In-ter-ven-tion Inter’venCHan Noun: Intervention; plural noun: interventions
- the action or process of intervening
- Interference by a country in another’s affairs
- Action taken to improve a situation, especially a medical disorder.
“If I don’t step in and help will the process stop on its own?” Coming to terms with the negative effects of a loved one’s drug and alcohol abuse and addiction is a very challenging process. Family members are often lost in the whirlwind of emotions left in the wake of behaviors (symptoms) of the disease of addiction, and the wreckage of the “lifestyle.” Trying to get our loved ones to understand or to see the error of their ways is often a challenge, but it’s often equally difficult for the family members of an addict to accept the seriousness of the situation. That denial or misunderstanding occurs because family members of the user often don’t understand the process and emotions of addiction. Of course, by the time a loved one “hits bottom,” having a clear understanding of the psychology behind addiction becomes irrelevant; family members are forced to spring into action and get their loved one the help they deserve. Before that ‘bottom’ hits, however, families often end up downplaying the situation and falling for the typical excuses of the addict— “I am only hurting myself,” “it’s my life, leave me alone,” “I can handle it.” Coming to terms with the seriousness of your loved ones addiction may be a concept that isn’t as easy as it appears. Let’s take a look at it from a different angle. A parent with a curious child. The child sees his parents plug electrical items into the outlets with impunity. The child watches as the lamp, TV, radio (etc.) gets plugged into the socket and gets used; however, when the child wants to plug in a pencil to the same outlet, his parents freak out. Why? Has the parent ever seen anyone actually electrocuted from an outlet? Chances are they have not. They have heard of the possibility of death, burns, and harm from electric shock. It’s a chance that they are not willing to take. They couldn’t imagine allowing their child to knowingly be in harm’s way. This is the way a parent should look at addiction from the very start. The child (speaking from experience) will throw an awful tantrum, dropping to the floor kicking, screaming and crying, but eventually that drama will subside and both sides will realize this was a decision based on love. The parent hurts as much as the child. They will often (hopefully) hold their ground so the child knows that they are not giving in. In the end it was the best thing to do. The child learns that the parent is holding boundaries to keep him/her safe. The parent learns that sometimes you have to do what’s best to keep your child safe, regardless of whether they “feel good about it” or even “agree” with it. It is one of the basic instincts of a parent, keep your child safe. It is nature’s plan. When it comes to effects that drug and alcohol use has had, for some reason we divert away from nature’s plan. We go back to the idea that if we love them a little more, or hug them a little tighter they will be alright. Often families will try multiple methods to “solve” the use, abuse, addiction problem on their own. No one wants to be the bad guy. Maybe they don’t want to upset the child, after all no one wants to “hurt” or see their child “upset.” Determining whether or not a drug intervention is appropriate really depends on the desired outcome. Families will ask themselves questions like will drug treatment work? Will my child even go to a drug rehab? Will they get angry with me? When instead they should ask themselves, will my child survive if they don’t go to treatment? Can this process be stopped without help? Can I live with myself if I don’t step in? When put in these terms the choice is easier for us. When reading an article it’s simple to see what we should do. When we are faced with reality, we need to seek out the help of professionals. Our Admissions Counselors are available 7 days a week at 877.581.1793 Image Credit