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How an Intervention Helps the Whole Family

How an Intervention Helps the Whole Family and Not Just the Addict

An intervention is an effective way to help an addict or alcoholic enter treatment. It consists of a professionally directed face-to-face meeting between the addict and the addict’s family and friends. The goal is to help the addict see that he or she needs immediate help.

By the time a family is ready to perform an intervention, the addict has typically been chemically dependent for some time and now a crisis has occurred. Loved ones may feel angry or apathetic, but it is hoped that the crisis and resulting intervention will help the addict to recognize the need for treatment. Addicts are more likely to enter treatment if it means avoiding unpleasant consequences.

During an intervention, the addict is helped to see the connection between drug and alcohol abuse and the consequences that have occurred as a result of drinking and drugging. It’s also a chance for the family to come together, share information, become educated about the disease of addiction, and show support for an addict’s recovery. Here are some examples of how an intervention helps the whole family instead of just the addict.

Puts a Stop to Enabling

Interventions help loved ones to see how their actions have helped the addict to continue using. When loved ones stop enabling, many addicts find themselves unable to maintain their addictive lifestyles.

Family Members are Educated About Substance Abuse

Many people see addiction as a moral failing or a lack of willpower. When loved ones learn that addiction is a disease over which the addict is powerless, they can see the addict as a sick person and respond to him or her in a loving, helpful, and compassionate way.

Loved Ones Learn About Treatment Resources

Because of the intervention, loved ones learn about local recovery programs and treatment options. If the addict refuses to get help right now, the family will know where to turn when the addict finally does become ready.

Encourages Honesty About the Addiction

During an intervention, the addiction is brought out into the open and acknowledged by all family members. Information is shared which can help to expose any secrets involving the addiction.

Family Members are Exposed to 12-Step Groups

Family members are introduced to 12-Step groups like Al Anon, Narcotics Anonymous, and Alcoholics Anonymous. These groups provide support for the family as well as the addict.

A Plan of Action can be Developed

The family can create a contingency plan in case the addict refuses treatment. For example, the addict might insist that they can stop or control their using. The family might agree to let them try with the proviso that they will enter treatment immediately if they start using again.

Practicing “Tough Love”

If, after an intervention, the addict still won’t consent to treatment, the family can practice “tough love” and withdraw all support. Tough love helps the family to protect itself from the disease of addiction and is yet another example of how an intervention helps the whole family.

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