There are two possible outcomes from a staged intervention. The first is that your loved one will choose to continue using drugs rather than seek help for their addiction. This is, of course, not the outcome you would hope for, but it is possible that your family member will reject your attempts to help them. When this happens, it is important that you adhere to the promises you made during the intervention process. If you stated that you would no longer allow them to live with you if they choose to use drugs, you must enforce your decision by immediately evicting them from your home. If you told them that you would no longer support their neglect of their children, you must take immediate steps to have the children removed into your care, or the care of another responsible party who can provide for them. These are hard decisions made for the best welfare of your family member and the people who are negatively affected by their continued addiction.
The other result of an intervention will be that your loved one recognizes their addiction, understands that treatment will help them, and agrees to immediately enter an effective, evidence-based program. At this point, you may think that your responsibilities have ended. In fact, you may still have work yet to do.
Be Available for Family Therapy, if Needed
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, family therapy is critical to the treatment of drug addiction. Family therapy involves several phases of communication and therapeutic techniques, including:
- Using the family strengths to encourage the addicted individual to find healthier ways to live
- Addressing family weaknesses to correct any unhealthy issues
- Addressing the needs of family members who are dealing with anger or resentment toward the addict’s past behaviors
- Creating a family plan of support after intensive treatment has ended
It is important to note that, for the purposes of family therapy, there is a wider definition of what constitutes a family. While some may think of a family as an immediate or extended unit consisting of individuals related by blood or marriage, the researchers, for the purpose of examining family therapy include different dynamics. Families, for this purpose, consist of “elected families” which include godparents, close friends, and others.
What Happens to the Addicted Individual After an Intervention?
If your loved one chooses to enter a treatment facility, he or she will spend the next part of their lives in a safe, secure environment undergoing treatment for their addiction. The National Institute on Drug Abuse has found that one of the principles for effective treatment is that treatment last for an adequate amount of time. The amount of time they will spend in treatment will be determined by their specific needs and requirements. This amount of time cannot be pre-determined because each individual has unique issues to face and overcome. The drug of choice, how often it was abused, and the withdrawal symptoms may also come into play.
In addition to therapies, such as cognitive behavioral therapy or group therapy, your family member may have the opportunity to engage in alternative therapies that address the needs of the whole person, including the mind, body and spirit. Known as holistic therapies, we offer these types of activities here at Axis, including meditation, therapeutic massage, sweat lodges and acupuncture. These kinds of therapies address the needs of our residents that surpass the physical. While they are not included directly in the effective principles of treatment according to the NIDA, the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine has used these types of therapies for years and found them to be beneficial for the treatment of some of the symptoms associated with recovery. For instance, meditation has been found to improve memory and one’s ability to learn and express emotion. Each of these elements is affected negatively by drug abuse, according to an article published in the Oklahoman.
What if Treatment Fails?
By definition, addiction is a chronic relapsing brain disease. There are other diseases of a chronic nature that individuals deal with every day. Hypertension, for instance, is a condition that causes chronic high blood pressure. When an individual experiences a spike in their blood pressure, they may visit their doctor and change the amount of medication they are taking. They may incorporate stress-reducing practices into their daily lives, such as yoga or massage. They may change their eating habits to reduce certain elements in their diet. Drug addiction can be seen in much the same light.
When an individual relapses after drug treatment, it does not mean that they, or their treatment plan, have failed. It means only that they need to reevaluate the decisions they have made in their lives recently and revisit the overall treatment plan. If you’d like more information on help for your loved one after an intervention, contact us here at Axis today.