Television abounds with shows that highlight interventions for addictions. These addictions can range from alcohol addictions to opioids addictions, with all types of drug overuse in between; heroin, methamphetamine, barbiturates, and even caustic chemicals such as common household sprays, which are ingested by “huffing” which entails inhaling through the nose or mouth from a can or bottle.
Although success stories are shown at the end of each television segment, the question remains many times, in the mind of the viewer, if at the time of the intervention for addiction, the addict may very well have gone into treatment anyway. The addicts shown are many times out of money, in poor health, and what is called “rock bottom”. This signifies the point at which the addict can go no lower than they already are and are ready for help and recovery anyway at this point in their lives.
Intervention for Addiction :
Intervention for addiction is actually a process that is followed according to certain guidelines. Although choices of intervention programs exist, these guidelines are usually always followed and a good interventionist and the facility used afterwards, will be licensed accordingly.
Interventionists, who are generally also successfully recovered addicts, approach the intervention in a manner that is legal and not in danger of causing more harm to the addict. This can be difficult, as most addicts experience serious physical symptoms when withdrawing from drugs. Some of these symptoms can be dangerously life threatening. Medical assistance and many times, especially if the addiction is severe, can mandate slow withdrawal from the drugs or alcohol addiction.
Cross Addictions :
Cross addictions, where both alcohol and drugs exist, or where a person is addicted to more than one type of drug, are also terribly dangerous and require expert guidance and monitoring. Psychological problems or personal problems also aggravate an addiction and make it worse.
Facilities for in house treatment are established and usually after an intervention for addiction, the addicted person is sent to one specially selected treatment center that specifically speaks to their type/types of addiction and has personnel familiar with the treatment specifically for their addiction or addictions.
More than one drug addiction in the same individual, or other personal problems, compound the problems of successful intervention and withdrawal from substances. Substance abuse compounded with other unhealthy behavior can cause an intervention and subsequent withdrawal from drugs or alcohol to fail miserably.
Compounded Addictions :
Compounded addictions with more than one drug or drugs involved (and alcohol is considered a drug) in addition to addictions with mental health or personal problems, are known as dual diagnoses addictions and require much individual attention and monitoring. Treatment centers, and all interventions for addictions must really do background work and take all these factors into consideration for successful long-term recovery from addiction to occur.
Friends and family are oftentimes discouraged from visiting the addicted person for some time, as stressful situations are discouraged during this time, and a new outlook on life encouraged. Family dynamics can make or break a successful intervention, with family members sometimes being part of the problem and enabling the addict to establish unhealthy patterns of interaction with them.
Enabling occurs when either one family member, or a number of family members, engage in giving shelter, money, favors or food to the addict. This is more common than realized, as family members that truly love someone, do recognize the suffering of the addict and feel compelled to assist them with life in some way. It is hard to watch a loved one suffer from addiction, and hard not to step in and try to provide some type of assistance.
However well-meaning though, enabling assists the addict in remaining an addict longer, as the addict can postpone the consequences of their own actions, such as jail time, starvation, sickness, or homelessness. Mental, physical, and even more psychological harm can occur when enabling happens. Enabling is a very difficult barrier in an intervention for addiction, and well-established patterns of interactions between the addict and the enablers can be difficult for interventionists to break.
The real statistics on interventions for addictions show that some interventions are quite helpful, while others do not provide any long-term relief at all for addiction sufferers. The factors vary, although there is generally short-term relief at least for the addict with most addicts willing to go into treatment at the time of the intervention.
This is due in part to the fact that the whole scenario of an intervention relies on peer pressure, with family members, the interventionist and sometimes close friends and spouses being present. This very emotional for the addict, and acting on this emotionality, they do usually choose treatment. However, there are many that backslide back into a life of addiction after release from a treatment facility.
Although addicts are taught skills to remain substance free during a stay at a treatment facility, it is apparent sometimes that many once on their own, find the lure of the drug or drugs too much to overcome and start their addictions all over again. It’s sad that this can happen, but it’s a fact, and many addicts must remain in contact with a sponsor and attend meetings even after overcoming an addiction, in order to remain clean and sober.
A good intervention for addiction and a good treatment center will take this into account and provide wellness resources to the addict after their release. Subsequent interventions sometimes are needed, and addicts may have several interventions done within their life span, before they fully and completely recover from the disease of addiction.
Addiction is a disease and addicts need medical, psychological, family and peer support to successfully recover 100% for life. Most medical authorities such as the American Medical Association and others define and recognize that addiction is a disease. It is not a character flaw or failure on the part of the addict. A good interventionist while conducting an intervention will always keep this in mind and act accordingly.