“In fact, it is by giving alcoholics what they really want – love, appreciation, and respect – that we can persuade them that accepting treatment is the right thing to do.”
~Jeff Jay, Love First: a Family’s Guide to Intervention
This is Part 3 of a four-part series.
Every San Diego drug addiction recovery program is populated with desperate people who are there because they were forced into attendance – some by a judge’s order, some were propelled by fear, and others simply have nowhere else to go.
In previous installments, we discussed that an addict’s/alcoholic’s family plays the largest role in determining whether or not they enter – and if they succeed with – treatment for their substance abuse disorder.
Now, we’ll demonstrate why waiting until a person gets to “rock bottom” may not necessarily be the only way to initially compel starting a program of recovery.
It’s Tough LOVE, Not TOUGH Love
One of the goals of a proactive, positive, and professionally-planned intervention is to “raise the bottom”. This means that there is a way to influence the suffering substance abuser to accept the gift of treatment without waiting for them to experience some horrible, life-altering calamity.
The disease of addiction is calamitous enough.
Make no mistake – the statements and pronouncements made by loved ones during the intervention must be clear and they must be firm. The subject of the intervention needs to fully understand that the family has been damaged enough and that continued drinking and drugging will result in consequences that no one wants – cutting off financial support, breaking off contact, denial of visitation with children, etc.
But at the same time, it is possible to accentuate the positive. Loved ones can talk about the life that is possible post-active addiction. They can just as clearly and firmly declare how much they still care about, respect, and want the best for the substance abuser.
The entire assembled group of family members and friends can let the person know that they are loved and welcomed as an individual, even if their addicted behaviors are not.
The implicit message is this – drugs and alcohol have taken the substance abuser away from their family. Now the family wants them back.
Recovery Also Means Restoration
People who abuse drugs and alcohol all reach a point where they have lost all faith, all belief, and all hope that they are able to survive without intoxicants. Addiction means that they aren’t using and drinking to “relieve stress” or even as a crutch to help them through the day – they literally can’t imagine living without the booze, the powders, or the pills.
The outpouring of love expressed during a positive intervention can restore that lost hope, and that restored hope can in turn create an emotional breakthrough that highlights the possibility of a remedy.
The word “remedy” is apt, because for the first time, everyone – including the addict – acknowledges that the problem is not one of moral weakness or failure. Addiction is an illness – a disease that can be addressed with professional care.
In Part 4, we will give practical strategies on how to positively influence your addicted loved one.
If you’re searching for the best family addiction treatment San Diego has to offer, then Lasting Recovery might be exactly what you’re looking for. We are a nationally-accredited outpatient rehab program that offers individualized treatment that addresses substance abuse disorders on multiple levels. If you or a loved one is affected by alcoholism or drug addiction, call one of our intake specialists today.