Family intervention is an important event created by family and friends of a person struggling with addiction. The purpose is to help the person realize they have an addiction, and they need help, and they have loved ones willing to support them. The family intervention process should always provide encouragement and incentive for the person struggling with addiction to seek help. The process helps loved ones regain control and work towards a similar purpose. However, leading up to family intervention, there are some common myths.
The myths of waiting for an addict to seek help themselves or an addict must hit rock bottom. The family may not even consider intervention as an option, which all prevent families from ever moving forward with helping the addict. An intervention is a carefully planned process that is effective and does convince addicts they need help. However, the myths surrounding family intervention prevent many addicts from getting the help they need. It is a good idea for family and friends of an addict to ignore these myths and move forward with the intervention and save the life of the addict.
Myth—Intervention is not necessary because an addict can stop on their own.
Unfortunately, this is not true because there are specific reasons why someone misuses drugs or alcohol. Family and friends should never rely on their loved ones’ ability to stop using drugs without proper intervention. Addiction causes significant physical and psychological dependence, and someone addicted to drugs continues to use these substances despite the consequences. People take drugs for various reasons, like to feel good. Drugs produce intense feelings of pleasure, and the initial euphoria is followed by other effects depending on the drug.
Drugs and alcohol are also used to feel better because they could be struggling with physical or emotional pain or want to feel better about themselves. Stress is often a major role in starting and continuing drug use as well as relapse. Moreover, some people use drugs to do better because of peer pressure to improve focus in school or at work or their ability at sports. Others start using drugs because of social pressure, which is particularly common among teens. Overall, most addicts do not stop on their own, and family intervention is the best option.
Myth—Someone Addicted to Drugs will Seek Out Help on Their Own
Most of this is entirely false because but some aspects are true. Someone addicted to drugs or alcohol has many low points where they may talk about getting help or stopping their drug use. During the addiction, these points are where families and or friends have hope that the drug-addicted person would eventually ask for help. However, someone addicted to drugs or alcohol cannot necessarily commit. Family intervention or any intervention is typically the only way. A small percentage of addicts willingly ask for help and or check into a treatment center without intervention.
Family and friends should never wait because they will be waiting for a long time. Unfortunately, this occurs more often than people think. According to the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, in 2019, 20.4 million people had a substance use disorder. Out of the 20.4 million people who had an alcohol or drug addiction or both, only 1.5 percent received any substance use treatment. No one can force another person to change internally, but they can be persuaded and shown how their actions affect them and the people around them.
Myth—An addict must hit rock bottom before they accept help.
Entirely false as there is no rock bottom, and someone addicted to drugs or alcohol will use these substances up to the point of death. Unfortunately, this is a common misconception that many families have. Many believe an addict must hit rock bottom before intervention is effective. The purpose of a family intervention is to avoid the worst-case scenario from happening. When you enlist a professional interventionist’s help, the family is taking control and not waiting around for something horrible to happen.
Drug-seeking behavior forces addicts to do things they would never normally do under most circumstances. Drugs and alcohol create intense physical and psychological addictions that are difficult to overcome without proper help. Professional intervention makes it possible for any family to help the addict and help themselves. Waiting for rock bottom is also potentially dangerous because there is the risk of overdose and death.
Moving Forward with a Family Intervention
During an intervention, people come together to confront the addict about the consequences of addiction and ask them to accept treatment. An intervention provides specific examples of destructive behaviors and their impact on the addict and their family. It also offers a prearranged treatment plan with clear steps, goals, and guidelines. Finally, a family intervention spells out what each person will do if their loved one refuses to accept treatment.
Moving forward with a family intervention involves planning by hiring a professional interventionist. The family then becomes educated about addiction and intervention, forms an intervention team, decides on consequences, writes impact letters, and holds the intervention with the interventionist. The biggest benefit of hiring a professional interventionist is the follow-up. Professional interventionists remain connected with the family during the treatment of the addict. The follow-up and guidance stay on purpose with helping their loved one remain in treatment.