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How To Conduct A Proper Drug Intervention

May 25, 2008
Living life with a loved one who has an addiction to illicit drugs can be painfully difficult. The first signs of an addiction seem innocent at first, but eventually the defensiveness and secretive nature of drug addicts become more than enough to bear. As drug abuse continues, certain health risks associated with whatever drugs are being abused may come to light, and it is at this point that drastic measures need to be taken to get them off of drugs.

If you believe that a loved one's health is at risk due to a substance abuse addiction, then one option you may consider is an intervention. Interventions are often the final step in a family's attempt to get a loved one off of drugs, and intervention failure can be devastating.

Sometimes interventions can be effective when they take place in the opening stages of an addict's habituation. Small, intimate interventions composed of friends and family members voicing their opinions can convince a drug addict to give up their habit cold turkey as long as severe physical or psychological dependence has not set in. In these instances, substance abuse counselors are not entirely needed to attend the intervention, but it cannot hurt your chances of success to contact one and ask for advice.

When dealing with a serious drug addiction, such as a heavy methamphetamine, cocaine, or heroin addiction, seeking the help of a substance abuse counselor and setting up an intervention with the sole purpose of getting the addict into treatment is the best course of action.

Feelings of remorse or resentment towards someone you care about who is now a drug addict are perfectly normal. What you cannot allow is for these feelings to manifest as sympathy or hatred. Sympathetic friends or family members will be the first to be taken advantage of, and when an addict feels betrayed they are liable to perform irrational acts of violence stemming from their addiction. Stopping drug abuse is the number one goal of an intervention, and you cannot allow your emotions to blind you when someone's life is in the balance.

When an intervention takes place, the key to a success is to make the addict feel that everyone is on their side and concerned for their safety. Use gentle tones and make sure to not become overly frustrated when speaking to the subject of the intervention. Drug addicts are impossible to reason with while using, so make sure to hold the intervention at a time of sobriety and clear-headedness. The last thing you can afford is for an addict to storm out of the house and go on a drug abusing rampage because he feels offended by people who genuinely care about his well being.

When an Intervention Fails

The first thing you should be prepared for during an intervention is failure. Although help is still available, an intervention failure is a huge blow to the effort at getting an addict sober. It may be that law enforcement will need to be called upon, although convincing the addict to enter a treatment facility for drug addiction should always be your top priority.
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