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Addiction Intervention
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Addiction Intervention

Addiction does not just affect the individual with the disease, but rather, it wreaks havoc on the lives of everyone it touches, including the people who care for and love the addicted individual. Families often endure many of the consequences of addiction and succumb to a poor quality of life, as it impacts them financially and psychologically and can cause them to take on negative behaviors, such as enabling or co-dependency issues. When a person is struggling with a substance use disorder, it is extremely painful for family members and loved ones to stand by and watch while the individual’s life shatters into pieces. If someone does not recognize the need for help or denies having a problem with drugs or alcohol, it creates feelings of hopelessness and frustration among families. The best option for families in this situation is to conduction an addiction intervention. It is rarely ever easy for someone to admit that they are struggling with drug or alcohol addiction and that they need help, but sometimes, receiving a little push in the right direction from friends and family can go a long way. If someone you love is in denial about their addiction and you are looking for a way to get them to accept professional help, call us today to speak with our experienced addiction interventionist at Drug Treatment Centers Alaska.

What is an Intervention?

An addiction intervention is a powerful tool used by many people to help loved ones find treatment for a substance use disorder. It is a structured and well-planned out meeting between a person struggling with addiction and his or her loved ones. Oftentimes, these meetings are supervised and mediated by an intervention specialist, also known as an addiction interventionist. When the intervention team – a small group of family, loved ones and friends – employ the services of these professionals, it is considered a formal intervention. Formal interventions led by professionals have significantly higher rates of success at getting someone to agree to enter treatment.

It’s common for people struggling with drug or alcohol addiction to deny the severity of their problem. They often don’t see the necessity of seeking treatment, nor do they realize what kind of impact their behavior and actions have on the people around them. The objective of a properly-planned addiction intervention is to help the person with the addiction to recognize how their actions affect everyone around them. The meeting should also highlight the importance of changing self-destructive behaviors by accepting professional addiction treatment.

Key Signs That an Intervention is Needed

There are some common signs to watch for that can indicate an intervention is needed. These include:

Compulsive substance abuse: when the person has little or no control over their drug or alcohol use, or spends a significant amount of time finding, buying, using, or recovering from substance use while neglecting other responsibilities

Deceptive Behavior: it’s common for people struggling with addiction to take drastic measures to hide the real extent of their use. Some people may hide alcohol or drugs so others can’t see how much they’re really using. Others may lie about how much they’re really using. Other forms of deceptive behavior can include lying about their whereabouts, stealing money, and forging or obtaining multiple prescriptions.

Deteriorating Self-Care: as a person sinks deeper into the grip of addiction, it’s common for their primary focus to shift to getting the drugs or alcohol they need. Other responsibilities and obligations are commonly neglected, including self-care. A noticeable decline in personal hygiene, grooming, eating habits or sleeping habits can indicate that an intervention is needed.

Poor Health: it’s common for many people struggling with substance addiction to struggle with declining health, as drugs and alcohol can cause chronic health problems and weaken the immune system.

Severe Mood Swings: unexpected and unpredictable mood swings can be common signs that an intervention is needed. People struggling with substance abuse problems can display bouts of irrational behavior. Some people may become angry, defensive, or violent when confronted about their substance use. Others may have outbursts while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, while still others may become irrational when recovering from the effects of the substance of abuse.

Tolerance: as a person continues to abuse drugs or alcohol it’s common for the body to adapt to the substance. In order to achieve the same effects that used to be achieved with smaller amounts the person now needs to take higher doses as tolerance levels increase.

Withdrawal symptoms: when drug or alcohol use stops suddenly, the person may experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.

How to Conduct an Intervention

An intervention should always be carefully planned in advance before conducting the actual meeting with the addict. It’s important to ensure that everyone who will attend the intervention understands their role in proceedings and knows exactly what will take place before setting a time to meet.

Some suggested steps to follow when planning an intervention include:

  • Create an agenda for what will occur during the intervention
  • Collate information about how the person’s substance abuse problem affects others
  • Research accredited addiction treatment centers in Alaska to present to the person
  • Put together the right team of people to participate in the intervention
  • Decide on specific and relevant actions each person in the intervention team will take in the event that the person doesn’t accept treatment
  • Create a script or outline some notes to ensure everyone understands what they should and shouldn’t say
  • Hold the intervention meeting and ensure that the person understands the importance of seeking addiction treatment
  • Follow up to ensure the person begins treatment and stays motivated to change

Ultimatums are a crucial element included in addiction interventions. The objective of the intervention is to get your loved one to agree to find help, and therefore, you must dictate to the person the consequences they will face if they decline to seek treatment. These must be well thought out and determined prior to the start of the actual intervention. You must consult with friends and family to establish a set of rules that everyone, including the individual who is struggling with the addiction, will follow based on the outcome of the intervention. Choosing ultimatums that make treatment more appealing to the individual is key, with people often warning to end their relationship, restrict financial or housing privileges, or cut them off altogether if they refuse to enter rehab.

Why Seek Help from a Professional Interventionist?

Planning and conducting an intervention can be daunting, but it’s common for many people to try and deal with such a serious problem within the privacy of the family. Unfortunately, holding an intervention without proper planning and assistance from a professional can produce insufficient results or may backfire terribly. Some people suffering from a substance use disorder react with anger or violence when confronted in an intervention, and others may feel a deep sense of shame or guilt which can make matters worse. It is highly advised that families choose to carry out a formal intervention with the help of a professional.

During a formal addiction invention, the professional conducting the meeting helps the intervention team express their concerns for the loved one and his or her need to seek addiction treatment. Family members and friends take turns speaking on their own behalf, using specific examples of the person’s behavior to illustrate the severity of the substance abuse problem and the damage it is causing. It is important to convey to the individual the gravity of the situation to help them understand that they are going to hit rock bottom if they don’t start making changes now.

Engaging the services of a professional addiction interventionist in Alaska can improve the success rate enormously. A trained professional knows the right way to approach someone in denial about their problem and knows how to defuse an emotional situation properly. To ensure the person struggling with addiction has the best possible chance of achieving a successful recovery, it is important that the process is conducted with the help of a professional interventionist. For more information or guidance about you next step towards recovery, dial an addiction specialist today.