Article Provided by Narconon
A drug intervention is a process
that helps drug addicts recognize the extent of
their problem. Individuals who are addicted to
drugs or alcohol usually do not know their addiction
is out of control. They tend to look at those
around them as a measure of how right or wrong
their actions are. Those that surround themselves
with individuals who are caught up in the grasp
of drug addiction are not able to see the drastic
lengths that their own dependence has come to.
Their using "friends" are a mirror of
themselves, leading them to believe that their
own actions are acceptable.
These individuals need objective
feedback on their behavior. It is through a non-judgmental,
non-critical, systematic drug intervention process
that the individual is able to see his or her
own lifestyle choices. When they truly understand
the impact that their alcohol dependence or drug
addiction has on others, they may truly begin
to see they are hurting those around them.
Anticipate that the individual
who is suspected of having a substance abuse problem
might try to minimize their use, change the topic,
joke about their use, or say "My substance
use is no worse than anyone else's." Even
if the individual begins to share some life problems
that they have been experiencing, know that those
problems won't get better unless the person quits
their substance abuse.
The goal of drug intervention
is for the addict to accept the reality of their
drug addiction and to seek help. The process of
conducting a drug intervention is a difficult
and delicate matter. It is important that it is
done correctly; otherwise, the individual may
feel cornered and become defensive. Advice from
a trained professional is useful in determining
the proper strategy and timing for your specific
Many families have made numerous,
but unsuccessful, attempts to help their addicted
loved ones. They may have tried various approaches
to control or "fix" the addicted individual,
but the addiction progresses. Don't be an enabler;
say something! Demonstrate caring and concern.
Keep in mind: are you helping the person by intervening
or hurting them by remaining silent?
If you suspect that an individual
has a problem with drugs or alcohol, get involved.
It is the active involvement by concerned others
who take action on behalf of the addict who is
trapped in the vicious cycle of dependence that
begins the process of lifestyle change. Drug intervention
is the first step. Professional treatment is the
second. Both are necessary steps, but with intervention
up to 85% of addicted people seek treatment to
become free of their dependencies.
The Steps of Drug
1. Stop all “rescue
missions.” Family members often try
to protect an abuser from the results of their
behavior by making excuses to others about their
abuse problem and by getting them out of drug-related
jams. It is important to stop all such rescue
attempts immediately, so that the addict will
fully experience the harmful effects of his use
and thereby become more motivated to stop.
2. Don’t enable
them. Sometimes family members feel sorry
for the addict or tend to avoid the abuser; let
them come and go as they please. This comes across
to the abuser as a reward—after all, all
he wants is to be left alone. Be careful not to
reward by paying his bills, bailing him out of
jail, letting him stay for free, etc. This kind
of reward creates out exchange and criminal behavior.
3. Time your drug abuse
intervention. If possible, plan to talk with
the addict when he is straight. Choose a time
when all of you are in a calm frame of mind and
when you can speak privately.
4. Be specific. Tell
the family member that you are concerned about
his drug or alcohol abuse and want to be supportive
in getting help. Back up your concern with examples
of the ways in which their drug abuse has caused
problems for you, including any recent incidents.
5. State the consequences.
Tell the family member that until he gets help,
you will carry out consequences—not to punish
the drug abuser, but to protect yourself from
the harmful effects of the abuse. These may range
from refusing to be with the person when they
are under the influence to having them move out
of the house. DO NOT make any threats you are
not prepared to carry out. The basic intention
is to make the abuser’s life more uncomfortable
if he continues using drugs than it would be for
him to get help.
6. Find strength in numbers
with the help of family members, relatives and
friends to confront the abuser as a group.
However, you want to choose one person to be the
initial spokesperson. It will be much more effective
for the others to simply be there nodding their
heads, than it would be for everyone to talk at
once and “gang up on him.” Remember
the idea is to make it safe for him to come clean
and seek help.
7. Listen. If during
your drug abuse intervention the abuser begins
asking questions like; Where would I have to go?
For how long? This is a sign that he is reaching
for help. Do not directly answer these questions.
Instead have him call in to talk to a professional.
Support him. Don’t wait. Once you’ve
gotten his agreement, get him admitted immediately.
Therefore, you should have a bag packed for him,
any travel arrangements made and prior acceptance
into a program.
This information was provided
by Narconon drug rehabilitation center. For more
information on their services or to read the full
text of this article, visit: http://www.addictionca.com/drug-intervention.htm