A lot of families across the United States are faced with the issue of having a drug abuser in the family. According to national figures, a little over 10% of Americans regularly use illegal drugs – which equates to 22 million people. This means that a lot of people are either related to a drug user, know them intimately or could be friendly with them.
So as someone who cares for that person’s well being, you would naturally be thinking to yourself, should I be stepping in? Could I be doing more to help their situation?
The answer is yes, however delicate the topic may be, and attempting to hold an intervention and start them on the path to sobriety is the best thing you can do.
The do’s and don’ts to an initial intervention
A drug user’s circumstances can vary depending on their current situation. Sometimes a sudden loss or traumatic experience can trigger something that causes them to start using drugs to numb the pain.
Other times, they feel they are unimportant and want to escape from the life they are currently living. They do this by using drugs to have outer body experiences and be less in touch with who they are, attempting to lose themselves in the drugs.
Others may be trying to kill themselves slowly as they hate who they are or the life they lead.
No matter who the person is to you or what you think the reason may be, you should never come into an intervention with a judgemental mindset. Without being able to see life through their eyes and walk in their shoes, we do not know some of the deep struggles one may be going through. Attempting to belittle them for their drug abuse and putting all the blame of them can make someone reject an intervention and actually lead them to become more dependent on the drug.
If they feel a close loved one is judging them and putting them down, they are less likely to cooperate or even contemplate the thought of quitting. They will turn more to their addiction as they may see it as the only way to cope with life if the loved ones around them are beginning to resent them.
Instead of taking this course of action, you want to take a more sympathetic approach and listen to what they have to say about their addiction and listen to their thoughts on it. This can be a much easier starting point for an intervention when you are able to understand better what this person may be dealing with.
Another thing to remember about drug abuse is that it is an extremely addictive substance, so this person may already be trying to quit but is struggling to do so due to its addictive nature. Always listen first, then try to work from there on a specific intervention plan.
Timing an intervention effectively
There really is no perfect timing for an intervention. Understanding the nature of drugs and that as time passes a person can become more and more reliant on them means that the perfect time is the soonest time. The longer you let someone fuel their drug addiction, the harder it can be for them to stop.
Planning a family intervention comes down to the people who want to be involved and making sure that there are not too many people as you do not want to intimidate them and make them feel like an outcast for a family. Interventions can come in many shapes, it could be as simple as a one-on-one talk about options to quit and the benefits and rewards it could give that person in the long run.
Also, maybe showing them some statistics on the dangerous effects of drugs could make them want to change their life path and get back to being healthy and drug-free.
Having your thoughts ready
Sometimes interventions can be tough, so creating a drug intervention letter prior to beginning the talk can sometimes make it easier to stay on your train of thought. When it is a close loved one being affected, conversations and interventions can become heated when met with resistance. Having a plan of things that you want to convey to the drug user can help you stay on task throughout the intervention and give your message more clarity, rather than it turning into an argument.
Family interventions, when it comes to drug abuse, can be very hard. If you feel like you want a specialist to help guide you through the process then seeking out an interventionist could be a great plan of action. They give specialized help to families in this situation who are stuck on how to get their loved one back on the path to sobriety.
When it comes to lethal drug addictions, it is not something to take lightly, and getting the help you need is a must in these life or death situations.