Drug Addiction Intervention Works to Change the Situation, Not the Addict

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Families dealing with an addict have no doubt tried a number of strategies to get the person to change his or her ways and give up the addiction. At various times, the family members may have tried talking to the person about their concerns, getting angry or frustrated, or even using threats as a way to get their point across that the behaviors around the addiction are not acceptable. Some families may prefer to wait it out, thinking the addict must hit “rock bottom” before he or she will be ready for a drug addiction intervention to work.

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Why This Approach Doesn’t Work

This strategy does not have a high success rate. Part of the problem when dealing with an addict is that he or she sets up situations putting the addiction in control. The family ends up doing things that support the addict’s habit. Every time a family member fails to make an addict accountable for his or her actions, it only serves to make the addiction more powerful. There is no incentive for the person to stop using.

One of the goals of conducting an intervention is to educate families about addiction as well as helping to get the addict to accept help from a drug rehabilitation program. Instead of waiting for the addict to change and the situation to improve, a much better choice is for the family to decide they are going to change the situation. The addict then needs to make a decision about whether he or she is going to make a positive change or not.

How to Raise the Chances an Addict Seeks Help

When faced with a united family unit that will no longer tolerate such destructive and self-centered behavior, the chances of getting an addict to admit that he or she needs help increase exponentially. A person in the midst of an addiction is not making rational decisions in his or her best interests. It’s up to the family to take charge and say, “Enough is enough. We have decided that today is the day you have hit your bottom. You can choose to get help for your addiction, but we will no longer support you in your disease.”

The family dynamic changes at that point from waiting for the addict to make a change to the family taking control of the situation. It is a much healthier way for the family to behave. Family intervention services are in place to develop a treatment plan that involves everyone in the family. This approach has the highest chance of success, since it helps to establish new ways for family members to interact with each other.

If your family struggles with a member’s addictive behavior, try these tactics or seek the help of a professional counselor.

Mike Loverde

As a Certified Intervention Professional (CIP), member of NAATP, NAADAC, and accredited by the Pennsylvania Certification Board, Mike Loverde knows first-hand what it’s like to live life with addiction. By overcoming it, he had a calling to work with others who struggle with drug and alcohol addictions—the people who use and the families who feel helpless watching them decay.

With thousands of interventions across the United States done and many more to come, Loverde continues to own the intervention space, since 2005, by working with medical doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists and others who need expert assistance for their patients who need intervention. To further his impact on behavioral health and maximize intervention effectiveness, Loverde is near completion of a Masters in Addiction Studies (MHS) accreditation, as well as a Licensed Independent Substance Abuse Counselor (LISAC), and is committed to attaining the designation of a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC).

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