An addict is a sick person. Addiction is a disease that affects people on multiple levels. It breaks the person down from the inside out, destroying them both physically and emotionally in the process. One of the worst aspects of the nature of addiction is the addict’s refusal to accept that they are an addict. They will go to great lengths to hide their behavior and vehemently deny that they have a problem, and discourage the idea of using drug or alcohol addiction treatment services.
Sometimes, the loved ones of an addict are able to turn the tables and assist an addict through an intervention. The family and friends of the addict have been deeply affected by the addict’s behavior, and they are being torn apart because they care deeply for the addict and want to see them recover. Interventions can work if performed with care, but generally speaking, they may not be the best choice when trying to help an addict through their darkest times. Unfortunately, the addict may need to hit bottom before he or she is ready to take the necessary steps to begin their recovery.
A matter of shared desire
It cannot be overstated that addiction is a sickness, a disease. That being said, treatment is most definitely necessary to get the suffering addict back on track. Deep inside, the addict knows that he or she has a problem, but the desire to get help is outweighed by the desire to continue drinking and/or using to achieve a sense of well-being. Addiction is a cunning disease that keeps the addict in a perpetual state of denial. In comparison, people who smoke know that their habit is a deadly one, but they justify their behavior by appreciating the perceived benefits of maintaining their addiction. Why? Because quitting any addictive habit is hard, sometimes painful, work.
Adverse effects of forced intervention
Interventions can help if the addict knows that he or she has a problem and has stated a desire to get help and cease their activities. The addict cannot do it alone; chances are they have already tried many times to quit, to no avail. This should be kept in mind when trying to intervene. More than likely, the addict does feel ashamed of his or her behavior and wants help but is unwilling to admit it to others since they have now been seen by their loved ones in their worst incarnation. If an intervention is planned by friends and family, it should be done with extreme care, or it just might backfire and cause the addict to further withdraw and descend into the abyss of addictive behavior. Families and friends should weigh the advantages and disadvantages of forcing someone into a rehab program. No one likes to do things against their will, and the addict will quite possibly grow resentful of the best of intentions.
Everyone who has dealt with an addict spiraling out of control wants to do everything they can to help the suffering addict. Unfortunately, sometimes all one can do is be patient and let things develop further. Addicts live in a state of denial, but there are moments when they begin to realize that their life is unmanageable and completely out of control. It is a judgment call on the part of those who wish to intervene. Sometimes the best thing is to watch from the sidelines, do what you can, and wait for the addict to seek your help and approval once again. This is when you seize the opportunity to help the addict and do it quickly before he or she changes their mind. It may be hard to do, but it could ultimately save their life.