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A Family Intervention – Why Can’t we Intervene Ourselves?

Why can't we intervene ourselvesAm I the best person to help?

As those who care for a substance abuser, dealing with the ups and downs of their addictions may be both confusing and chaotic.  We sometimes ask ourselves “why can’t we intervene ourselves.”  One minute everything seems fine, they seem sincere.  Then another disappointment.  So we continue to try.  The questions and answers we ask ourselves become to overwhelming to handle on our own. Oftentimes we feel that since we are the ones who are closest and care the most, we are probably the one’s best served to help them.

Am I the best person to hold a family intervention?

Many family members feel this way.  Whether it is collectively or individually, a family member often thinks that before, during or after treatment the substance abuser will be best served by returning home to the family system, where those that love him/her the most are going to aid him in his continual recovery.  However, it is important to understand some fundamental flaws in this argument.

In most cases:

  • Unless you are a recovering substance abuser yourself, the majority of what you have learned about addiction comes from what you have been taught directly or indirectly by the substance abuser in your life.
  • You have been taught by the substance abuser to help them continue their drug abuse, not to help them recover.  A family member is never taught by a substance abuser who is in active addiction how to help them get sober, regardless of how well-meaning the substance abuser appears.
  • Your emotions have been hijacked by the substance abuser in order to cause you to enable him/her in such a way that you feel you are coming up with the enabling ideas yourself.

Yes, you may be an important person in a substance abuser’s life in helping them to recover by holding a family intervention.  However, understand that your attitude towards drugs or alcohol is no longer biased.  You may even think that you have the best interests in mind, but unfortunately may be unknowingly engaging in actions that ultimately will benefit a substance abuser.

In other words, it is time to temporarily fire yourself as the treatment professional, interventionist, half-way house owner, rehab director, and substance abuser counselor.

why can't we intervene ourselves?

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