Losing a friend or loved one to a drug addiction? Keep reading this article for more information.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that in 2011, 22.5 million Americans, aged twelve years and older, or 8.7% of our country's population, had used an illicit drug or a psychotherapeutic medication, in the past month. These numbers do not include stats on alcohol abuse or dependence.
If one of these 22.5 million people is someone that you love and care about, it can be exceptionally painful to watch, and challenging to navigate. You may be curious as to how you can get a love one into a drug treatment program to stop their addiction?
A trained interventionist can make a huge difference in planning and executing a program to help get your loved one to seek treatment for their addiction.
The most popular intervention program method was developed by Dr. Vernon E. Johnson in the 1960s, who describes it as:
"Intervention is the process by which the harmful, progressive, and destructive effects of chemical dependency are interrupted and the chemically dependent person is helped to stop using mood-altering chemicals and to develop new, healthier ways of coping with his or her needs and problems. It implies that the person need not be an emotional or physical wreck (or hit bottom) before such help can be given."
A professional interventionist will develop a plan to best utilize timing, location, and the element of surprise. The actual intervention will be held at a neutral location at a time where the addict would least expect to see his or her loved ones, and at a time where the addict is most likely to be sober, not under the influence of any drugs at the time.
Love is also an important component in the execution of the actual intervention. Friends and family should expect to share how much they love the addict, but also outline how the drug use is damaging their relationship.
Denial is a big limiting factor that keeps people in their drug addiction. Informal interventions may not succeed and a formal drug intervention may be necessary.
A thirty-seven-year old recovering drug addict shares her informal intervention story in the book Uppers, Downers, All Arounders, by Darryl S. Inaba, Pharm.D. and William E. Cohen:
I woke up after passing out in a friend's home, and they had taken my money away from me, and they had posted somebody at the door, and my mother came in and said, 'I will not watch your children for you while you go out and party. If you seek help for your addiction, I will babysit your kids while you're gone.' That was the first time anybody had said to me I had a problem, and that was the first time somebody said, 'Stop. You can't do this anymore."
Breaking through the addict's denial when someone might need a drug addiction intervention, is essential in treatment even working, but in your effort to get your loved one into formal treatment, let the trained professional handle the execution.
Reminding the addict that legal intervention, workplace intervention, irreversible physical health and mental health problems, and financial despair are realities of a life of drug addiction, and inevitably, one or more will occur if the addict does not choose to get clean and participate in treatment now, can have great impact during an intervention.
Rationalization of the destructive behavior is another problem most addicts grapple with before seeking treatment. The interventionist, sometimes known as the process facilitator, will help plan to the addict's behavior and how they will react.
There are proven approaches to help you help a person close to you in their battle with addiction.