When a loved one is addicted to a certain drug or alcohol, you may need to stage an intervention to show that their actions are hurting them and those around them. It’s not necessary to involve the local department of health. An intervention can help you express your feelings constructively. It can also help you direct a loved one toward a support group, detoxification, or a doctor that can set them on a recovery path.
But staging an intervention can be tricky. Although you mean well, you may not know what to say. Your loved one might also deny they drink alcohol or abuse drugs, making it hard to open a conversation. That’s why it’s essential to prepare in well in advance, before you stage an intervention.
An intervention is where you take proactive steps to persuade a loved one to join addiction treatment. It comes in handy when the individual is unwilling to seek help or doesn’t recognize that they have a problem. An intervention gives you an opportunity:
The most important thing to note when it comes to interventions is that you are not in the shoes of the addict. You cannot fully understand addiction unless you have gone through it yourself. Struggling with drugs or alcohol consumption is rather complicated. Therefore, you must listen and keep an open mind throughout the process.
During interventions, it is also crucial that all those involved don’t point fingers at either party. Interventions aim to make the addicts realize that they have a problem and need to seek treatment. Additionally, interventions let the addicts know that they have the support of friends and family.
This article is for you if you want to stage an intervention to deal with your loved one’s drug addiction. We will take you through the step-by-step process to ensure that the intervention is successful.
Proper planning is paramount for a successful intervention. Therefore, you need to plan everything in detail and have the right mindset. Here is how to stage a successful intervention.
Before staging the intervention itself, you need to prepare yourself mentally. Ensure that you can air your sentiments without enraging the addict. You will also need to secure the support of friends or family.
Other than that, you have to be willing to live with the outcome of the intervention, whether it is positive or negative. If you consider all this and check all the boxes, you can move to the next step.
Researching on drug addiction and the effects of alcohol is important. This way, you can figure out which rehabilitation or treatment programs would best suit your loved one’s addiction. You should also research treatment facilities or treatment centers where your loved one can receive treatment if the intervention is successful. Finally, you should also study the recovery process to know how to support your loved one properly.
Although you can stage an intervention by yourself, you should seek a professional interventionist or an intervention specialist. Alternatively, you can contact a doctor or social worker for advice. You will be surprised at how much easier the entire intervention process will be when you have a little bit of help.
As mentioned earlier, having the support of family members and friends is paramount. After all, one aim of the intervention is to make the addict aware that they have the support of those that care about them. Friends and family will form your intervention team. Be careful not to include anyone that struggles with addiction.
Remember to keep the team as small as possible. Having too many people present may overwhelm your loved one.
The location for the intervention can impact how your loved one reacts to the intervention. It is important that you select a place where the addict would be comfortable and not feel like you have cornered them. Their home or that of a close family member would be an ideal choice.
Those who attend the intervention need to write speeches detailing how the actions of the addict have affected them and the addict. The speeches need to be personal so that the addict understands the impact of their addiction on those they interact with. Remind them to avoid the blame game. Instead, they should word the speeches lovingly and be honest about the situation at hand.
To ensure that the intervention runs smoothly, you should have rehearsal. This way, members of the intervention team can read out their speeches, and you can correct them if need be. You will also ensure that emotions don’t run high during the actual intervention and that there is no blame game.
Everyone wants interventions to be successful, but this may not always be the case. Despite having the best intention, your loved one may refuse to accept help. Therefore, you must manage your expectations and those of the intervention team.
If the intervention goes well and your loved one responds positively, you should listen to them. Listening does not necessarily mean you agree with everything they say. Most addicts are smart, and the chances are that they might try to convince you that it is not as bad as you think or that they have everything under control.
Do not let them coerce you. Listen to them, but be firm and try to push your agenda of them seeking treatment. If they agree to seek treatment, be supportive and walk them through their recovery journey.
If your loved one responds negatively, either by walking out of the intervention or being violent, you need to re-strategize and consider other options. If you were lucky enough to have even a little bit of their attention, ensure that you uphold your sentiments and enforce consequences.
When you enforce consequences, they are likely to realize the intervention was for their good and not mere threats.
Don’t be discouraged if your loved one responds negatively. You tried your best, and your loved one knows that their actions affect you and others they care about. With time, they may consider seeking treatment.
Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol is a criminal offense. It happens when someone drives or operates a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol to the extent that makes operating the vehicle unsafe. DUI may attract hefty fines, jail time, and high insurance premiums. It may also cause loss of health or life in case of an accident.
Most states in the US have laws requiring persons with DUI convictions to go through a test to determine the extent of their alcohol use. This evaluation checks the extent the driver’s life is affected by alcohol use, and if their drinking behavior is considered alcohol dependence or alcohol abuse. Meaning, if someone is arrested for DUI, that fact by itself shows that the individual has a drinking problem.
But unfortunately, most people may deny a drinking problem until something serious – like a DUI – happens. Others may acknowledge a drinking problem but do nothing about it. If your loved one falls in any of these categories, you’re likely wondering how you’d confront them after a DUI. In this article, we will discuss the intervention details and typical things charged during the DUI offense to give you an idea of how you should approach the situation.
When your loved one drives under the influence of alcohol or drugs, he or she may risk injury or death to self, pedestrians, and/or other road users. He or she may face severe consequences like jail time, high insurance rates, job loss, and large fees and fines. Their driving privileges may also be revoked. And when they’re found guilty with DUI, the information will reflect on their criminal records, severely limiting future opportunities.
If you think your loved one has an addiction problem, you should confront and nudge them to seek help. This could be anything from joining a support group, to attending rehab and so on. In some cases, getting help may allow your loved to mitigate some of the legal consequences that come with DUI charges.
It is incredibly difficult when you love someone with substance abuse disorder. Individuals who struggle with alcohol and drug addiction tend to be unable to love or appreciate the people around them as they once did. They also do a great job of pushing you on edge or making you feel scared. But as most recovered addicts will tell you, the confrontation from a friend or family often marks the turning point in their addiction story. It is what saves them from a life of self-destruction.
In case you’re wondering how to go about the initial confrontation, here are some quick tips to get you started:
This is where you convene a group of people to confront your loved one. These people work to persuade the person to change their behavior. More specifically, they motivate them to seek help from a treatment program or a professional to deal with their alcohol addiction. The intervention team often includes family and friends of the alcohol-dependent person.
Fear paralyzes people from taking action. It is fear that makes families and friends ignore the problem or convince themselves that the addiction problem will fix itself. But this conversation needs to happen. Your loved one has a DUI charge. If you don’t do anything, it is likely there will be a next time.
It’s essential to prepare and decide what happens in an addiction intervention before you involve the person. People struggling with alcohol addiction are in a fragile state, mentally and emotionally. So, you have to intervene in a way that doesn’t make them feel attacked or alienated. Everyone should be friendly, composed, and open-minded. Here are some good points to keep in mind:
The person may likely want to walk out of the room. However, the team should ask him/her to sit and listen to what everyone has to say. Modern approaches to confrontational interventions rarely involve accusation, humiliation, and pointing out the subject’s flaws.
Each person in the team can share thoughts or read their letter expressing their concerns. In this case, these grievances should consist of how the subject’s behavior has affected the person speaking. For example, the DUI has caused property damage or emotional torture, and so on. The focus should be to encourage the subject toward treatment.
Your intention shouldn’t be to accuse the subject or force them to take treatment. But you should lay out specific outcomes should the person fail to get treatment for their alcohol addiction.
Once each member expresses their love and concern, the group should offer the person with a list of possible treatment options to consider. And when it’s all said and done, the subject decides whether or not to seek treatment.
The best way to learn how to face the person with an addiction problem is to stage an intervention with the help of a professional interventionist. This allows families and friends to come together and plan how to confront the subject.
You may want to confront the person immediately after the DUI. But that’s never the best idea. You want to wait until they are sober – preferably in the morning. At this time, they will be rational and less likely to lose control of their emotions. Besides, waiting will give you more time to stage an intervention rather than doing it all by yourself.
Chances are your loved one doesn’t want to talk about the DUI and their addiction problems. When you insist on having a conversation, they’ll likely be resistant and angry. You should know that he or she isn’t resisting you, but the conversation and its possible outcomes. Speak with compassion and care, not with judgment. When you accuse or speak with a negative tone, you’ll only stir resentment and anger.
