To motivate an individual with substance use disorder or psychiatric illness, to accept help requires a new outlook. The first thing to realize is that one-on-one confrontations with such individual rarely work. Addiction makes people skillful manipulators and on your own, you tend to lose. Dealing with alcoholism and drug addictions effectively, whether in the family, in a treatment center, or in Alcoholic Anonymous is all about working in groups. The power of the group can triumph over the power of addiction. Groups are the driving force behind the intervention. Approaching the alcoholic one-on-one saps all your power.
An intervention is a carefully planned step by step process through which change is initiated into peoples’ thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. The main aim of an intervention is to intervene in one’s life in a non-threatening way to allow him to see his self-destructive behavior, and how it affects him, family and friends.
It usually involves several people who have prepared themselves to talk to a person who has been engaging in some sort of self-destructive behavior such as alcoholism, substance addiction, gambling, bipolar, Depression, schizophrenia, diabetes, anorexia, bulimia, infidelity, home runaway, etc.
Family members and friends get together one fine morning and present all facts regarding his drug addiction and destructive behavior in a receivable way while maintaining the dignity of their loved one. The immediate goal of an intervention is for the self-destructive person to listen and to accept help.
An intervention can help motivate a loved one to accept help who is resistant to addressing his long-standing problem that is drug addiction or alcoholism. There was a time when people used to think that they can’t help a loved one until he “hits bottom.” Now we can use the intervention tool successfully to change individuals who are resistant and destroying their lives before our eyes.
Statistically, success in intervention ranges from 80 to 85 percent if we define success as motivating the alcoholic to accept help as the result of an intervention. However, we believe all interventions, correctly done are successful.
Four primary reasons make every intervention a success:
- The single fact that the family has finally come together as a group, learned about the disease of chemical dependency and perhaps for the first time talking about the problem and its solution makes intervention a success. Although individual family members may have known about the addiction for years, intervention is often the first organized attempt by the entire family to work toward a remedy.
- Secondly, during the intervention, the alcoholic hears, in very specific terms, how much he is loved. Most of us will live and die and never experience a time when the people we care about come together in one room, at one time, to tell us how much they love us and why.
- Thirdly, the alcoholic finally hears how her addiction has affected those people who love him. There is no anger, there is no blame, only honesty, and love. Even if the alcoholic refuses the help offered to her, these words from his family and friends will resonate in his mind for a long time. He can’t forget them. This will profoundly affect his future drinking.
- Finally, the alcoholic learns that the people closest to her no longer intend to enable the disease but instead each person has made a commitment to support the only recovery. He is told he can turn to anyone in the group at any time. They will do whatever they can to help him get into recovery but no one is now willing to help him stay sick.