Living with an addicted individual who refuses to accept that he or she has a problem can be a nightmare scenario. Dealing with the fallout from the addiction is deeply distressing for family members. Even those who do not live with the addict will be negatively affected and may spend large amounts of time obsessing about their loved one and how they can help him or her.

Most family members and friends will try to get their addicted loved one to accept help at one time or another. However, until the addicted individual is ready to recognise his or her own illness and wants to make positive changes, this can be a fruitless endeavour.

Frustration and resentment are two emotions that family members often experience when dealing with an addicted loved one. But do you have to continue in this vein? When it seems as though you have exhausted every avenue with this person, an intervention could be the perfect solution.

What is an Intervention?

An intervention may be the best option if you are dealing with someone who refuses to acknowledge the seriousness of his or her situation. The aim of the intervention is to get the addicted individual to see that the problem exists and to persuade him or her that treatment is necessary. This sounds simple enough, but unless an intervention is carried out correctly, it can be another wasted exercise.

With an intervention, a group of people, including family members, close friends and maybe a family doctor, will have a meeting with the addicted person at which they will talk about the illness and how it has affected each of them personally. Some will ask a professional facilitator to attend, particularly if they believe their addicted loved one will resist the idea of help, or if they believe the meeting has the potential to get out of hand.

The Goal of the Intervention

The ultimate goal of the intervention is to make the addicted individual realise how serious his or her situation actually is and for them to ultimately agree to get help. Many addicts are in denial about their illness and cannot see that it is harming not only themselves but the people they love as well.

With an intervention, family members and friends will take turns to calmly explain the effect of the addiction on their lives. The hope is that the addict will realise that his or her illness is causing pain and suffering to others.

Around ninety per cent of interventions are successful when it comes to getting an addict to accept his or her illness and to agree to treatment. Not only are interventions useful for getting addicts into treatment, but they are also therapeutic for family members who can open themselves up and air their grievances in a controlled environment.

Although some interventions are unsuccessful, they still give the family members and friends a sense of accomplishment in the fact that they have at least tried their best to get their loved one into rehab. Staging an intervention, even an unsuccessful one, means that family members and friends have done absolutely everything in their power to help the person they love to be freed from addiction.

Should You Consider an Intervention?

Staging an intervention for an addicted loved one will depend on a number of factors. In most cases, it could be a good idea to stage one if the affected individual is refusing to accept that addiction is a problem. If there is nothing else that will motivate the person to seek treatment, an intervention might be the best option.

Nonetheless, an intervention will work best if you have evidence to show the addicted person how his or her illness is affecting others. If the addiction has not yet caused problems for other family members, the intervention may not be as effective.