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Addiction Intervention

 What is an Addiction Intervention?

Interventions are conducted when the loved ones of an addict believe that that they need help, yet they will not seek treatment on their own. The goal of an intervention is to make the addict aware of the disastrous impact their addiction is having both on themselves and the people around them.

Addiction intervention does not attempt to force the addict into treatment, nor is it an attempt to guilt or shame them into behaving differently. Such approaches have been found to not work. Addicts must come to the realization that they are in need of treatment on their own, and must enter into it of their own free will and with a genuine desire to beat the addiction.

Addictions often socially isolate people. When they are isolated in this manner, they can lose touch with the world around them and lose sight of how their actions affect the other people in their lives. Becoming disconnected from the world also often fosters a sense of low self-esteem, which can in turn contribute to addiction. An intervention can be the spark that gets the addict to change their mind and look at their life in a whole new light.

Signs That Addiction Intervention is Necessary

An intervention is often necessary when the addict refuses to acknowledge that they have a problem and shuts down any attempt at communication about their actions. An addict cannot begin the process of healing until they recognize and admit that their drug use is causing problems, but they often need an outside push to get to this point.

According to the 2008 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 95 percent of substance users who did not receive any treatment for their use that year felt that they did not need it. About 39 percent said the main reason was that they were not ready to stop using, and 32 percent said they could not afford treatment and did not have a means of getting it. These statistics are similar in Massachusetts. So a sense that drug use is not a problem is very common even with those in an advanced stage of addiction.

Long-term use of many substances can also do damage to the brain, particularly the areas that control decision-making, impulse control and rational behavior. The more damage is done, the harder a time the addict has in realizing the scope of their problem and the potential consequences of continuing to use.

How to Conduct an Intervention

In movies and on television, the intervention is often seen as an informal gathering of family and friends that is almost like a surprise party. In reality, however, an informal and loosely directed intervention structure rarely works. Addicts also do not always respond well to being surprised in this way.

An intervention should be directed and planned by a mental health professional who specializes in them. Such a professional can determine the best approach for the intervention by hearing the circumstances of the addiction, and may even that an intervention is not an appropriate course of action (they do not work at all in some cases). They will also walk the family members and friends that are participating in the intervention through a rehearsal beforehand, ensuring that they are all acting in the most effective way to get the addict to acknowledge their problem and agree to seek treatment. Many such licensed professionals can be found in Massachusetts.

The Importance of Professional Addiction Intervention

If an addict refuses to seek help or even acknowledge their problem on their own, an intervention may well be necessary. But if the intervention is not planned and orchestrated by a professional, it could backfire and make things worse. At the very least, it will likely be ineffective.

If you are in Massachusetts and are dealing with a family member who is refusing help for their substance abuse, contact a professional interventionist. They can help your loved one comes to terms with their addiction and seek the care and support they so desperately need.