Jan 19

How Do I Know If My Loved One Needs an Intervention?

Living with a loved one who you fear has a substance abuse disorder such as alcoholism or drug addiction, can be very difficult. It’s hard to know exactly which are the right steps to take. When the goal is to help the suffering addict or alcoholic, friends and family members need to go beyond their own resources and employ the services of a trained professional drug and alcohol Interventionists available throughout Langley, Surrey or Abbotsford, British Columbia. 

The most necessary first step is to get the substance abuser to accept the help being offered, in the form of professional drug and alcohol treatment. This is most effectively done through a properly-held and professionally-led intervention. Our professional interventionists in Langley and Vancouver, British Columbia have helped over 500 families recover from addiction and trauma. Our licensed interventionists only work with licensed treatment centres in British Columbia. If you feel like addiction has taken over your loved one’s life call us today at 1-­888-988-5346 for your free consultation on intervention services. Our Vancouver and Fraser Valley interventions help save lives. 

Often, the hardest part of treating drug addiction is convincing the addict that there is a problem. No addict will pursue lasting treatment until the reality of the addiction sets in, and sometimes, the only way to demonstrate the problem is through an intervention. Each year, hundreds of addicts are convinced to enter an addiction recovery program after friends and family members confront them with the reality of how their behaviour is destroying them and others. Below are some common signs that someone with an alcohol or drug dependency may exhibit.

Symptoms and signs of an alcohol abuse problem

  • Constant obsessing about when you will next drink
  • Repeated commitment to regulating your drinking but to no avail
  • Needing greater amounts of alcohol to feel the effects
  • Drinking leads to dangerous and risky behaviours, problems with the law
  • Symptoms of nausea, headaches, insomnia, anxiety, irritability or shaking when withdrawing from alcohol
  • Continuing to drink despite the negative consequences
  • You have a desire to stop but just can’t
  • Blackouts or can’t remember what you did while drinking
  • Neglecting responsibilities at home, work and in relationship with others
  • Loss of control when drinking and unable to stop
  • Financial consequences as a result of your drinking
  • Feelings of anxiety and depression 
  • Feeling as though your life is out of control
  • Isolation from family and friends
  • Family and friends are worried about your drinking

Symptoms and signs of a substance abuse problem

  • Confusion
  • Continued drug use even when it is impacting, work, or family negatively
  • Violent episodes
  • Defensiveness and aggressive behaviour when confronted about drug use
  • Lack of control of drug use, being unable to reduce or stop using
  • Making excuses to use drugs
  • Missing work or school, or a decrease in performance
  • Needing drugs to function on a daily basis
  • Neglecting to eat
  • Lack of care regarding physical appearance
  • No longer taking part in activities because of drug abuse
  • Secretive behaviour to hide drug use
  • Using drugs even when alone

Interventions are the most effective technique that families in British Columbia can use to help a loved one suffering from chemical or alcohol dependency. It is also the most ignored tool. Just as CPR is often the first life-saving step in helping a heart attack victim, intervention is the most powerful step that a family can take to initiate the recovery process.

Am I Enabling?

In families in Vancouver and the Fraser Valley where the amount of stress/pressure/anxiety has exceeded both the individual’s and the family’s capacity to cope, and the system has been thrown into some level of disequilibrium, people are prone to predictable anxiety-driven responses losing functioning, becoming under-responsible and descending into helplessness, despair and addiction is one response; their counterpoint over-functioning, over-responsibility, over-protectiveness, control and rigidity is another.

Who ends up in what role is not so much determined by the innate character traits or level of functioning each person possesses, but by a relationship process that everyone participates in. Neither person is ‘doing this’ to the other. One is not the victim of the other. Both are mutual participants. 

Examples of enabling behaviour…

  • being over-responsible in another person’s life whilst they are under-responsible.
  • perceiving a loved one to be less capable than ourselves and doing for them what they are capable of doing for themselves. 
  • protecting our loved one from the natural consequences of their own behaviour and absorbing these consequences for them.
  • engaging in a level of care or involvement in the person’s life and problems that is not age-appropriate, or that is out of alignment with the person’s real needs.
  • Becoming preoccupied with the safety or well being of another. 
  • Trying to seize control of the uncontrollable (another’s alcoholism or addiction).
  • Drawing strength from the fantasy of being more powerful than you actually are and the belief that you could save people from themselves if you tried hard enough.
  • Borrowing a sense of capability and value from doing too much for someone or becoming too important for someone else. 

