When alcohol or drugs have taken over a loved one’s life, and they seem reluctant to face the facts about their addiction, sometimes we turn to an “intervention” to help them see that they need help. An intervention is when a group of loved ones — family, friends and concerned others — gather together to try and help the person see that they need treatment for their addiction.
For those who have never been involved in an intervention, the process may seem daunting and full of unanswered questions. Many people have only seen drug interventions on television or in movies, and are not sure what to expect at an actual intervention.
Here are seven common misconceptions about drug and alcohol interventions.
- You should wait until a person has hit rock bottom.
“Rock bottom” is a often-used phrase when discussing addicts and addictive behavior. Many believe that an addict cannot bounce back into sobriety until they have hit this extremely low point. The reality is that rock bottom can be difficult to pinpoint. Rather than wait for this vaguely defined time, try to get help for your loved one before things progress that far.
- Sobriety is possible if an addict is strong enough.
Addiction is a disease rooted in a number of causes. Chemical dependency takes over an addict’s brain and changes his or her entire neurological makeup. Addicts need more than just willpower to get sober. Convince them to get help now.
- Rehab won’t work if an addict has already failed it.
Just because an addict has relapsed in the past does not mean treatment will not work. He or she simply has to try again.
- Addicts lack strong morals.
Anyone can become an addict. People who are genetically predisposed to addiction are even more likely to become addicts themselves, regardless of the character they possess.
- Addicts will sever ties with those staging an intervention.
It is difficult to predict an addict’s response to an intervention. Drug and alcohol abuse can make a person unstable, which is why it is always necessary to seek the help of a professional interventionist. Just because an addict gets upset, however, does not mean they will sever ties. They will, at some point, realize that their friends and family are only trying to help.
- Interventions should be staged when the addict is under the influence.
This is never a good idea. When planning an intervention, all possible steps should be made to ensure that an addict is sober when confronted. A person who is under the influence may be very volatile and will not fully process what is being said to them.
- Interventions should be staged by friends and family only.
A professional interventionist is a vital part of making sure the intervention is safe and effective. It can be dangerous and very counterproductive to attempt to intervene with an addict without professional help. Always contact a professional interventionist, who will help you devise a plan to make the intervention as productive and healthy as possible.
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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 26 Aug 2013
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.
Seeley, K. (2013). 7 Common Misconceptions About Addiction Interventions. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 2, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2013/08/26/7-common-misconceptions-about-addiction-interventions/