Is someone you love on the path to destruction? Act now, before it is too late.
There is no harder role in life than to love an addict. If that person is your spouse or significant other it can be wearing, trying, and financially and emotionally draining. However, it isn’t always obvious when a loved one is suffering from an addiction. Perhaps a friend has been acting distant, is frequently drunk, and doesn’t show up to important occasions any longer. It might be something that you don’t notice for years, until one day the addiction comes to light in catastrophic circumstances.
We here at Help4Addiction have heard it all. We have dealt with everything from the phone call from the worried relative, to the significant other worried that drug use is leading to affairs. The question we get asked the most from relatives and friends of addicts is when it is time for them to hold their intervention. In response, and to put this question to rest once and for all, here is your Help4Addiction guide to staging an intervention of your own.
Don’t forget that our organisation exists to connect you with the rehab services that best meet your needs, and that you can call us at any time of the day. We can be reached on 0203 955 7700 if you need one-on-one advice, or you can fill in our online consultation form and we will get back to you. In the meantime, let’s take a closer look at interventions: what are they and how do you use them to help your friend, family member, or lover?
What is an Intervention?
Let’s start with the basic concept – what is an intervention, anyway? This is the name we give to the act of interjecting ourselves into the addict’s life in a way that they cannot deny. If a group of friends, family, or loved ones, come together to tell you that they think you have a problem with drugs or alcohol, you are more likely to sit up and take notice. The intervention usually lasts for an hour or two and consists of people telling you the things they dislike most about your life as an addict. There are two main ways that this is done. We have covered each in more detail, below.
Focus on the Addict
When you stage an intervention and focus on the addict’s life, you would tell them all the ways they have changed, or how their life has declined, since they started using drink or drugs. When you put the spotlight on all the areas of their life that have suffered at the same time, the addict is forced to take these things into consideration. When confronted with an overwhelming sense of personal regret, the addict is in a more pliable position to be convinced to go through drug detox, alcohol detox, or to start rehab treatment.
Focus on the Friends and Family
If the friends and family of the addict gather for an intervention that focuses on themselves, this can work too. Some people (particularly addicts who have eroded their self-esteem) have no confidence in their own being. The result of this is that they no longer care what happens to them. If you find yourself in this position, focusing on how friends and family have been hurt by their addiction is often the best method. Even if an addiction has stopped a person from being them true selves for a while, it doesn’t mean that they don’t love you anymore. If you can appeal to this sense of love, you can successfully persuade the addict to seek drug rehabilitation clinics near them, or to convince them to stop drinking.
Either Technique Results in Successful Intervention if Properly Performed
If you get your intervention right, either of the two techniques above will work to get your loved one into rehab care. The problem with interventions is that they don’t always work, particularly if you choose the wrong way to get their attention. On the plus side, there is no limit to the number of interventions that you can have. If your loved one doesn’t listen the first time around, you can always repeat the process and try the other method this time to get their attention.
Recognising the Symptoms of Drug or Alcohol Abuse
Another factor that will help you determine whether or not you need to stage an intervention are the signs of addiction. If the person you love suffers from some of the following signs of drink or drug addiction, you really should consider that intervention.
The most commonly noticed signs of an addict are:
- They can drink or use drugs from first thing in the morning. In fact, they will often abuse their substance before they have had coffee or breakfast.
- They hide their substance misuse from you or attempt to hide how big of a problem it is.
- They suffer the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal if they have to go a single day without the substance they are hooked on. If you need help identifying what those symptoms are you can follow this link to our page devoted to symptoms of withdrawal.
- Do they ignore the risk factors involved in using their drug or having a drink?
- Have they become more and more isolated until they do not spend time with the family or with their friends?
If you see any two or more of the signs above in your loved on, then you might be dealing with an addiction. It is worth remembering that you can stage interventions for all sorts of things, and not just for addictions. For example, if a friend or loved one is becoming obsessive over a toxic ex-partner, you might want to stage an intervention to point out all the ways that they are being badly treated.
