All too often, it is thought the intervention process is about talking addicts into changing and having them head off to treatment. If that were true, the problems would already have been handled by the family. There are several intervention facts that all families need to know.
Part of what we do is pairing the alcoholic or drug addict with the proper treatment center, but the real work of the intervention occurs during the family day preparation prior to the actual intervention.
- There are several types of interventions, and although the addicts’ reactions may be different, the families have almost always suffered through the same scenarios.
- Everything the family knows about the addiction is from behavior learned over time as a result of the addict’s manipulations and cons.
- Families don’t like to hear that they are as addicted to their loved one as their loved one is addicted to drugs or alcohol, but it is true.
- Family members have lived with their loved one’s addiction for such a long time that the addiction has become a part of their lives as well.
- Families, like addicts and alcoholics, try to put off an intervention or follow professional advice because deep down inside, they either want to fix the problem themselves, think it will correct itself, don’t think it will work, or are simply too afraid to change.
Arranging the intervention for the family is far more difficult than getting the addict or alcoholic to accept help. Intervention statistics show it is much more challenging to get a family of 3 or more to agree to an intervention than to get an alcoholic to accept help at the intervention. Intervention facts are simple. No addict or alcoholic can get high or drunk using his or her own resources alone. Like fuel for a fire, addiction requires enabling behavior from others. Addicts try to establish a position of control over their family. Addicts and alcoholics want to be shown they are worthy and loved; they want to be saved. The worst form of enabling can simply be doing nothing at all. No addict or alcoholic is going to want help unless the situation changes on the family’s part. The addict or alcoholic has to be made responsible and held accountable for the addiction.