Family Intervention for Substance Abuse

Families are supposed to care and support each other. While this is something that’s hard to deny, and it’s quite helpful when it comes to helping a particular family member overcome addiction. If someone becomes addicted to drugs, a family intervention can help them overcome the addiction. A professional can be invaluable in guiding the process and assisting getting your loved one into treatment.

Who Are Involved?

Part of the Interventionists role is aiding in choosing who should be in the room on the day of the intervention. Often, the intervention will only involve close family members, however, anyone who is close enough to have influence over the client or whom the client respects and admires, within limits, is invited to be part of the process. Even if it is determined later that that is a small role. Usually there are at least 3 people in the intervening group, but there shouldn’t be too many. If there are 10 or more, it may seem like a mob and the proceedings can be rather unruly.

The intervention allows for family members to state what they have seen, what their fears are for the individual and what they hope for, in terms of outcome. This process creates an emotional experience that will often compel the individual into treatment.

Those involved in the intervention should be mature enough to handle intense emotional events and be able to sit through the process without becoming a distraction. Though children are a significant motivator for many, they can also be a reason for people not to go. Allowing a professional to guide you through the process takes a lot of confusion out of the process as they often are able to see things more objectively.

What Should You Say?

If you’re participating in an intervention to help a family member overcome an addiction, it helps if you prepare what you want to say so that the conversation doesn’t turn to one of blame and shame. The interventionist will help craft what you want to express so that it comes across in the way that it is intended rather than a starting point to an argument.

The media has portrayed interventions in a way that isn’t always accurate. For example, the Johnson Model of Intervention has each family member write a letter that they read to the individual being intervened on, this is also what has been shown on many television shows. Reading from a piece of paper doesn’t have the same emotional impact, so while some coaching may be provided to effectively communicate what is intended effort is made to be authentic and genuine and speaking from the heart rather than reading off of a sheet of paper can be a huge difference. All discussion is focused on concerns about the loved one as it relates to their addiction.

When Is the Right Time and Place?

The right time is when the person you want to talk to isn’t busy, so that there are no other distractions. It’s also best in the morning, because usually an addict hasn’t yet touched their alcohol or drugs.

The right place should be private. A restaurant or someplace public isn’t recommended, because the addicted person may react hostilely. An office can work, or the home of one of the interventionists. The home of the person with the substance abuse problem is often where the intervention takes place. Having it at the individual’s houses who is being intervened on can have its pros and cons.

It helps if the approach doesn’t just focus on the harmful consequences of the substance abuse. Instead, the family members can point out the benefits of overcoming the addiction. These benefits may include improved relations with the family, improved work success, and health benefits too. An addict can overcome substance abuse, with the help of supportive family members and a professional who can offer expert treatment programs.

Why a Professional Can Help

Families can benefit greatly by consulting with an expert who can help prepare the participating individuals for this challenging conversation as well as aid in facilitating the conversation with their loved one. In addition to aiding in the conversation your Interventionist will learn as much about the individual who is strtuggling as possible and with this information navigate the hundreds of treatment options that are out there narrowing it down to several choices that will target individual needs and the likes and dislikes of the person who will be being treated. On going family support is also available to see that everyone is following through on the healthy commitments made during the intervention process.

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