In short: if you do stage an intervention because you think your SO is addicted to something but it turns out you are wrong about that addiction, their behaviour has still worried you enough for you to put together the intervention in the first place. Ergo, it’s hard to go wrong. Even so, we covered the things you should do during the intervention process to help you along the way.
Keep in mind that Help4Addiction is here for you, should you get through to your loved one and want to connect with detox or drugs/alcohol rehab services, we are waiting for your call. You can reach us on 0203 955 7700 at any time.
What Happens During the Intervention Process?
When you do choose to go ahead with the intervention, you will need to do some planning beforehand. First of all, contact the other affected people in the situation and plan a time for the intervention to take place. Next, each of you has to work out what to say. You also need to consider the location carefully. It should be somewhere that has enough room for all of you but that the addict themselves has difficulty leaving. A home intervention is usually best for these reasons.
If you are wondering what happens during an intervention, it ought to take this format. You and the other people involved gather together in the addict’s home and wait for them to return, or in the designated location you have arranged. When they arrive, one of you will tell them why everyone has gathered together in as gentle a way as possible. Expect it to be emotional and even tearful.
At this stage, the person may choose to walk back out again. To get them to stay we suggest making things as comfortable as possible for them. Inform your addict that you are all gathered because you care about them and you want to see them get their life back together again. Offer them tea or feed them but keep the room patient and quiet until they are ready to begin.
Next, each person that has gathered has the right to tell the addict all the ways in which they have been hurt by them – or even to tell them all the ways their personality has changed in recent months. Each person should get a chance to speak and it can help to write down the things you want to ask or say. Below, we have gone into detail of example questions and statements you might want to use, to help get the ball rolling.
Finally, the people that have gathered and the addict themselves need to take the time to address their emotions. If correctly managed, an intervention can be a positive experience where the addict emerges feeling more loved, protected, and cared for than they did to begin with. In the case of a person with low self-esteem, this could be all they needed to hear in order to reach out for help. Remember to give them Help4Addiction’s phone number before you leave them, as well as soothing their emotions totally before they are left alone. Call 0203 955 7700 when the time is right for them to go into rehab. We also have a helpful informative article regarding the costs of rehab that you might direct them towards, if money is an issue.
Some Example Questions/Statements You Can Use During Interventions
To make the process as smooth for you as we possibly can, we put together some common questions and/or statements that you might use when confronting your loved one with addiction problems.
Things you Could Say During an Intervention Include:
- I feel worried about what is happening to you because xxx
- I am concerned that this disease is taking over your life
- I love you
- Thank you for staying and listening to what we had to say
- We are all here for you and we all want you to get better
- Can you imagine if our roles were reversed and you were watching this happen to me?
- We will support you as you recover
- We/I have already found a firm that will make the rehab process easy
As well as things that are positive to say, there are a few things that you shouldn’t do or say. Try to use ‘I’ and ‘we’ as much as possible, seek professional advice if you need it, and don’t focus on identifying deliberate past acts that have caused you pain. The point is not to project guilt onto your loved one, but rather to make them feel encouraged and supported. They may have been avoiding rehab because they didn’t want to admit there was a problem and your intervention is all they needed to reach out to rehab clinics… you just never know. When dealing with an addicted loved one, you are willing to try everything.
What To Do Next?
During this article we have outlined a viable method by which you can stage an intervention of your own. We have identified exactly what that intervention is and what its purposes are, as well as given you pointers on what to say and what not to say. Alas, addiction is not a one-size-fits-all disease and there will always be those circumstances that just don’t fit. In those situations, feel free to call our expert team here at Help 4 Addiction so we can tackle it together.
The next stage for you is to ascertain whether or not your loved one has an addiction, and to then start planning who will come to your intervention should the answer be in the positive. Once your loved one has decided that they need to seek help, you have a wealth of options at your fingertips. Indeed, services like ours are necessary to narrow those choices down. The first stage of recovery is the detox process, which you can do at home if you are an alcohol addict and if you qualify. To find out more about our alcohol home detox kits or to book an initial consultation, call us today. We can be reached at 0203 955 7700 where we will be waiting for your call. Whatever happens, we are only ever a phone call away.