An addiction intervention isn’t an easy thing to do, but it’s often a necessary one. President Obama once wrote in National Drug Control Strategy that to succeed against addiction, “we will need to rely on the hard work, dedication, and perseverance of every concerned American.” For those who watch their loved ones struggle daily with addiction, these words are fire, burning through their hearts and pushing them to help those around them begin healing.
An addiction intervention takes a good deal of planning, however, as the discussion that occurs can be a tricky and touchy one. Mapping out the conversation in advance and making sure you say the right things can reduce the amount of stress for all involved and help the conversation flow more easily.
Open With an Expression of Love and Support
Emotions often run high during an addiciton intervention. People who live with or love the individual struggling with addiction are often angry, upset or sad. They may want to vent their frustrations. Beginning an addiction intervention with negativity isn’t a good idea. When people feel attacked, they may block out anything said to them or completely shut down.
The best idea is to start more constructively, with expressions of support and love. Use terms like:
- I love you and want the best for you
- I’ve always believed in you
- You’re the most important person in my life
Doing this can help the individual feel your love, concern and respect without feeling like they are being attacked.
Be as Specific as Possible
Approximately 23.5 million people in America struggle with alcohol or drug use, but only 11 percent actually receive the addiction treatment they need. Denial causes a lot of this problem. Denial is one of the main symptoms of addiction. In order to break through this symptom, you need to provide specific evidence of addiction during the addiction intervention. This can include:
- Missed work
- Problems at home
- Skipped family or work functions
- Episodes of impaired driving
Present each incident in a factual manner, with dates and times if possible.
Discuss Health Issues in Addiction Intervention
While some individuals might be compelled to enter addiction treatment after seeing the financial and emotional damage caused by their struggle with addiction, others might be much more inclined to pay attention to physical health problems.
To address this, work with a professional mediator who can help you create a list of specific health issues that might be associated with the individual’s drug or alcohol consumption. Provide the individual with facts and figures they can’t ignore.
Discuss Addiction Treatment Options
Towards the end of the addiction intervention, it’s important to discuss the addiction treatment options available to them. Provide details about the treatment facility, as this can ease the person’s mind and help them make the right decision for themselves. Tell them where it is located, how they will be getting there, how it will be paid for and what the individual might experience. This can help reduce feelings of skepticism they might feel about addiction treatment.
End With an Expression of Love and Support
End with the same message as when you began. You love this person. They are important to you. You hope they receive the care they need because you want them to be happy and healthy again. During this step, avoid using guilt or placing blame. Let them know you support them and understand that recovery is hard work, but you’ll be there for them every step of the way.
Addiction Recovery Through Gracious Care Recovery Solutions
If you’re holding an addiction intervention for a family member or friend, encourage them to take an important step towards recovery by enrolling in treatment at Gracious Care. Our facility offers multiple therapy options, medical detox, partial hospitalization, inpatient and outpatient treatment. Learn more by calling today.