Your role in getting help for the individual you are confronting is critical. Even though your words support, or actions may not go through immediately, they will bring the patient a step close to accepting they have a problem, enrolling in an addiction treatment center, and regaining control of their life.
The idea that some foods may have the potential of causing addiction and that some forms of overeating may indicate an addictive behavior has been discussed for years. There has been a growing interest and research on the subject, leading to more definitions and assessment methods. While the diagnosis of food addiction isn’t formally recognized by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), some studies show that DSM-5 criteria for substance use disorder (SUD) might be transferable to food addiction. Food addiction involves cravings, binge eating behaviors, and a lack of control around food.
Experiments in humans and animals reveal that foods (especially those highly palatable) activate the same areas of the brain as addictive drugs like heroin and cocaine. Highly palatable foods are foods rich in salt, fat, and sugar. Like cocaine, marijuana, heroin, or even alcohol, these foods trigger dopamine, a feel-good chemical in the brain. Note this; the brain registers all pleasures in the same way – whether they come from a sexual encounter, monetary reward, psychoactive drug, or a palatable meal. In the brain, pleasure is linked to the production of dopamine. Food, like addictive drugs, provides a shortcut to the brain’s reward system by triggering dopamine production.
Researchers from Connecticut College discovered that Oreos, a tasty cookie, excited some neurons in the rats’ brains’ pleasure center even more powerfully than cocaine. Surprisingly, these rats quickly identified the tastiest, fattiest, and sweetest part of the snack – the middle. So, they would break and eat that part first. If this study’s findings are anything to go by, then high-sugar, high-fat foods and substance of abuse trigger brain process to the same extent.
Dopamine doesn’t just contribute to the pleasure experience; it also plays a part in memory and learning – both of which are critical in the transition from “liking” eating to becoming addicted to it. Dopamine interacts with glutamate, another neurotransmitter, to assume control of the brain’s system reward-related learning. Repeated exposure to palatable food causes the reward center to want it, driving the vulnerable person to go after it.
When the brain’s reward center keeps getting flooded with dopamine, it will, at some point, adapt to the trigger and eliminate the dopamine receptors. As a result, dopamine becomes less effective. So, the individual may realize that the food no longer gives them as much pleasure. They have to eat more to feel good because the brain is now tolerant. The pleasure linked to the food diminishes, but the memory of the pleasure and desire to remake it persists. So, compulsion takes over.
Does this mean that someone is a food addict if they have too many unhealthy foods like ice cream or burgers, or knowingly eat calorie-packed meals that are potentially harmful to their body and overall health? The short answer is annoying: “it depends.”
According to some scientists, too much fast food or junk food changes the brain’s wiring to an extent where one loses the ability to resist eating certain foods – despite the potential undesired effects. However, some experts question the validity of comparing any overeating habits with those of addiction to alcohol or drugs. They suggest that the uncontrolled or binge eating disorder may be connected to biological triggers that vary from one person to another. And that the intense cravings cannot be equated to those of someone struggling with substance abuse disorder.
The debate about whether food addiction is a real addiction lies in the term “addiction,” and the way one defines it. If an individual cannot control their urge to indulge in unhealthy food even when it is causing psychological or physical harm, then the phrase, “food addiction” matches the bill. The inability to stop doing something when you want to is the heart of addiction.
Although food addiction is often associated with obesity, it can take many forms. A food addict can be thin or normal, someone who overeats at regularly scheduled meals or grazes on snacks the entire day, etc. So, someone can have healthy body weight and still be addicted to food. It’s just that their bodies may be genetically programed to take care of the extra calories consumed. In some cases, they do lots of physical activity to compensate for overeating. Unfortunately, those addicted to food will keep on eating despite the adverse outcomes.
Researchers at Rudd Center for Food and Science & Policy at Yale University designed a questionnaire to identify patients with food addiction problems. The questions seek to find whether one:
Unlike drug or alcohol addiction, food addicts cannot abstain from eating. That’s why food is perhaps more insidious than drugs. Food addiction can be all-consuming and interfere with different aspects of a patient’s life. In addition to causing or worsening medical problems like heart disease, diabetes, malnutrition, or acid reflux, food addiction can also cause obesity and accelerate conditions like sleep disorders, obesity, chronic pain, chronic fatigue, arthritis, and osteoporosis. Not to mention psychological problems such as anxiety, stress, depression, and low self-esteem.