These are all very human responses to the perception of threat. That said, when the dance between the addicted person and their loved one becomes chronically anxious, the help tends towards coercion and control, and the love becomes entangled with an obfuscating level of fear about what could unfold. The concerned family member takes over and assumes so much responsibility for the addicted person that they unwittingly invite a surrendering of the addicted person’s autonomy, a diminished sense of self, and a compromised sense of being capable of managing their own life.

Is an Intervention REALLY Necessary?

Addiction is a disease that promotes denial, deceit, dishonesty, deflection, and dysfunction. Typically, long before the intervention is even considered, the negative effects will have been felt.

  • Useless attempts at begging, pleading, and reasoning with the substance abuser
  • Empty threats that were never followed through
  • Broken promises and lies
  • Failed attempts at quitting

Everyone involved the substance abuser and the family members alike become trapped in a repetitive cycle of insane, addiction-driven behaviors. An intervention disrupts this cycle.

The biggest signs that an intervention is right for your particular situation are continued dysfunction or worsening addiction, as evidenced in any of the following ways.

  • Worsening health (overdoses, hospitalizations, drug/alcohol-related conditions)
  • Suicide ideation or attempts
  • Violent behavior or self-harm
  • Legal complications (DWIs, drug charges, theft
  • Major Personal Losses (divorce, unemployment, homelessness)
  • Problems within the family  (arguments, blaming, taking sides)
  • Breakdown in communication (long periods without contact, refusing to talk)

These are just examples. A good rule of thumb is if substance abuse has caused problems within your family that you don’t know how to solve, then you probably need professional help, starting with an intervention. You don’t have to look far. We have professional Interventionists right here in Vancouver, Langley, Surrey and Abbotsford all ready to help. 

What EXACTLY is an Intervention?

In simplest terms, an alcohol or drug intervention is a loving confrontation between the substance abuser and their affected loved ones. An intervention has two main goals.

  • To Compel Enrollment in a Treatment Plan – When the addiction is active and at its worst, specialized substance abuse treatment is ALWAYS necessary.
  • To Set Boundaries – Addiction is a lonely disorder that can destroy the lives of everyone around the substance abuser. To end this dysfunction, a drastic paradigm shift is in order, to clearly spell out what behaviors are and aren’t acceptable. Since one of the goals is treatment, the addict needs to understand the consequences that will happen if help is refused.

Each friend and family member in attendance will be given the opportunity to speak directly to the substance abuser. Because this can be an emotionally-charged exchange, a professional interventionist should be there to moderate and keep the process moving in the right direction.

How Interventionists Help

In a drug intervention, the friends and family of an addict follow a procedure to convince the addict of their need to get sober. First, the addict is told the damaging effects of the addiction on the addict and others. Second, a plan for treatment is outlined. Third, the addict is presented with the consequences that will ensue if the addict does not pursue treatment.

A drug intervention specialist is often called in to help in order to keep the process on the right track. Many family run interventions get sidetracked because of the emotion involved. Well-meaning friends and family can stray from the script when the addict shows hostility, and this can be counterproductive. A professional drug or alcohol intervention specialist in British Columbia is there to offer a more objective perspective and to steer the conversation back to the problem at hand if the tension leads to name-calling or other things that take the focus off of the need for the addict to start healing.

Finding an Interventionist

Our highly trained addiction care specialists and Interventionists in BC can help you find the programs that have accreditation and are the right customized fit for your loved ones individual needs. The right fit means more chances of your loved one completing the program and gaining long term recovery. No drug and alcohol detox and treatment centre is right for everyone. Treatment in British Columbia is not one size fits all so it helps to contact an agency like ours to help you sort through the many options available to your loved one and your family. We can also work with you to locate solutions near you in BC or elsewhere that are covered by private insurance and help you decide whether or not you need a professional interventionist. Call today and we will match you with the right intervention specialist and alcohol and private drug rehab program for your families particular needs. You do not have to do this alone. Consultations are free of charge so call us now 1-­888-988-5346.

What to Expect at an Intervention

An intervention is often the last hope for the family or friends of a drug addict or alcoholic in Vancouver or the Lower Mainland. One of the ways the disease of addiction affects an addict is by promoting drug-seeking behavior, convincing themselves that there isn’t a problem, or ignoring the obvious problems caused by the abuse. Drug addiction is a treatable disease with success rates closely matching the rates of diabetes treatments. What to expect at an intervention that is done successfully is the cooperation of the individual in getting the treatment they need.

