Far and away the biggest roadblock for getting help for an addict is the denial factor. It may seem cliché, but the first step to recovery is admitting there is a problem – and that’s a step many addicts can’t take all alone. They need the help of caring family, friends, and loved ones.
Sometimes even the gentle support they provide can’t cut a path through the denial of the problem. In these tough cases, professional help in the form of an interventionist is needed. Interventions are often very emotional and draining on the addict and the loved ones, so it’s important to have an impartial expert on hand to make sure the proceedings aren’t derailed by fighting.
What Happens During an Intervention?
While interventions have become more widely known over the past ten years due to intervention-themed television shows, what is portrayed in the media is often dramatized or extreme cases selected for shock value. Normal an intervention is a private, quiet affair, which while emotional, does not result in wild crying jags and infighting.
The first step is to contact a professional interventionist. Chiron’s intake specialists are more than willing to help put you in contact with a pro in your area. You’ll discuss your loved one’s case with the interventionist; outlining the drug of choice, length and severity of the addiction, any co-occurring mental health disorders, any legal or employment troubles, and the negative effects the addictive behaviors are having on those closest to the addict.
Then the interventionist will help organize a session with the friends and family closest to the addict. Each member will be asked to draw up a list of ways the addict’s drug use and related behavior has hurt them; however, the point is not to hurt the addict or make them feel terrible about what they’ve done but instead to show them they might not be able to see the impact substance abuse is having on their friends and family.
The last stage is the intervention itself. Here, guided by the professional interventionist, the group will arrange to sit the addict down with everyone present in the same room. Each member will discuss the list they’ve made and the issues therein, and then remind the addict why they love him and want him to get better. The interventionist is crucial here, keeping things level and process-driven while avoiding major fights and remaining cordial. The addict will be allowed to reply, of course, and a conversation can begin about the major changes in lifestyle the group wants to see.
The First Step Is the Hardest
If all goes according to plan, the addict will admit there is a problem and accept the help the group is offering. In many cases of a successful intervention, the addict (now patient) will go directly to a rehab facility. For this reason, we suggest you coordinate the transportation and admission of the patient with your addiction treatment center beforehand. Chiron’s intake specialists can guide you and the interventionist on the process for this.