Most people have misconceptions about what drug and alcohol interventions are, how they’re performed and what are their full benefits. Many people believe they are some type of force or punishment, but that is the farthest from the truth if done correctly.
Other misunderstandings about effective interventions is that they’re just about getting the addicted person into treatment. In reality, it is so much more than that, as there are systemic changes that must occur within the family to stop enabling behaviors. This is why Family First Intervention is now releasing a video called “The Four Building Blocks of an Enabling Family System.”
As explained in the video these four components are guilt, fear, hope and victim. Addicts and alcoholics like to blame their situation on other people, places, things as well as situations, and when families feel guilty they become enablers. Fear can also set in when the addicted person starts to issue threats to anyone trying to intervene, such as claiming they will harm themselves or someone else. In reality, the risk of that happening is much greater with continued substance abuse than with any intervention, as addicted individuals are using these threats to manipulate their loved ones.
Another form of that manipulation comes in the form of false hope. An example is when someone thinks that if they can just get that new job, find a new partner, try a new medication or some other temporary diversion that doesn’t solve the actual problem.
Lastly, addicts and alcoholics like to play the victim. They feel that everything and everyone is against them and that if someone else were in their shoes they would be getting drunk or high all the time as well.
While these may seem like trivial things or easily-solved problems to an outsider, it can be very different when someone is in the middle of a family dealing with these situations. “The unknown outcome for them is more fearful than staying in it, the addiction becomes your new normal,” says Family First Intervention founder Mike Loverde.
For these reasons, many families do nothing and instead continue their enabling behaviors, which of course doesn’t solve the problem. This is why having an experienced and professional interventionist guide a family through the process can be so critical to the outcome, not just for the addict, but for the family as a whole.