According to a United Nations report, drug addiction results in the deaths of more than 200,000 people per year. Seeing a loved one suffer from drug addiction can be an excruciating and traumatic experience; you may find yourself fearing for your loved one’s life and well being, and of course you want to do everything you can to help him or her overcome the addiction.
Regardless of the specific drug or drugs that your loved one may be abusing, the fact remains that interventions are generally the best form of assistance for those suffering from drug addiction of any kind. Still, it is important to understand that, even with the best treatment, most people who receive help for an addiction will have at least one relapse in their lifetimes, according to NoRegret.info. As such, it is important for you and others to provide your loved one with the support that is needed as he or she works to overcome drug addiction.
Preparing for an Intervention
One of the most difficult aspects of getting a loved one battling drug addiction to get help is simply getting them to admit that they need it. Most of the time, those who abuse drugs are in denial that they have a problem in the first place. For this reason, having an intervention is a common means of confronting the troubled person. This is often done by having family members, close friends, and loved ones step forward at once, explain how concerned they are about the person, and ask them to accept treatment.
Because an intervention can be a very shocking experience to the troubled person and an emotional one for all involved, it is important for those planning an intervention to handle it with tact and care. This means taking the time to thoroughly plan it.
Preparing an intervention should begin with gathering a group of people who are aware of and concerned about the person’s drug problem. These people should:
- Have the best interests for the troubled person in mind
- Be mature enough to handle a confrontation with the person
- Be prepared to deliver a short speech or write a compelling letter to the person
It is a good idea to meet with the intervention group at least a couple of times prior to the actual intervention to discuss details and ensure that everybody is on the same page with how it will be carried out. Deciding on a place in which to hold the intervention is also important; loved ones should choose a private and comfortable space. Furthermore, it is vital that the troubled person not be made aware of plans for an intervention. It should come as a surprise to the person so that he or she does not have an opportunity to make excuses or avoid the confrontation.
During the Intervention
On the day of the intervention, the group should meet at the designated meeting place. Often times, this will be one of the group member’s homes. This way, the troubled person will not become suspicious by being asked to meet in another location.
Prior to the person’s arrival, all members should prepare themselves by either writing a letter or having a speech ready. Once the person arrives, it is likely that he or she will know what is about to happen. This is a critical moment; group members should do their best to keep the person in the room, as a typical reaction is to flee and run away from the problem. Still, it is important that the person ultimately stay in the room by his or her own free will; no physical force should be used to keep the person there.
Inviting the person to sit down is often a good way to get them to stay. From there, the loved one closest to the person–perhaps a spouse or parent–should begin speaking. Each person should have a chance to speak about his or her concerns regarding the person’s drug addiction. After everybody has a turn, the group should present a specific treatment option and encourage the troubled individual to accept it and commit to it right away. Doing it this way increases the chances of the person accepting treatment because it does not give them much time to think about saying no.
Either way, all group members of an intervention should be prepared to handle the person’s reaction, whether it be good or bad. If the person accepts treatment, it is important to do everything possible to get him or her to go right away. This way, they do not have a chance to over think the situation or change their minds.
If the person refuses treatment, all group members should be prepared to “punish” the person in a way that they see fit. Of course, the person should be made aware of the consequences of such a decision during the intervention, as this can help to sway their decision to accept treatment. Some common responses from loved ones of those who refuse treatment include:
- Cutting off all contact with the person
- Requesting the person to move out of their home, if they live with them
- Cutting off all financial support to the person
Sometimes, even after a person refuses treatment, the loved ones can stick to these punishments and eventually get them to change their minds. Because of this, it is important for loved ones to stick with whatever they decide, as difficult as it may seem. At the end of the day, this is all done out of love and with the best interests of the person in mind, so nobody should feel guilty for cutting off contact or doing anything else that they may have promised to do if the person refused to accept treatment.
Planning and holding an intervention for a loved one who is suffering from a drug abuse problem can be a very difficult thing. However, having the support of other group members is often what helps people through it. All group members should do their best to be supportive of each other and to be there when others need to vent or need emotional affirmation. While not everybody may always agree about the specifics of how the intervention should be carried out, the fact remains that everybody is there to help a person in need.
Suggesting Treatment Options
One of the most difficult aspects of planning a drug intervention for a loved one can be agreeing on the recommended treatment option. No matter what the specific addiction being dealt with, it is always best to suggest inpatient treatment, as this is known to be the most effective.
Inpatient treatment refers to any form of treatment where the troubled person must stay at the facility for a specific period of time. During this time, he or she is not allowed to leave for any reason. Instead, he or she is completely immersed in a supportive and clean environment. The amount of time in which a person will remain in the facility will depend greatly on a number of factors. These include:
- severity of the addiction
- amount of time he or she has been using drugs
- ttypes of drugs used
- amount of time in the facility that the person or the family can afford
There are many advantages that come along with placing a person in an inpatient treatment program. One of the biggest benefits of this is the fact that the person will simply have no opportunities to get a hold of any drugs. Inpatient treatment facilities are strictly controlled, and patients’ bags are inspected prior to their arrival to ensure that they are not bringing along any contraband or drug paraphernalia. In this sense, family members and loved ones can rest assured that the patient will be clean during his or her duration of treatment in the facility.
