An addicted person’s friends, family and coworkers all experience the effects of substance abuse because an addiction can weigh down an entire community. That’s why professional intervention services are so critical. An intervention is the best opportunity to start fresh and improve the situation for everyone involved.
In particular, interventions provide a unique opportunity for everyone affected by the addiction to have a constructive conversation. Guided by a professional, families and friends can hash out hidden tensions lurking beneath the surface and deal with any internal guilt they may be feeling about the addiction. In this way, an intervention is the perfect remedy for an entire family hurt by addiction.
How Substance Abuse Hurts Families
Drug and alcohol addiction isn’t just destructive for the person struggling with addiction. Substance abuse wreaks havoc on families and friend groups too. People in the grips of addiction may hurt their loved ones either by acting erratically and aggressively or by stealing money or valuables from family members to pay for drugs.
Parents who struggle with addiction often neglect their children’s basic needs. Likewise, older children can neglect making time for their younger siblings due to substance abuse. Regardless of who is being affected by an addiction, the consequences impact the entire household – and the larger family.
Enabling and Codependency
Family members certainly suffer the ill effects of a loved one’s substance abuse, but they can also contribute to the destructiveness of the situation by enabling the habit.
“Enabling” describes any behavior that makes it easier for an addict to maintain a drug habit, or prevents him or her from feeling the consequences of substance abuse. For example, paying your brother’s rent for the month because he blew his entire paycheck on cocaine prevents him from experiencing the negative consequences of his substance abuse.
Some family members engage in enabling behaviors out of a genuine desire to help and not wanting to see a loved one suffer. However, enabling creates codependent relationships, in which the addicted person depends on a family member to maintain his or her habit.
Meanwhile, the family member feels obligated to help out of fear of losing the loved one forever. Enabling is a slippery slope and it’s important for families to take steps to avoid these toxic patterns.
Straining Family Ties
When family members refuse to facilitate an addicted loved one’s habit, the addicted person often lashes out because he or she cannot see past the need to maintain the addiction. Unfortunately, this cycle often causes relationships between family members and the addict to become strained.
The reality is that an addicted person rarely sees the destruction a drug habit can cause until he or she is forced to confront it. During a professionally guided intervention, the addict is given a chance to hear from loved ones and recognize the destructive behavior he or she has exhibited in being addicted.
How Interventions Help
A properly executed intervention can be an incredibly positive experience for everyone involved. Ideally, the family of the addicted person will be able to openly and honestly air their grievances and express their concerns, and the addicted person will take the family’s words to heart and finally seek treatment.
If an intervention is successful and the addicted person enters treatment and makes positive progress, the whole family situation begins to heal and improve.
Professional Help with Interventions
Intervention can be a delicate subject, so it’s crucial to plan and prepare your approach for the conversation ahead of time. Family First Intervention has more than a decade of experience facilitating interventions for families all across the United States. A professional interventionist can work closely with you and your family to help create a more positive experience for everyone involved.
Substance abuse can certainly damage a whole family, but a professional intervention offers a chance to start the healing process.