One of the major symptoms of addiction is denial. Denial is simply an inability of the afflicted one to recognize their condition. If they cannot perceive that their using is either a primary problem or a way to self-medicate their pain it is unlikely that they will just quit. They use to cope with their problems and to alleviate stress which in many cases is actually caused by their excessive usage in the first place. It's the old dilemma; what came first the chicken or the egg.
So we are faced with a decision, to act or not. We also need to ask ourselves: “What will happen to our loved one if we don't tell them what we see?” Our addicted person is delusional. A delusional person is one who does not know they are deluded. How are they going to get any insight into their condition if we don't tell them? We must remember their reality is distorted; they are not of this world. We need to overwhelm their denial with reality, to present reality in a way that they can receive it.
A skillful intervention requires knowledge of the condition and some emotional stability on the part of the interveners. It also requires a presentation of concrete and specific facts about the person's substance usage or their behavior. Generalizations, moralizing, and judgments have no place in an intervention. Our addicted person will become defensive and even less receptive to what is being said.
A person skilled in facilitating interventions, in my opinion, is a must. Interventions, while highly successful, are also potentially volatile. Interventions must be well planned and a trained facilitator can offer the objectivity you lack simply because you are emotionally hooked. The facilitator will be able to keep the intervention from dissolving into a screaming match with the addicted person taking control.
Addicted people make choices that are destructive to relationships. Partners of these people also make destructive choices in their attempts to restore the physical, emotional and spiritual norms of the relationship. In so doing they become as much a part of the maladjustment of addiction as the addicted person. It's important to note that intervention is not a happening
but rather a process
during which time the family members learn about the disease and their unwitting complicity in this dysfunction; the ways they have aided and abetted the addicted person, believing their actions helpful or necessary. During the process, they learn that one of the ways their loved one will recover is to have an opportunity to experience the consequences of their behavior. Family members and friends must learn to stop bailing their loved one out of trouble and to stop covering up for him or her. What they may have forgotten is that the family too has rights.
In order to give the addicted person the insight that they are lacking and the kind of love they truly need, those close to them must first heal themselves. This they cannot do without help, for they have, without realizing it, lost perspective. A call to an intervention professional is the first step to freedom.Joyce Sundin