“Intervention is the most effective technique that families can use to help a loved one suffering from chemical dependency. It is also the most ignored. But just as CPR is often the first life-saving step in helping a heart attack victim, intervention is the most powerful step that a family can take to initiate the recovery process.”
~ Jeff Jay, Love First: A Family’s Guide to Intervention
When you live in Colorado and love someone with a substance abuse disorder such as alcoholism or drug addiction, it can be difficult to know exactly which are the right steps to take. When the goal is to help the suffering addict/alcoholic, friends and family members need to go beyond their own resources and employ the services of a trained professional.
The most necessary first step is to get the substance abuser to accept help, in the form of professional treatment. This is most effectively done through a properly-held and professionally-led intervention.
What, EXACTLY, is an Intervention?
In simplest terms, an alcohol or drug intervention is a loving confrontation between the substance abuser and their affected loved ones. An intervention has two main goals:
- To Compel Enrollment in a Treatment Plan – When the addiction is active and at its worst, specialized substance abuse treatment is ALWAYS necessary.
- To Set Boundaries – Addiction is a lonely disorder that can destroy the lives of everyone around the substance abuser. To end this dysfunction, a drastic paradigm shift is in order, to clearly spell out what behaviors are –and aren’t—acceptable. Since one of the goals is treatment, the addict needs to understand the consequences that will happen if help is refused.
Each friend and family member in attendance will be given the opportunity to speak directly to the substance abuser. Because this can be an emotionally-charged exchange, a professional interventionist should be there to moderate and keep the process moving in the right direction.
Is an Intervention REALLY Necessary?
Addiction is a disease that promotes denial, deceit, dishonesty, deflection, and dysfunction. Typically, long before the intervention is even considered, the negative effects will have been felt:
- Useless attempts at begging, pleading, and reasoning with the substance abuser
- Empty threats that were never followed through
- Broken promises and lies
- Failed attempts at quitting
Everyone involved—the substance abuser and the family members alike—become trapped in a repetitive cycle of insane, addiction-driven behaviors. An intervention disrupts this cycle.
How Do I Know if My Loved One Needs an Intervention?
The biggest signs that an intervention is right for your particular situation are continued dysfunction or worsening addiction, as evidenced in any of the following ways:
- Worsening health—overdoses, hospitalizations, drug/alcohol-related conditions
- Suicide ideation or attempts
- Violent behavior or self-harm
- Legal complications—DUI’s, drug charges, theft
- Major Personal Losses—divorce, unemployment, homelessness
- Problems within the family—arguments, blaming, taking sides
- Breakdown in communication—long periods without contact, refusing to talk
These are just examples. A good rule of thumb is this—if substance abuse has caused problems within your family that you don’t know how to solve, then you probably need professional help, starting with an intervention.
How Can I Get More Information About Interventions?
It all starts with talk—schedule an appointment with any Colorado mental health professional, such as your family doctor, a therapist, or an addiction specialist. After listening to your story, they can advise you and even put you in contact with a licensed professional interventionist who can answer all of your questions and walk you through the process.
The experienced staff at AspenRidge Recovery can be the resource that you need. Located conveniently just a few minutes outside of Denver, Colorado, AspenRidge can assist you with every step of the drug rehab process—from an initial intake, to contact with an interventionist, to detox, to residential drug treatment, to family counseling.
Making the decision to seek help for your loved one’s substance abuse disorder is the best investment you can in the future of your entire family, so make the call today and start the journey back to sanity and serenity.