Interventions and the Role of the Family


Intervention is the act by which an addict is confronted by his or her family and or Friends and Familyfriends to try and get them to seek rehabilitation. Sometimes the friends and relatives of an addict decide to get them help after having watched their loved one go from one rock bottom to another.

There are two types of interventions. One is where the addict is informed prior to the intervention and the other one where an addict is ambushed without his prior knowledge.

Many are the times when many of these family members and friends might have mentioned to the addict, at one time or another, that he should seek treatment and either this advice falls on deaf ears or it brings about ill feelings of anger. This is where interventions come in. Interventions are full blown attempts of confronting an addict to try and persuade him or her to go for rehabilitation.

Intervention attempts can be fraught with a lot of anger and denial. Some of the times they might lead to the addict delving much deeper into the substance abuse as he feels he has been abandoned by loved ones. Other times they lead to breakages in interpersonal relationships, which are already strained thin by the effects of substance abuse. Nevertheless, interventions have an important role to play in helping many addicts seek care. Sometimes, just being told how the substance abuse is adversely affecting the people they love might give them an inclination to seek treatment.

Role of the family:

Talking to an addict face to face as one person rarely ends up in desirable outcomes of convicting the addict to seek treatment. There have been better outcomes in cases that a family gathers and confronts the addict as a unit. Many studies have shown positive effects in family led interventions. When each and every family member articulates how the substance addiction has adversely affected them, the addict is more likely to listen.

Usually the close family members are the ones who get affect more by the adverse effects of a loved one’s drug use. They are the ones whose plight an addict will feel more sympathetic to. The family members then express to the addict in their own words how their lives have been affected by his substance abuse. This is not to apportion blame but to help the addict understand that the people he or she cares about are being hurt by his or her substance abuse.

Many rehabilitation centers have counselors who are trained in interventions but without the family members an intervention may not be successful.

Interventions should be carried out with caution as sometimes when an addict starts therapy with an attitude of anger and resentment they might not be able to succeed during rehabilitation. Also if an attempted intervention fails, the addict might plunge deeper into substance abuse and the relationships between the addict and the loved ones maybe permanently destroyed to make any future attempts less likely to succeed.

Mike Loverde

With firsthand experience with addiction, Mike Loverde is now a Certified Intervention Professional (CIP), as accredited by the Association of Intervention Specialists and the Pennsylvania Certification Board. He founded Family First Intervention in 2008 and has since helped hundreds of families find intervention and addiction rehabilitation solutions.

Scroll below to see the latest blog articles from the desk of Mike Loverde. He shares his years of expertise on various addiction, mental health and intervention topics. If you have any questions about any of the material or want to inquire about our intervention services, don’t hesitate to contact us anytime.

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