What to Expect Before the Intervention Happens

  • Participants – One of the first things that need to be decided is who is going to attend the meeting. The people that are included in the intervention should care about seeing the addict recover from the addiction and people who have been affected by the addict’s behavior.
  • Time and place – The time of the meeting should be held when it is likely that the addict is not high. The place should be somewhere comfortable for all people involved, such as at someone’s home.
  • What to say – Each person who is going to attend the intervention should think about what they are going to say. These should not be assaults on the person but rather how each person has been negatively affected by the substance abuse.
  • Treatment program preparation – Do some research and find a nearby rehab that is able to treat an addiction properly. The program needs to be ready to enter right after the meeting so that the addict doesn’t have a chance to change his or her mind.

What to Expect During the Intervention

What to expect at an intervention while it is occurring can vary depending on the person with the drug or alcohol problem, who attends and whether there is a professional Interventionist present. Some of the common occurrences during an intervention include the following.

  • Agitation – What to expect at an intervention is often an agitated or an annoyed addict. If that is how the addict feels then the people attending should remind the addict that they only want to help them.
  • Sharing – Once the addict begins to listen to what everyone has to say, each person will then share their negative experiences with the addict. Try to stay factual with the comments and avoid attacking the person with emotional outbursts. These outbursts and judgments will only serve to make the addict defensive.
  • Ultimatum – What to expect at an intervention during the end of it is an ultimatum. This ultimatum is usually given as a group with the goal of communicating to the addict that they must change or suffer severe consequences.

Expectations after the Intervention

An intervention can end in one of two ways the addict sees the need for treatment and goes to rehab or they ignore the assistance and then must face the consequences. By following effective addiction intervention strategies the chances of a successful meeting is increased but not guaranteed. All the attendees can do if the addict is not willing to get treatment is to follow through on their ultimatum. This is important to ultimately help the individual because if the consequences are severe, it can cause the addict to accept the help offered.

How to Have an Intervention

Running a successful intervention can be achieved by following simple tips from people who have run many interventions. Of course, there is a great deal of planning involved with a proper intervention and if you need help, then an intervention specialist can assist. They can even assist in running the intervention, serving as an unbiased middle man, which can be especially useful for when tensions and emotions are high.

The following looks at some of the addiction intervention strategies that you can use

There’s No Need to Force the Issue Right Away – An intervention doesn’t mean you have to get results the moment you do it. It can be difficult to convince the addict that they need help and it can require more than one intervention. However, dragging it out for weeks is not good either. Be ready to set ultimatums if they don’t comply. Furthermore, for treatment to be effective, it doesn’t have to be voluntary.

Keep Your Cool – Of course, it’s an emotional experience talking about everything that you’ve gone through with the addict, but you have to keep calm. Losing your temper will only hurt the process. You are there because you love them and you want to support their recovery, even if it hurts to do initially.

Stick With Your Message – The addict will try to change the subject and divert blame where they can. It’s important for you to focus on the message you have. The message you are trying to get across is that you and the other people of the meeting are there to support them in recovery.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, get help right away. Make a phone call that will connect you to a professional drug treatment center. The call you make may save your life or the life of someone you love. Call us today in British Columbia at 1-888-988-5346.

What Not to Do in an Intervention

TV shows can give a misrepresented view of an intervention. It’s common to see a very dramatic view of an intervention in a TV show that makes for good viewing but isn’t practical. The following looks at what not to do in an intervention.

Do Not Judge – It’s easy to slip into the approach of pointing out everything the addict does wrong, but this type of judgment only does one thing it puts the addict on guard. While outsiders may see the addict’s actions as illogical, the addict usually feels like what they are doing makes complete sense. How to have an intervention is about withholding your judgment and only offering support.

Don’t Be Dissuaded – An addict’s defense against an intervention is often to change the subject and point out the flaws of the other people in the intervention. Don’t allow yourself to be dissuaded from your purpose.

Avoid An Intervention When They Are High or Drunk – What not to do in an intervention is talking to an addict while they are on drugs or alcohol. Addiction intervention strategies including doing the meeting when you know they won’t be affected by substance abuse. This can be early in the morning when they wake up or before they’re about to head out and possibly abuse a substance.

How Can I Get More Information About Interventions and Drug and Alcohol Detox, Treatment and Rehab in Canada? 

It all starts with reaching out. Schedule an appointment with any one of our Intervention professionals. After listening to your story, we can advise you and even put you in contact with a licensed private drug and alcohol detox and treatment in British Columbia or anywhere in Canada.  We can answer all of your questions and walk you through the process so you can feel at ease with whatever decision you make.

Making the decision to seek help for your loved one’s substance abuse disorder is the best investment you can in the future of your entire family, so make the call today and start the journey back to sanity and serenity. We are waiting for you at 1-888-988-5346.

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