Interventions are a powerful tool in addiction recovery, yet many people avoid them for misconceived reasons. Here are some common myths about drug addiction intervention and why an intervention may be first step to your loved one’s recovery.
Myth #1: Overcoming drug addiction is a matter of willpower.
FACT: Overcoming drug addiction requires more than just the desire to stop. Long-term drug use creates a physical dependency that makes it extremely difficult and sometimes painful for a person to stop using drugs on their own. Continued use of addictive drugs changes a person’s brain in ways that create uncontrollable cravings and compulsive behavior. Treatment is often the only way people can learn to overcome these impulses.
Myth #2: A person needs to hit “rock bottom” before treatment will work.
FACT: While it’s true that many people hit rock bottom before accepting treatment, the truth is that many other things can motivate a person to complete substance abuse treatment. Pressure from family, friends and other people important in the addict’s life can provide the motivation needed to receive treatment. Waiting until your loved one hits rock bottom could mean the difference between life and death.
Myth #3: There’s no point in seeking treatment again if it failed in the past.
FACT: There are many factors that could have contributed to your loved one’s relapse. For one, relapse is a normal part of the recovery process. Just because a person has relapsed, does not mean they’re a lost cause. Second, just because you’ve tried one treatment program, does not mean you’ve tried them all. Not every program is the right fit for every individual. The best drug rehabs tailor their treatments to the person’s specific needs and combine a variety of treatment methods. Relapsing after treatment is not an excuse to avoid an intervention.
Myth #4 Drug addiction is a character flaw.
FACT: It’s easy to view someone who’s addicted to drugs as a bad person, but drug addiction is a brain disease; it changes the way a person’s brain functions so that they will say or do anything for the drug. Don’t let your hurt and anger over your loved one’s behavior keep you from reaching out to help them. Treatment can give you back the person you once knew and loved before addiction hijacked their life.
Myth #5: An intervention will push the person away and make the situation worse.
FACT: The addict’s first response to an intervention is almost always negative. Sometimes you’ll hear statements like “I can’t believe you would do this to me,” “I’ll never speak to you again,” etc. But a properly planned intervention won’t dissolve into an argument or a screaming match. Your loved one will eventually see that you’re there to support him or her and hopefully accept your firm, yet gentle, pressure to seek treatment.
Myth #6: You can stage an intervention without a plan.
FACT: Interventions are a delicate process that should not be attempted without extensive planning. Interventions can be done alone, but it is often best to enlist the help of a professional interventionist. Interventionists are specially trained counselors who can help you conduct an intervention in a safe and more productive manner.