I am often asked this question. When is an intervention necessary? Ideally I would like for all addicted individuals to choose the path of recovery for themselves. Unfortunately this isn’t always the case. Most of the time, loved ones see the dangers in the perilous lifestyle of addiction before the addicted individual does. The levels of denial and self deception run deep.
An intervention is necessary when it becomes clear that your loved one cannot be properly motivated to seek help for themselves. This is usually because of two reasons. First, the addictied individual doesn’t see the dangerous position they are in. They don’t understand that their life is heading in a direction that will result in their incarceration or otherwise lose their security. Secondly, the family has lost as much credibility in the eyes of the addicted individual.The family has made repeated attempts to establish boundaries that have had little or no effect. The addict has become very skilled at manipulating the familyand disolving those boundaries. Often families will relent because they too are seeking to find a way to avoid discomfort.
Through the process of intervention the family members and loved ones rally around the addicted individual to offer them help in a united way. A skilled interventionist will take the time to properly train the family before the intervention. The family will define the boundaries and become willing to support one another in enforcing them. I often think that an intervention is more necessary for the family and friends of the addicted individual than for the addict themselves. Once the family has changed their behaviors that have enabled the addiction to survive for this long, the addict is left with little alternative but to change their behavior as well. If someone you love is suffering from an addiction or other compulsive behavior, we are here to help.