If your loved one is in serious trouble with addiction, you may want to consider an intervention, too. An intervention happens when family and friends of an addict create a plan to lovingly but firmly confront an addict and urge him or her to get into treatment. Some families enlist professional help, while others go it alone. (See link below for a helpful article on this topic.)
Of course, many interventions fail. The addict refuses to accept help. Or, as with Noah, the help doesn’t seem to stick.
So why bother going to all that trouble and expense? Here are seven reasons why an intervention might be worth the risk.
1. Addiction is a progressive disease that only gets worse if left untreated and is often fatal. Especially with kids and young adults whose brains are still developing, a delayed response diminishes the chance for a full recovery. Waiting for a teen to “hit bottom” can be like waiting for stage II cancer to get to stage IV before starting treatment.
2. Interventions are often necessary to save lives because a hallmark of addiction is denial and resistance. Why would we let a clear symptom of a dangerous disease keep us from trying to get help for the sufferer?
3. Some addicts and alcoholics have to get sober for a while in order to realize they actually want to be sober. That’s why rehab or even jail can turn a person’s life around. The fog of insanity lifts enough that they can willingly reach for recovery.
4. Turning points don’t have to arrive on the heels of great devastation or loss. Paradoxically, they can also be chosen. In recovery we say, “The bottom is where you decide to get off the elevator,” and, “The bottom happens when you stop digging.”
5. Despair, shame, and mortification alone won’t bring most addicts to the point of change. Often, these painful emotions merely fuel the cycle of self-hatred and self-sabotage, reinforcing an addict’s fear that they don’t deserve to recover. A loving intervention can be a powerful message in this context.
6. For most of us, a low point does not become a turning point unless hope is part of the picture. With no view to a better life and nothing to lose, an addict can bump along a series of should-be bottoms for years. A strategic intervention by loved ones can point the way to a life that’s worth staying sober for.
7. Without intervention, many addicts simply won’t hit bottom until they’re six feet under — or have put someone else there. I often look around the room at all the years of sobriety represented in a recovery meeting and try to imagine what carnage the world has been spared.
Regardless of outcome, stepping in to urge treatment and set boundaries is a way of showing an addict just how far they’ve fallen at the same time that you’re showing them how deeply you love them. Being part of such an event can be a profound, even sacred experience. If it doesn’t change the addict, it might change you.
I realize that I’ve only touched the surface of a complicated issue, but I hope this list will spark some thinking. If you know someone who loves an addict, please pass this message along.
(Here’s a helpful post from another HuffPost blogger about what’s involved in an intervention.)
I think it is important to let go of resentments in order to get to the root of the person that you are – and without self love and forgiveness – you will live in a world of pain and loneliness.
Resentment, or the strong and painful bitterness you feel when someone does something wrong to you, doesn’t have actual physical weight, but it feels very heavy and can last a long time. Forgiveness is one way to get rid of resentment.
Sometimes resentment lasts for years. It can be strong and hard to pull out, like an old, gnarled tree root. While resentment over being wronged can come from just one act against you, it also can get stronger over time, as in “your growing resentment might just come from the fact that the team captain always picks you last.” It also comes from misunderstandings, like feeling resentment over a dirty look you thought was directed at you but really wasn’t. It’s usually best to root out resentment early.
One of the great aspects of working as a professional interventionist and having 21 years of experience in the addiction and mental health field. I have learnt that working along with other professionals really becomes a win – win situation with goals of bringing more healing into the process of helping families and identified patients.
I am now looking at the studies and gaining others experience facilitating interventions – using two professionals versus one when dealing with a group of participants that are not completely treatment and group ready to address addiction and mental health.
I look at this much like – when I was working in treatment and having a group of new intakes that never been involved in groups and or treatment before – I think of interventions as the same process. If you are dealing with a family that been in denial for many years – chances are you are dealing with historic family issues that cannot be broken down through a few day process.
I think having two trained professionals at an intervention really helps the family and IP – to have support . This is something that I am looking at bringing to my CAN AM INTERVENTIONS business moving forward.
The source of addictions is not to be found in genes, but in the early childhood environment. In The Realm Of Hungry Ghosts, Dr. Maté’s most recent best-selling book, draws on cutting-edge science to illuminate where and how addictions originate and calls for a more compassionate approach toward the addict.