Many people abuse drugs in the UK, but only a few seek treatment on their own. Most drug users are in denial, while many are incapable of thinking straight and even contemplate drug addiction counselling. In addition, a small section is too ashamed to admit their problem and unwilling to come out in front of friends and families. The result: a rise in drug addiction.
In almost every case, someone from outside – friends, colleagues or relatives – randomly stumbles upon the signs of drug addiction and confronts the user. Then begins the dialogue, which sometimes leads to timely treatment. But many times, it is too late for the user – either the drug addiction leads to a fatality, or the user ends up destroying all meaningful relationships. Therefore, it is critical to intervene at the earliest. A timely drug intervention is often successful because it gives the addict enough time to recover. Many steps and strategies can be implemented to intervene timely and maximize the chances of full recovery.
What is Drug Intervention?
Over the years, drug intervention has become an essential step in stopping addictive behaviour. In most cases, it is the starting point of a long journey towards recovery.
In technical terms, an intervention is a meticulously orchestrated procedure that family and friends can conduct. It is done in coordination with a medical practitioner or a qualified specialist like a drug counsellor or under the guidance of an intervention professional (a.k.a. interventionist). During drug intervention, a supportive individual from your loved one’s religious community or other groups can also join.
In a drug intervention event, people confront the addict and tell them about the detrimental impact of drug abuse. A few things that are a part of every drug intervention are:
- People narrate events, cite day-to-day life examples, and make a strong case for drug rehabilitation. Specific examples can trigger a meaningful response from the addict, leading to the start of the drug recovery phase.
- A prearranged treatment plan is offered to the patient that clearly states the goals and guidelines for the recovery phase.
- The role of everyone intervening is clearly defined. If the loved one has a ‘negative’ response towards addiction or fails to accept their addiction, then each individual has to perform their role.
Steps and Strategies for a Successful Drug Intervention
Staging a successful drug intervention requires careful planning and implementation. Here are some steps and strategies to consider:
1. Build a team of supportive individual
Gather a group of supportive individuals genuinely concerned about the person struggling with drug addiction. Include enough members and choose the persuasive ones with good communication skills.
2. Enhance your knowledge of drug addiction and impart that knowledge to others in the group
Learn about addiction, its effects, and available treatment options. A person can be addicted to prescription drugs, marijuana or opioids, so knowing which substance is abused is important. In addition, understanding the nature of drug addiction will help you approach the intervention with empathy and knowledge.
3. Schedule the intervention at a convenient location for all, especially the patient
Set a date, location, and time for the intervention. Ensure that it’s a comfortable and private setting where the person feels safe. Share information with the team members about what will happen during the intervention and assign specific roles.
4. Proactively research treatment options
Explore different treatment options, such as inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation programs, therapy, support groups, or counselling services. Have a clear plan for the person to enter treatment immediately after the intervention. You should also be knowledgeable about the treatment plan to answer the question of the patients if they seem interested.
5. Make the patient feel that you are really concerned
During the intervention, each team member should express their love, concern, and support for the patient struggling with addiction. Share specific instances where their addiction has caused harm and express your desire for them to seek help. Always be attentive to patients’ responses and provide verbal nods when they say something. Never indulge in other activities like texting or calling, as you want to come across as serious and extremely concerned.
6. Never show bias and pass judgements
The quickest way to get a negative response from an addict is by passing judgements on them. You can never TRULY know the circumstances of addiction, so it would be careless to come to conclusions and ‘brand’ someone as an addict. Don’t blame or shame the individual at any stage of the intervention if you want to ensure it is successful.
7. Set boundaries and consequences if the addict says no
Establish clear boundaries and consequences if the person refuses to accept help or seek treatment. Convey the impact their decision will have on their relationships and explain that certain privileges or support may be limited if they choose not to address their addiction.
8. Follow through immediately after intervention
If the person agrees to seek treatment, ensure that the necessary arrangements are made promptly. Assist in scheduling appointments, organizing transportation, and providing emotional support throughout the process.
By following the steps and strategies offered in the article, you can motivate the addict to seek treatment. However, if you’re still uncertain about how to conduct an intervention or feel the need for professional assistance, consult with an interventionist or addiction counsellor at a drug rehabilitation clinic.