How Drug Interventions Work

Most parents never think they will have to stage an intervention on their child one day. It just isn’t something that crosses into the minds of parents while their children are full of life and exploring and learning. However, for many, the day finally comes when they have tried everything else, and they are completely at a loss on how to protect their child. This goes for spouses, grandparents, cousins, and even close friends as well.

So when all other outlets have been explored, what is there left to do?

Time and time again, interventions have been one of the most successful tools to help family members of addicts find the help and support for their loved one.

So how do Drug Interventions work?

Step 1: Finding an Interventionist That Suits Your Needs

The first area to consider is what sort of intervention your family needs. Researching the different styles of interventions will give you a good idea as to what will best fit your situation. The main types of interventions are:

When you explore your options as to which style of intervention would best suit your family, it will open up the doors on interventionists in that field. Doing research on the interventionist you find, validating their credentials, and even reaching out to referral sources that recommend them can be helpful as well.

Step 2: Follow the Interventionist Protocol

The most important part of staging an intervention is following the suggested guidelines that are laid out to you by your professional interventionist. It is pretty common for families to want to get extremely invested in the process, but sometimes parents can want to control the process or make changes to it. This can flounder the hard work that they put in, and can also disrupt the methods and stages that the interventionist has worked hard to create.  

The important thing to remember here is that the interventionist is an experienced professional, and their suggestions can sometimes be difficult for the family (primarily the parents) to completely see eye to eye with. For example, most programs require the family to take a good look at their enabling behaviors with their loved one. If the family does not hold this firm boundary that the interventionist suggests, it can ruin the entire process.

Many intervention processes can require the family to explore how their own behavior patterns can encourage or perpetuate their loved one’s destructive behavior patterns. This means that not only will the person of concern have to take a look at themselves, but the family will too. A big kink in the chain comes when families are unwilling to look at their own behavior, and only want to place blame on the addicted individual.

family having an intervention

Step 3: Hold Boundaries and Have Compassion!

Professionals will be the first to tell you that addiction is often a family disease. This does not mean that everyone in the family is an addict, but it does mean that members of the family often have roles to play in how the addict came to those destructive behavior patterns. The most common family patterns for people who struggle with addiction are when there is a presence of:

  • Any sort of emotional, physical, or mental abuse
  • Violence
  • Abandonment
  • Enabling
  • Childhood Trauma
  • Unrealistic or overly forced expectations

Because the family often has so much of a role to play, it is absolutely vital that the family holds boundaries and has compassion, both for their loved one and for themselves. We cannot expect others to change unless we are willing to change ourselves. Family acceptance and support can quite often be a make or break factor for the recovery of many addicts and people with mental disorders.

Step 4: Learn About Addiction and Recovery

It can be extremely difficult for your loved one to feel that they are making progress in their early recovery. This is why having that support from family members and friends can be so vital to their healthy and long lasting recovery.

Many parents and family members find that getting involved in the program of Al-Anon not only helps their relationship with their loved one but also helps in healing their relationships in the rest of the family system. Al-anon also helps the family members get a view into what addiction and recovery look like through the shares and experiences of other members of Al-anon, who are family members and loved ones of addicts and alcoholics.

The best part of Al-anon is that it provides a community for the family members to feel understood, supported, and judgment-free. It is common for parents to feel guilt and shame when their child is struggling with addiction, especially from members in their own community. Al-anon is a safe space for people to come together over their shared troubles, and find ways to move through them, grow from them, and heal from them.

Having a family dynamic that is aware, understanding, and supported helps the individual in question to feel accepted, and to also feel accountable to their family unit. It is much harder to hide addiction and unhealthy behavior patterns from parents who are “in the know” than it is to hide from parents who are completely oblivious.

Step 5: Follow Through With The Interventionist

The main point of an interventionist is to assist the family in getting their loved one help. This can be a long process, from start to “finish”. It is extremely important that the family stays on target and keeps open lines of communication with their interventionist from the beginning of the process all the way down the line. Never feel that you are burdening your interventionist with a call or a check-in because that is their job! They are there to help support you every step of the way, and it makes their job easier to know where the individual is emotionally, physically, and mentally!

Many interventionists continue to reach out to the individual and the family for several years after the treatment process because they really do care how the individual is doing! They want your loved one and your family to succeed, so stick with them throughout the process, and keep them posted afterward!

Get Help

If you are struggling with addiction, it is never too late to get help. We understand just how complex this disease is, and we are ready, willing, and able to help you make the decisions needed to help you obtain sobriety and achieve a life of sobriety.

Do not wait one more day to reach out to us. You deserve the type of treatment that will not only get you sober but will also help you rebuild yourself from the inside out. Call us now.

The Addiction Blog