Holding Hands

The disease of addiction is powerful. Its greatest weapons are denial and secrecy. Often, sufferers are not aware of the toll their drinking and using has taken on their friends and family. They may not even be aware that they have crossed the line into addiction. This aspect of the disease seems unbelievable to many loved ones. They are unable to understand why their addict cannot see the trouble he has gotten himself into. They are unable to understand why their ardent pleas for sobriety are dismissed so easily. The addict tells himself that he is the only one harmed by his abuses.


Often, in order to make it clear to the addict that his problem has become out of control, a light needs to be shone on the darkest aspects of his disease. This is the process of Intervention. A professional interventionist facilitates an honest dialogue between loved ones and the addicted individual. It is their mission to help families and friends to voice their concerns regarding the addict’s behavior in a loving and hopeful manner. Each person is encouraged to share their feelings and list specific incidences in which their lives have been damaged by the abuse. In the end, help is offered and a plan is put in place for the addict to get into recovery.

The most loving thing a family member can do for an addict or an alcoholic is to tell them the truth about how their abuses have affected them. It can also be the hardest thing. If it is not done properly and with care, the offer for help will most assuredly be rejected.

Many people may have spoken to the addict about his abuses. An addict can easily rationalize the complaints of a single person. They are able to drink or use right through the tirades and complaints of a few windy relatives. They may even be able to convince these complainants that their drinking and drug use is actually quite normal and that they are overreacting by bringing it up. Loved ones hope and pray that this is true. They want to believe them.


A lone complainant is vulnerable and easily dismissed. The intervention group presents a united front that the addict cannot ignore. United, we can triumph. Together, we can light a fire that can change a life forever.

Call our counselors today to arrange for a meeting with an interventionist.

Seeking professional help for a loved one’s addiction is a difficult decision to arrive to. Admitting that there is a problem is emotionally taxing not only for the person who needs help, but also to his or her relatives who, sometimes, also go through stages of denial. Intervention is a necessary stage that can help bridge this challenge with the help of professionals who are trained to close the gap between the patient and his loved ones.

Intervention is a very sensitive process that should only be handled by trained individuals. While the focus is often placed on the person who needs help, those whose lives have been impacted by the addiction and abuse should also be placed in the forefront of the problem. So what are the do’s and don’ts that can help these people deal with the situation? Read on below for an in-depth look at the often unexplored side of intervention.

The Do’s of Encouraging Your Loved One To Get Help


1. Educate Yourself

It starts with you. Start learning more about addiction by reading about it or even attending local addiction support or California intervention groups. Talking to people who are experienced about the topic will let you know that there are others out there who already dealt with the same problem, and have survived it. Connecting to a network of knowledgeable individuals about the topic, more importantly, can also recommend you to intervention services and professionals.


2. Share your concerns freely

The first requirement for a successful intervention is having open family members. The effectiveness of the process depends on the participants’ willingness to express concern and compassion towards the person’s welfare and by showing how the person’s behavior have hurt those around him or her. Often, addicts have the mentality that their actions only hurt themselves, so they needed to be taught about the encompassing effect of their addiction.

One way to do this is by writing letters that the family members can read out loud during the intervention. Putting thoughts on paper make them more organized and helps family members better express their feelings without coming off as judging. Using the first person when sharing stories during the session, and presenting clear examples of situations where someone felt hurt by the addiction problem also emphasizes the impact of the problem. Try statements like “I love you, and I will always be here for you. But It really hurt me badly when you missed my recital because you were drunk”, or “I want you at home with me and the kids, but I also miss sleep out of worry whenever you go out drinking at night,” to help the person realize the many ways his actions affect those around him or her.


3. Give support

One of the challenges of encouraging a person to seek help is convincing them that their loves ones are not abandoning them. Again, emotional support plays a huge role in the success of an intervention. This can be hard for family members, especially when the facility employs a “no contact rule.” However, the best approach to ensure the patient gets proper treatment is to follow the advice of addiction specialists. This means relatives should resist giving in to the demands of the patient that are not in line with the treatment center’s recovery plan. This will help the individual realize the authenticity of his current situation and guide him towards his recovery.


Things To Refrain From Doing When Dealing With A Person With Addiction


1. Don’t judge.

Encourage them, but don’t beat up someone over his mistakes. Putting the blame on the person alone will reinforce their belief that their situation affects only them, and will make them withdraw more from his or her loved ones.


2. Don’t make idle threats.

Every intervention requires the relatives of the patient to outline consequences that the person might face in the event that he or she does not agree to seek help. These consequences can range from not providing financial support, or asking someone to move out. If, for example, the person involved chooses not to push through with the rehabilitation, be strong enough to follow through with these terms. This tough love approach will be hard for both the family and the person, but it paints a clear picture of the seriousness of situation to the patient.


3. Don’t do things on your own.

With the high stress nature of the issue of addiction, it is common for some people to want to immediately take action. Resist from doing this without a proper plan. No matter how well-intentioned the action is, lack of planning and knowledge can sabotage the act. Reach out to a Riverscape Counseling Interventionist to help with the planning process. While at it, remember to trust the professionals who will be handling the case. These people are specially trained to handle the situation with the a non-judgmental point of view to ensure its smooth flow.

Seeking someone help sometimes start with the people surrounding him or her. Do not hesitate or feel shamed by reaching out to professionals for certain situation. The road to recovery, after all, starts with the acceptance and openness towards the problem.

Image by Daniele Levis Pelusi