Although food addiction may not be a recognized diagnosis or treatment, advances in the medicinal world make it possible to manage and resolve it. A medical expert may recommend one or more of the following treatments after conducting a medical review:
Addiction treatment is usually personalized and needs individual, family and community support.
It is never a good situation to be in when someone may have to wonder whether or not a family member is addicted to alcohol or drugs. However, if you do find yourself in this situation, just know that you are not alone, as nearly 21 million Americans struggle with an active addiction in our world every day, but more importantly, know that it is never your fault. When someone in your family abuses drugs or alcohol, it not only affects them but everyone around them as well. Their addiction can cause financial, emotional, physical, psychological, and environmental effects on the people who care about them the most. If someone in your family was suffering from an illness, such as diabetes or heart disease, most wouldn’t hesitate on finding them help, the same goes for an addicted loved one.
Addiction is a brain disease characterized by the person’s lack of self-control overusing drugs or alcohol, even though they most likely have experienced some severe and negative consequences, like losing their job or ending up homeless. It is a mental illness that often times requires addiction treatment from a mental health professional. The repeated use of drugs and alcohol alters the way their brain operates, so even though a loved one may express the desire to never use drugs or alcohol again, most of the time they are completely unable to make the decision to stop on their own. There is hope for recovery, though, here are a few steps you can take if a family member is showing signs of having substance abuse problems.
One of the first steps to take when you believe a family member is suffering from an addiction is to educate yourself on the topic. As mentioned above, addiction is a disease. The more we understand on the subject, and exactly what your family member is suffering from, the easier we can accept what comes along with it. It is not necessarily their fault that they are unable to stop using drugs or alcohol, they need help and the tools for recovery.
It is often said that addiction is a family disease because it affects not only the person suffering but everyone around them. Having a relationship with an addict can be very overwhelming and stressful. Reach out to support groups like Al-Anon/Ala-teen/Nar Anon (12 step support groups for family members and friends of people who have an addiction to drugs or alcohol).
It can be difficult to hide one’s resentment or anger from years of disappointment and hurt because of the addicted person’s actions but it is important to remember that your family member is sick. When it comes to someone being in an active addiction, they are not themselves, they are under the influence of very powerful mood-altering drugs. Addicts do not respond well to confrontation, approaching them with loving-kindness will help them listen to what you have to say, instead of wanting to run the other direction.
Sit down with your family member face to face and let them know you are concerned that they are suffering from a substance use disorder. Remember to remain compassionate but expect difficulties, such as;
Have information ready and available, such as inpatient and outpatient programs if they do agree to get help. If they refuse treatment ask if they will consider going to a support group for addicts, like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA). If they refuse and act with anger or hostility, just reassure them that you are concerned about their wellbeing and that you will be taking further action to get them the help they need.
Staging an intervention is one of the most effective ways of getting an addicted person help. An intervention is when friends and family members of an addict join forces together, with the help of a professional interventionist, in a carefully planned process to get someone to seek professional help for an addiction. An intervention typically includes these steps;
Get help from a professional and form a planning group of family members and friends, try to have a good mix of people.
Find out the extent of the loved ones’ problem and research treatment programs and options for their specific problem.
Meet with the intervention team and decide on consequences (such as no more money or rides, they have to find a different place to live, no more contact, they can’t see their children, etc.) if they decide not to get treatment. Make notes on specific times their addiction has caused issues in your life so that they can’t deny they have a problem.
Without telling the loved one why, have them meet the intervention team at the location and take turns expressing concern for the loved ones and specific times they have been hurt by the addict’s actions. Each person goes over specific changes they will make and consequences if the person refuses treatment.
If the person still chooses to not enter treatment, follow up with specific changes and consequences. If the addict’s way of life is taken away from them, they are more likely to get the help they need.
We hope that your loved one decides to get the help that they need, but setting healthy boundaries for yourself will only ensure that you are not enabling the addict to continue their behavior and that you are leading a healthy and fulfilling life.