Family Intervention & Addiction

Family Intervention | One or Many to One

If you have a family member with an addiction and who is displaying negative, addictive behavior, you probably recognize that they may need some help. But what kind of help do they need? Something worthwhile to consider that is common and helpful for people in these types of situations is a family intervention.

A family intervention for addictions is appropriate, beneficial, and highly successful in situations where a family member is exhibiting addictive behavior in a particular area, obviously requires help in overcoming the problem, but is unwilling to admit a problem or accept any assistance.

A family intervention involves the family coming together, after an initial meeting or two where thorough preparation and planning occur, and addressing the family member`s addiction and addictive behavior in a supporting, loving, and non-judgmental manner. A successful family intervention should include the guidance and support of an intervention specialist or other addictions counselor or professional.

Family Intervention | There is Hope

For what kinds of addictions are family interventions used? A family intervention can be used for almost any type of addictive behavior-besides the “obvious” ones of alcohol abuse, drug abuse, and a smoking addiction. Other types of common addictions include eating disorders (such as anorexia or bulimia), gambling addictions, sex addictions, pornography, and even computer addictions.

Family interventions, if conducted appropriately, have a high chance of getting the addicted person into treatment. Even if the addict does not accept treatment at the conclusion of the intervention, his addictive behavior will have been “outed” and his drug or alcohol behavior will have been altered. Many addicts who refuse treatment initially later change their mind once they see that family enabling behaviors have changed and the problems of addiction have reverted back solely in the addicts lap instead of the family`s.

What is normally involved in a family intervention for addictions? First of all, family members need to prepare themselves for an intervention in order for it to work and be successful, and in order for them to be helpful and in the right frame of mind. Everyone that will be involved in the intervention needs to get together to talk about their feelings, talk about the particular addiction being addressed, their own enabling behavior, discuss their ultimate goals for an intervention, talk about treatment options for the addict, get organized, get focused, and strategize for the Big Day.

In order to prepare adequately, the concerned family members as well as the health professional should probably meet several times and have various discussions, leading up to a “mock session” of the intervention meeting. Don`t expect family intervention preparation to last only an hour or so, although that might be the case. It`s much more likely for this process to take closer to several days.

Then, comes the actual family intervention day. This is where you come together as a entire group-fully prepared and ready to take on the challenge-and confront your family member with the addiction problem in a gentle and loving way, addressing his or her negative, self-destructive, and addictive behavior head-on, letting them know that you are all there because you love them, and are prepared and committed to helping them get through their problem, complete with treatment options.

Family Intervention | Aftercare

Finally, don`t forget about follow-up. The family should not only continue with ongoing support and assistance for the addict, they should also seek treatment for their own needs. Many health professionals in the addiction field agree that addiction is a family disease and, as such, the family should seek treatment to learn about their enabling behavior, drug education, relapse prevention, and their own traumatic experiences felt while living with an addicted family member.

Many rehab facilities have a family treatment component included in their program to delve into such issues. Al~Anon and family therapists are other sources of help for family members. Regardless of which service you select, treatment for the family is an essential element in restoring family health

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