As family and friends watch their loved one’s life spinning out of control due to a struggle with drug addiction and fear that their dependency might eventually prove fatal, the question that is often asked is, “What can I do to help?”. No longer a taboo subject, drug addiction is recognized as a psychological disease and the best way for an addict to choose the road to recovery is to be made aware of what it is he or she is really doing to the people they love; such a process is referred to as an ‘intervention’. By being made aware of the reality of the situation, the first step in an addict’s rehabilitation – accepting that there is a problem – can be broached and professional help can be sought.
Drug Addiction Intervention
If you suspect that someone you know and care about may be developing a drug addiction or may already be a drug addict, an intervention can help the addict to accept his or her problem and begin the process of rehabilitation. It is important to note that not all addicts will respond positively to such a move and may in fact withdraw further from friends and family as a result of their feeling that what they thought was a personal secret has been revealed to everyone. Still, to help insure that your intervention will be successful the following guidelines should be followed:
- Avoid being judgmental and express support for the addict to seek rehabilitation
- Stop ‘protecting’ the addict from the consequences of his or her addiction
- Stop ‘enabling’ the addict by avoiding difficult questions, paying his or her bills, making excuses for the behavior, etc.
- Talk to the addict when he or she is straight or not inebriated
- Be specific about the problem and its effects on everyone around the addict
- Outline all the consequences should the addict refuse help and be prepared to follow through with what you have said
- Have as many friends and family members on hand as possible to assist in the intervention
- Listen to what the addict has to say and have the number of a drug rehabilitation professional on hand for all his or her questions about what treatment will be required
If the addict refuses the help that he or she has been offered, there is not much that you can do barring any exceptional circumstances. Should the addict require a medical emergency or become violent, the police can intervene and the addict may be forcefully placed in a treatment centre against his or her wishes. Still, there is no need to wait for such an event to occur and an intervention is worth a try.
Also see our latest article: How to Plan a Drug Intervention