When a loved one is addicted to drugs or alcohol, it can be tough to know what to say. You might worry about saying the wrong thing and worsening the situation. There can be a fine line between honesty and effectiveness regarding interventions. People often need to be quite careful to choose the right words and use them at the right time to ensure that the person who needs care will be genuinely motivated to get help when the intervention is over.
Some tips regarding addiction interventions can help you guide the conversation productively. At Michael’s House, an addiction treatment center, we offer help navigating addiction interventions and understanding what needs to be done to ensure they are successful. Reach out to us today at 760.548.4032 to get the help you need to ensure that these six phrases make it into intervention letters and conversations. Families can ensure that their messages of love and support are heard loud and clear by the person who needs treatment.
What to Do in an Addiction Intervention
Many people struggle with addiction and don’t know how to get help. If you’re concerned about someone you love, you may be considering an intervention. An intervention is a chance to talk to your loved one about their addiction and its impact on their lives and the lives of those around them. It’s also an opportunity to offer help and support in getting treatment.
Conducting an intervention can be a complex process, but there are some things you can do to make it more successful. First, it’s essential to gather information about addiction and treatment options. This will help you present a united front to your loved one and offer them the best possible chance for recovery. You should also involve a professional interventionist who can help guide the process.
Finally, be prepared for the possibility that your loved one may not be ready to seek help. However, by intervening, you’re giving them a chance to get the treatment they need to live happier, healthier life.
6 Things You Should Say During an Addiction Intervention
Family and friends are often the first to notice when a loved one is struggling with addiction. And while it can be difficult to confront them about their problem, an intervention may be the most helpful way to help them get the treatment they need. Here are six things you should say during an addiction intervention.
1. Thank You for All You’ve Done for Me
People who walk into an intervention often expect to hear words of blaming, shame, and guilt, and they may be on guard and ready to fight back at the first sign of attack. Families can diffuse this situation using thankful or admiring phrases in their intervention messages.
By reminding the person that they are valuable and that their contribution to the family is important and respected, families can help them genuinely understand the need to accept treatment. Your loved one might be able to remember what the relationship was like before substance use entered the picture, and they might be motivated to start treatment.
2. I Love You
Addictions can be isolating. Addiction often causes the person to feel as though no one understands and cares. In time, It’s common for people with addiction to view their substance of choice as their only source of happiness. That isn’t true, of course, but an addiction can place a veil between that person and the truth.
It can be tempting to vent your frustration or lose control of anger in an intervention. Many people have held on to anger about the addiction for years, but using words of love and support is a much more helpful way to reach the person who needs help. Counseling before the intervention can help you stay on track when the big day arrives.
3. I Am Worried for Our Children
Addictions can be passed down genetically. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that about half of a person’s susceptibility to addiction depends on that person’s genes. Further, children who grow up in families with addiction might also develop later problems with substance use as they might be subjected to:
- Confusing situations and messages
- Verbal abuse and parental fighting
Children might also watch their parents closely on a day-to-day basis and pattern their behavior on the norms they see their parents following. For example, they may be tempted to lean on alcohol or drugs when days are difficult. Parents with addiction may be absorbed in their patterns of substance use, but reminding these parents that their children could be at risk for similar problems down the line could be a good way to motivate them to change.
4. I Will Be Here for You
People who participate in interventions may have their own stories of addiction and recovery to share. Partners and married couples often use substances together but can also get sober. One newly sober partner or family member may be in an excellent position to discuss how treatment works and why it might be beneficial.
5. Addiction Treatment Works
Denial is often one of the biggest obstacles to overcome when addiction is at play. Addiction is a chronic condition that involves cycles of relapse and remission. People who think rehab is unnecessary demean the process, suggesting any regressions are solely due to “failed” treatment and that addictions can never be cured.
The truth is that natural healing does happen every day. Relapse is an issue addressed at length in most addiction treatment programs, but families can introduce the concept in their interventions. Families should research potential treatment options and ask those treatment providers for documented recovery statistics.
6. Addiction Is a Physical Disorder, and You Can Get Better
In the past, people were encouraged to believe that a lack of willpower caused addictions. People who had addictions were slapped with labels such as:
- “Worthless drunk”
- “Lazy drug user”
- “Weak willpower”
People with addictions may hear these voices in their heads when they think about their addictions, and the depression these hateful words can cause can lead them to further drug use. Most substance use causes such severe changes in the dopamine pathway in the brain that the brain scans of people who use drugs and those who do not use drugs look dramatically different. People with substance use do physical damage to their bodies, and this damage makes them physically dependent on drugs.
Consider Hiring a Professional Interventionist
Interventionists are best positioned to provide this information while helping families feel calm and healthy during this process. This trained professional can help the person understand how addictions work on a chemical level and how those chemical changes are typically treated in an addiction recovery program. An interventionist can provide a smoother, more successful intervention. Also, people who understand that they have a medical problem that can be treated might be more apt to accept medical help in return.
Learn More About How to Have an Addiction Intervention from Michael’s House
It’s easy to see how an intervention could help people with substance use disorders. When confronted by their family members and told about the benefits of treatment, they may be convinced to get the help they’ll need to leave their addictions behind and develop a more successful way of living.
An intervention could help a person you care about turn their life around. As you learn more about the condition that impacts the person you care about, you can increase your coping skills and reduce the stress and tension you feel, regardless of how your loved one does in treatment. Preparing for intervention is one way to learn more about addiction, and it’s a great way to get the whole family started on the road to wellness. Contact us today at 760.548.4032 to learn more about addiction intervention.