Denial and Intervention
Denial and family intervention is often an essential part of the recovery process. Denial plays a common role with drug addiction and what’s called tough love can be very persuasive. Along with the abuse comes a lack of willingness and/or ability to confront the true nature of one’s own problem with drugs and alcohol and to take any kind of action to better their lives. This is called denial, and it comes in many forms – blaming, playing the victim, anger, fear etc. Along with denial, an addict must deal with pride and ego, two of the worst enemies of addiction, as they will in no doubt keep an addict or alcoholic using until one of three inevitable ends – jails, institutions, or death. This is where a type of addiction professional called an interventionist becomes important. Interventionists play an essential role in the treatment process.
A family Intervention or Interventionist’s job is to break down denial. Denial is a very strong defense mechanism used by addicts that enables them to justify continuing their destructive behavior. Often they blame their usage on family members, jobs, and stress, anything that allows them not to accept responsibility for their addictive actions and continue the substance abuse. Breaking through these barriers and gaining commitment to receive care is essential to begin the healing process.
The purpose of an interventionist is to coordinate with the family and/or other professionals in selecting a proper detoxification and treatment facility to suit the need. Advanced arrangements must be made as the expectation is immediate admittance upon the completion of the intervention. Experienced interventionists will counsel the family with understanding an answer any questions they may have and to resolve any bad feelings to ease the situation keeping in mind the goal of getting the addict to drug or alcohol detox treatment program immediately. The intention is clear, the tone is hopeful and the resolve is unwavering. This process is born out of love and concern. Interventions and interventionists are successful in 90%-95%+ of all cases.
In the event that the drug addict or alcoholic chooses not to agree to treatment, the family, friends, and employers must be prepared for the next step. This involves ceasing all enabling behaviors that help the addict or alcoholic use their drug of choice, including alcohol.
Typically the only reason this process may not be effective is that in the past, consequences of the drug addicts have been so minimal that the addict doesn’t think that anything will change. The family must be prepared to set strong boundaries and not waver at the time of intervention. The addict is once again told he/she is loved and that the family and interventionist are willing to get them effective drug or alcohol treatment. It must be made clear, however, that the family (with the guidance of the interventionist as a mediator) will no longer accept this behavior and watch the addict slowly kill themselves. The drug addict or alcoholic is expected to accept the gift that is being offered and get help at a drug or alcohol detox and treatment program. Intervention can be a very painful process, because it is a time during which a family often gets to see the true strength of the addictive minds. Intervention is a serious undertaking and it is imperative that it be done effectively, safely and with confidentiality. No intervention should be done without at least being researched and discussed with a knowledgeable counselor or interventionist.
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