Be Prepared With
a Back up Plan
An intervention with proper planning and carried out correctly will result many times in an addict agreeing to receive help. But you must accept the fact that ultimately the addict may, for whatever reason, say “NO”. This scenario needs to be thought out in advance so that the family consistently moves to plan B.
If, for whatever reason, the intervention fails, the addict is still an addict and statistically the situation will likely get worse, not better, so what is the action taken by the family at this point? The family knows the person is addicted and the addict has been confronted with this fact, so whatever message the family gives the addict at this point is critical. By refusing to seek treatment, the addict is basically saying to the family: “ I want to continue to use drugs. I want to continue the family’s suffering. I want to control my own life.” The family will, in turn, answer that with every word and action taken. If, for instance, the family says: “ I understand, so please leave and don’t expect any money or support in any way, unless you decide to get help”, then the addict is left to run his/her own life, which they generally do not have the ability to do, and before long you have a person who “DECIDES” that treatment is the best thing and calls saying just that. If, on the other hand, the family sort of acts disappointed and carries on as usual, then the addict gets the message that it is OK to continue this lifestyle and will put up even more resistance to intervention in the future, having bested the intervention team previously. Obviously, there are certain risks involved with either approach, and these risks should be evaluated clearly beforehand. One thing is certain; as long as the addict continues to use, they risk the one thing they have. Their life.
The bottom line is that an addict needs to decide, for whatever reason, that he or she needs help. Most “locked down“ approaches fail because the addict is not part of the recovery. The only way an addict can usually fight against the addiction is when enough external pressure is applied to cause them to decide to quit. Many call this “the bottom”. However, there can be many bottoms. Obviously, some are lower than others, but each can produce a person getting help and quitting drugs. It just depends on what happens when the person is there. For example, a person is facing serious legal charges and is very scared. The person will either have an intervention and go to treatment or will get through this situation and be back out using. In the final analysis, it is often the family who either spots the incident and uses it to achieve treatment, or misses and wait.
“It would be nice to tell you that I did it on my own. It would be nice to tell you that I made some spiritual breakthrough and saved myself, but the fact is that I didn’t. My family and friends guided and forced me into rehab and for that I will be forever grateful, because I am alive. I live. I enjoy every day now, especially knowing where I would have been had I been allowed to go where the drugs were leading me. My family’s help will always be a debt I owe because without it I’d be gone.”
Best of luck
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