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Drug Addiction Intervention: The Steps to Saving a Loved One

Drug addiction is a disease plagued by chronic relapse and an array of serious side effects. When a family member or loved one is addicted, and you’ve tried to get them to seek help, an intervention may be the only safe, solid solution to the problem. Denial is often an interfering factor for those who are addicted—if such is the case, consider these intervention steps to help you save someone you love:

Get Informed

The first step to staging an intervention is to get informed and understand the addiction as best you can. Talk with a doctor, interventionist or therapist about the addiction. Do your homework and research the addiction so that you know what your friend or loved one is feeling. You may be surprised to learn that drug addiction is often fueled by cravings and physical symptoms of withdrawal that make it difficult for a user to quit even if he or she has good intentions.

Get Involved

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An intervention can help your loved one get into treatment.

You’ll have to decide who will participate in the intervention with you. This involves making a logical determination as to who is most important to the user and will have the most influential stance to help encourage him or her to get help. You may include friends, family members, an employer or boss, etc. Be sure that anyone you include in the intervention is not abusing drugs or alcohol with the individual and does not use drugs at all as this can create turmoil and disarray during the intervention process.

Put Your Foot Down

Part of an intervention is about determining a set of consequences that will take place if the user opts away from getting help. This is the time when you must put your foot down and say, “enough is enough.” If the individual doesn’t get help, what consequences will occur? You may consider:

  • Kicking the individual out of your home
  • No longer associating with the individual
  • Seeking legal charges against the individual
  • No longer supporting the individual

Plan the Intervention

Before the intervention actually takes place, it’s important to plan the important elements out. You may want to work with an interventionist and write a script of how the intervention should play out. Consider:

  • Who will speak first.
  • What actions will be taken to ensure that the individual arrives at the intervention.
  • What actions will be taken if the individual opts not to get help.
  • Who will pay for the treatment and where the individual will go to treatment if the intervention works.

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