One of the most important things for family and friends to understand is that most people who attend treatment do so because their family addressed the issue with them. When bringing up the issue with a loved one, it is important to do so in a caring and supportive way. It is not a time to blame, shame, or ostracize the person. When a family intervention is conducted in a gentle and supportive way, the individual is more likely to seek substance abuse treatment services.
“90% of all interventions are successful the day of the intervention when a professional is guiding the process. This number increases if the family follows through with all of the guidelines set forth during the intervention.”
Preparing for the Family Intervention
No two families are the same. As a result, there will be different preparations that will need to take place based on family dynamics. However, navigating the right way to conduct a family intervention will have better success using a substance abuse interventionist or an addiction counselor.
These individuals are available in your community and are trained to work with drug and alcohol addicted clients and their loved ones. Their assistance can be valuable to finding the right words to encourage the addicted person to seek help. While these professionals can help, a successful family intervention is possible without them. If you seek to hold a private, non-confrontational and honest conversation with your loved one, that option is available to you.
No matter which choice you make, it is important to understand that family dynamics are a powerful aspect of drug and alcohol addiction recovery. By addressing any unhealthy communication strategies that have been occurring within the family, you can help move your loved one a step closer towards addressing their addiction issues.
Furthermore, if there are other family dynamic concerns, this open and honest communication can result in the rest of your family working to address lingering issues and lead to moments of self-discovery.
After the Family Intervention
Once a family intervention is successful, the person will enter a treatment program. The level of addiction and needs of your loved one will dictate the type of treatment facility that they need to attend. There are several different options available, but there are three main types.
- Detox programs support your loved one while the substances leave his or her system.
- In-Patient programs treat your loved one while he or she resides in the facility.
- Out-Patient programs treat your loved one while he or she lives outside the facility.
If your loved one needs detox first, it is recommended that they follow up with an in- or outpatient treatment program. The benefits of an outpatient treatment program are that your loved one remains in the community and attends treatment programs during the day or evening based upon the facilities options. Another benefit of outpatient treatment is that your loved one can attend these recovery support services for a longer period. However, the downfall is that the person remains in the community and does not have as intensive a level of treatment.
On the other hand, with an inpatient substance abuse treatment program, your loved one will be required to reside at a facility for a designated period. Most of these facilities have programs that last for around 30 days.
During their stay, your loved one will detox off the drugs that they are using and then be immersed in a recovery process. Even though you are not present with your loved one during their stay, your support and interaction are needed. Most facilities will encourage visiting, and many will include treatment information and support services for family members.
Whether your loved one chooses an in- or outpatient treatment facility, it’s important that you remain present in their life during their recovery process. Your role doesn’t end after a successful intervention.
“Overcoming addiction is a difficult process, and family is one of the most-cited motivations from people who have fought and won against an addiction.”
After a Treatment Program
There is no “end” to treatment. If your loved one completes an inpatient or outpatient treatment program, the work to remain drug-free must continue. There is no magic cure or easy button. Your loved one will need to continue to address their addiction and behavioral issues throughout their life.
This realization can be daunting for both you and your loved one to accept. If you find yourself failing to understand why your loved one needs to do certain things to remain clean and sober, you may need your own support during the recovery process.
Furthermore, addiction is considered a “family disease,” which means that your loved one is not the only one going through this experience. It is important for you to receive assistance during this stressful time.
Many family members turn to Al-Anon or Nar-Anon to discover information on enabling and codependence. Other issues that may need to be addressed could be anger and frustration or just the stress of supporting your loved one through their struggle with recovery.