Have you ever heard that the best way to get a person who is addicted to drugs or alcohol into a treatment program is to wait until they hit “rock bottom” before trying to get them to accept help? This is a good theory, but it doesn’t necessarily play out very well in real life. For people living with addiction and their families, playing this kind of waiting game is not the best option.
The longer the addiction is allowed to continue, the stronger its hold on the person becomes. It’s no exaggeration to say that this is an illness. The person who is ill cannot will him or herself to get better, any more than a cancer patient has the power to heal him or herself. All the good intentions, scolding, anger, reasoning, or promises to change in between episodes of using drugs or alcohol cannot make your loved one stop getting drunk or high.
Where Waiting for Rock Bottom Can Lead
If you decide you are going to wait for your loved one to hit his or her rock bottom and decide that he or she is willing to go to one of the drug treatment programs available, you run the risk of getting these results instead:
- Your loved one will end up on the streets.
- He or she will go to jail.
- The person you love will die as a result of his or her addiction.
None of these are the kinds of outcomes you want for someone you care for. The idea of a rock bottom implies that there is only one opportunity when your loved one would be open to seeking help. This is not the case.
More Than One Chance to Get Help
There can be more than one time when an addicted person would be willing to get help for his or her addiction. You and your family members can make a choice that you will help the process along by bringing the bottom up and holding an intervention.
This is a way to let your loved one know that you are drawing a line under his or her behavior, and that you are no longer going to support the addiction. The addicted person will need to be accountable for his or her behavior going forward.
Intervention and Treatment
During a FF intervention, the person is offered the chance to go to a treatment center. If he or she refuses to get help, the family explains that there will be consequences for that decision. The addicted person will no longer be able to count on his or her family members to provide money, clothing, food, shelter, and other items that supported the addiction. Hitting absolute rock bottom may not be necessary to get a person to agree to get help for addiction to drugs or alcohol.
Do you need help from a professional interventionist? Contact us for a Family First Intervention before your loved one slides any further down into addiction!