired almost every night.

Try to meet in a place where everyone can feel as comfortable as they can. Interventions are extremely tense, and at times awkward. Being in a familiar environment can help keep the group relaxed. But again, this is about your loved one so try to select a place where your loved one is also comfortable, but not distracted. Putting everyone in a neutral territory can help set that concerning tone. If it is possible, lead your loved one to a place where there will be little to no interruptions. And do not tip off your loved one that the gathering is taking place.

How Can an Interventionist Help?

An interventionist will act a neutral third-party. Having an outsider present can help with communication flow. Your loved one might have some things that he or she wants to say but might not know how. Your loved one might want to explain how the drug or alcohol problem got so out of hand. An interventionist can help him or her put that into words.

The interventionist can also help the group reach your loved one. He or she will lead the meeting, choosing whose turn it is to speak and when they should speak. This will keep your intervention organized. If the gathering remains organized and calm, your loved one is more likely to be reached.

Seeking help from a professional interventionist can also get everyone’s questions answered. Most interventionists are in recovery themselves, so they know about the process. Your loved one might need some questions answered before they are willing to move on to rehab. And some of the people who gather to speak at the intervention might also have questions about addiction and rehab.

The Process After the Intervention

An intervention is just a prerequisite for the recovery process. The real first step taken in the right direction happens when your loved one admits that they need help recovering from addiction. If you have already researched rehab facilities, help your loved one select which place he or she wants to complete its rehab program.

Before rehab takes place, the person entering recovery must first complete the detoxification cycle. In detox, the user’s body will try to clean itself out. Toxins build up the body’s organs while consuming drugs and alcohol regularly. When this happens, withdrawal symptoms will occur. Withdrawal symptoms can be so nasty that some people refuse to go past their intervention to move on to recovery so that they do not have to deal with withdrawal symptoms.

Some people try to detox on their own, but this is dangerous. Withdrawal symptoms are unavoidable in most cases and can be life threatening. Having professional medical help is the only safe and efficient way to deal withdrawal symptoms. Most modernized rehab centers can provide clients with special medication to help alleviate the pain caused by withdrawal symptoms.

After detox is when rehab begins. In rehab, people undergo concentrated therapy classes and sessions to get to the bottom of their addiction. Learning why they had the urge to constantly get loaded can help them recognize those situations after rehab is complete.

Everyone will have different needs and wants from the rehab facility that they choose. It is important to put effort into selecting a center. Choosing one based on price or simple convenience might not be a wise choice. Your loved one will need to be comfortable and content with the facility chosen or else his or her results might not be so pleasant.

Inpatient and outpatient facilities offer comprehensive plans to clients. Before enrolling in a rehab center, you should ask if the facility offers personalized rehab plans. Inpatient rehab programs are usually associated with better results. Outpatient programs, although usually a more affordable option, cannot go as in depth as inpatient programs.

Traveling for the Next Step

During the intervention, it might be a good idea to try to persuade your loved one to travel for substance abuse treatment. Your loved one is probably in some tough predicaments because of his or her addiction. Traveling for treatment allows your loved one to get the separation he or she needs from the people, places, and things that promote drug and alcohol intake.

Addiction latches on to people via bad habits. When people leave their city or state to attend detox and rehab, they are able to break those habits. Escaping the stresses that trigger their addiction is half the battle. It is hard for them to realize that living life without doing drugs or alcohol is possible. If they get out of their normal surroundings, they will see that living a happy and sober life is possible.

Let Them Know Change Is Possible

Addiction is a cunning and misunderstood disease. So much so that people have a hard time understanding why they cannot “just quit” using drugs and alcohol. Addiction is a mental illness that needs to be addressed properly or else it will never be able to be coped with.

The point of an intervention is to get your loved one to agree to go to rehab. But at the very least, your intervention should get your loved one to know that he or she has other options. Your loved one might not think that living another way is possible.

Do not use the intervention as a chance for everyone to ridicule your loved one. Chances are he or she is embarrassed and upset enough about everything that has happened. If you want to see your loved one recover, then you will do whatever it takes to help. An intervention can prove you still care.

Your loved one just needs to realize that his or her actions and bad habits are taking a toll on more than just them. Everyone is scared and stressed out every time they leave the house, now knowing if they will come back alive or not.

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