It’s no secret that millions of people struggle with addiction every day of their lives. When you add up the numbers concerning addiction, they can be pretty staggering:
- About 18 million folks have misused prescription drugs at least once within the past year.
- More than 1.5 million Americans are currently misusing tranquilizers.
- More than 15 million U.S. adults have an alcohol use disorder.
- Just 7% of adults with alcohol addiction receive treatment.
- Two million Americans are estimated to misuse prescription pain medications.
- Vicodin was the 13th most prescribed medication in 2016 with more than 40 million prescriptions and in 2017, more than 18 million people misused prescription drugs.
Any way you slice them, the numbers above indicate that there are millions of addicted Americans out there who need help. For friends and family of addicts, it can be one of the toughest things ever to see someone they care about struggle so mightily with something they have no control over.
One thing that can help someone with addiction—whether it be meth addiction, heroin addiction or some other addiction—is staging a family intervention, such as an alcohol intervention. This gives friends and family a chance to talk openly about how that individual’s behavior affects those around them.
While family interventions can be very beneficial—it’s estimated that they have a success rate of 70% or more—they can also be very confrontational. After all, an addict may not want to hear how their negative behavior affects those around them and they might even claim they don’t have any issues, or that they can control whatever issues they do have. Because they’re being confronted, they might be prone to getting angry, hurling insults and getting defensive.
So what are you to do when that happens? The absolute best thing you can do is stay calm. When it comes time for you to speak, say what you need to say, but be careful how you say it and make sure it resonates. How can you do that? These phrases may help guide you:
- I’m here for you: Whatever you say, you need to remind your friend or loved one what you’re there to support them through thick and thin. Even if they don’t like what you have to say at the time, the fact that you stuck with them and helped them get treatment is going to be very meaningful. By telling them you’ll be there, an addict realizes they don’t have to be alone in their recovery journey.
- Treatment works: For whatever emotions people might be feeling during a family intervention, ultimately the addict needs to be convinced that treatment works and that they should seek help. They need to be reminded that addiction of any kind is a disease and that treatment is going to take hard work and time. Even if a person relapses, it doesn’t mean treatment failed or that that person is weak or has no willpower. It means they’re still trying hard ever day to get better.
- I love you: For as angry as an addict might feel during an intervention, chances are pretty high that they feel isolated and alone. They probably feel as though no one understands them and that they’re beyond all hope where treatment is considered. During an intervention, they need to reminded that no matter what’s said, they’re surrounded by people who love them and want to help. By reminded them they are loved, they will be reminded that their behaviors and actions don’t just affect them.
- I’m afraid for the children: Believe it or not, addictions can be passed down genetically and whether or not a person is susceptible to addiction depends on genes. Not only can a person become an addict, but they might also be subject to violence and poverty among other things. By getting help, an addict can help break the cycle and help to prevent their children from falling into that kind of life.
By staging a family intervention, a person dealing with addiction can get the help they need and be reminded there are people who care about them deeply. Family intervention services can be of great help if you’re thinking of staging an intervention.