Family and close friends of those suffering from alcoholism and drug abuse often become painfully caught up in the illness themselves. Consulting an interventionist with expertise in drug and alcohol intervention can help.
Whether you are looking for help for a loved one who has never before had treatment, or for assessment and modification of current strategies that do not seem to be succeeding, consulting a therapist with expertise in intervention can make a substantial difference in the lives of all concerned. A professional with wide-ranging knowledge of the relevant treatment issues, alcohol treatment resources, and methods of intervention can offer relief for the entire family.
The lives of adult children of substance abusers, partners, parents of troubled adult offspring, siblings, and close friends may be consumed by efforts to control the chemically dependent person’s unpredictable behavior and to cope with its consequences. Fear, frustration, and anger frequently give way to feelings of hopelessness and a sense of helplessness. Family members may begin to question their own self worth and their ability to control their own lives as they face the challenges of living with an addicted loved one.
Family intervention can help significant others to interrupt the downward emotional spiral. Care givers (those who over function to compensate for the under-functioning of the substance abuser) are helped to find ways of taking better care of themselves. Intervention options may also be explored to get the chemically addicted relative the help that he or she needs.
Questions about Intervention
Is effective intervention always highly labor-intensive and financially costly?
No. There are many effective ways of intervening when your loved one needs treatment. Look for a skilled therapist, well trained in family dynamics as well as substance-abuse treatment who approaches intervention by beginning with the most minimal steps likely to succeed, pulling out the ‘bigger guns’ only when less intensive approaches have either been tried without success or are clearly not likely to succeed.
How important is it for me to get help for myself when a partner, parent, or adult child has a problem?
Getting help for yourself when a loved one is in need of treatment can make a huge difference in how you cope with the challenges of dealing with an addicted loved one. It is often the first step in getting to the point of doing a successful intervention.
Is getting my significant other to see a therapist with me in a “couples format” a good way to intervene?
While in some instances this may be useful, often it is not the most effective first step. An initial consultation with a therapist skilled in working with families strained by substance abuse and knowledgeable about various levels of intervention can help you decide how best to proceed.
If my loved one agrees to go to a rehab or residential program, should we expect better outcome if we pick a more expensive treatment option?
No. There is little correlation between success rate and cost of addiction programs. The range in cost generally has more to do with amenities than with the quality or effectiveness of treatment itself. Treatment facilities range from those with basic accommodations (shared room, adequate food) to luxury accommodations that include gourmet meals in a beautiful dining room, and such things as a well-equipped gym, swimming pool, golf, and horse back riding.
If my loved one is concerned about these kinds of amenities, does it then make sense to pay a lot more to obtain them?
It may, if that will make the difference between agreeing to treatment or not. But breaking the bank with high-priced treatment options should be carefully considered given that it often takes more than one round of treatment to do the trick.
Links to Relevant Resources
- When an Adult Son or Daughter Needs Help Growing Up
- Getting Help for an Addicted Loved One
- Dealing with the Challenges of Living with an Addicted Loved One
- Getting Help for Yourself When an Addicted Loved One Needs Treatment
Self Help Programs