Another great benefit that comes along with inpatient treatment is the opportunity to meet and bond with people who are going through a similar struggle against drug abuse. Having this support and being in constant contact with people who are going through similar issues can make all the difference in a patient’s chances of success.
Aside from these benefits, people who receive treatment in an inpatient facility for drugs also have more of a chance to find themselves spiritually. In most cases, family and friend visits are limited or restricted altogether for a specific length of time upon a patient’s arrival. This is done not to be cruel, but so that the patient can learn to function independently and learn more about themselves throughout the process. Usually, visits are eventually allowed towards the end of the treatment process, but this can vary from facility to facility.
Furthermore, those who are enrolled in inpatient treatment programs enjoy having experienced, compassionate staff on call at all times. These people are dedicating to helping the patient overcome their drug abuse problems and get back on the right track. Doctors and other medical staff are also on hand to help with withdrawals and other potential problems that may arise, providing a safe environment for a patient to stop using drugs.
Finally, an inpatient drug treatment facility gives those struggling against drug addiction the opportunity to forget about the stresses of everyday life and simply focus on getting clean instead. To help with stress relief and relaxation of the mind and body, many inpatient treatment facilities offer luxurious amenities such as spas, and some are even located in beautiful, tropical locations.
What to Expect from an Inpatient Facility
Family members exploring inpatient facilities as a treatment option for their loved ones often find themselves with a lot of questions. One of the main concerns, for example, is that of cost. Family members want to find a treatment option that they can afford. Fortunately, there are options available to suit just about any budget these days. Of course, treatment facilities with more amenities will be more expensive, but most facilities are willing to work with patients and their families to come up with successful and affordable treatment plans.
Furthermore, there are some state-funded options available when it comes to drug treatment. Therefore, those who do not necessarily have the financial means to pay for treatment out of pocket may want to explore some of these options to see if they qualify.
Finally, it should be noted that many health insurance policies these days include coverage for drug abuse and addiction treatment. This is something that comes as a surprise to many, but it is true. Family members will want to find a way to discretely check the troubled person’s health insurance policy to find out what is covered and how much, but this can be a great way to offset some of the costs associated with drug addiction treatment. At the end of the day, nobody should have to go without the help they need simply because of financial difficulties.
There are also a number of common concerns that patients have before their arrival at an inpatient facility. For example, some will want to know if they will be able to smoke cigarettes at the facility itself. In most cases, the answer to this question is “no.” This is primarily because cigarettes are a known trigger for drug users to crave the drugs of their choice. However, there are some facilities that may allow smoking and provide patients with specific areas in which to smoke cigarettes.
Most patients also find themselves wondering what they should bring to the facility itself. The specifics of this can vary from place to place, but in most cases, patients need not bring more than changes of clothes and perhaps some bedding. Incoming patients should also be aware that bags and rooms are checked regularly, so any attempt to sneak drugs into the facility is strongly discouraged. To make sure that a patient does not underpack or overpack for a stay at an impatient drug treatment facility, it is always best to check with the treatment center directly. Most will be more than happy to provide incoming patients with a list of what to bring and what to leave at home.
Some patients are curious as to whether the facility they will be attending is religious or not. This is a concern that should be taken into careful consideration by family members when suggesting initial treatment options. For those who are religious, there are plenty of great religious, inpatient treatment facilities across the country. However, for those who are less religious or made uncomfortable by religion, it is best to look into a treatment center that takes more of a spiritual approach. This way, the patient will feel more comfortable and will thus have higher chances of success.
Another common question that incoming drug treatment patients have is “what amenities will be provided?” Patients want to know what will be available for them to do in their spare time. Of course, this can vary greatly depending on the facility chosen, but most drug treatment centers offer basic amenities such as cable, board games, and other forms of healthy recreation. More expensive treatment facilities may offer regular support group meetings, fitness classes, and even spas to help patients reduce stress levels and have better chances of success in overcoming drug abuse problems. Patients or their family members should check with a facility ahead of time to find out what specific amenities will be available there.
Almost all patients also want to know how long they will be in the treatment facility. Unfortunately, there is no way of knowing this for sure right away. Instead, staff members will need to carefully assess the patient’s progress over time and use that information to determine how long he or she will need to stay remain in treatment. In general, an inpatient stay can last anywhere from a few weeks to several months or more.
Finally, most incoming patients to a drug treatment facility want to know what kind of privacy they will have. Will they have their own room or will they share a room with others? Will they have access to a private bathroom or will it be more like a locker room? Again, this is something that can vary depending on the facility chosen, but most treatment facilities these days are multi-occupancy, meaning that patients share rooms with others.
Overall, getting a person to commit to a drug treatment program can be a challenge. However, by carefully planning a thoughtful and sincere intervention, about 90% of people with drug abuse problems will accept treatment, according to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence. From there, those who struggle with drug addiction can receive the expert help they need in overcoming their problems, ultimately becoming well equipped to stay drug-free in the future.