What to say to an addict to convince them to quit, is probably the most common question (often unspoken) that family members and friends of someone who is abusing drugs or alcohol ask themselves and others. As a recovering person myself, my family searched everywhere for that answer. My own mother spent countless hours looking for the right treatment program, treatment approach, therapist or book that might change my life.
The reality is that for most, the answer cannot come from within the family system itself. That’s not to say that family and friends are not influential. As a matter of fact, an intervention would be almost impossible without the family and friends there. However, without guidance from someone trained, who is a person who has no emotional connection to your loved one, what usually ends up happening when a family intervenes themselves is they end up emotionally hijacked.
When my family tried to intervene on me, I was an expert at hijacking their hope, guilt, sympathy and even fear. At times they gathered together to “talk” to me about the problem. Usually, the conversation ended with another set of promises that I seldom kept. It wasn’t until someone who wasn’t susceptible to my emotional manipulations got involved that I began to get better.
With all the best intentions in the world, it is important to understand that your loving, noble and pure intentions will often be used against you. Not because people who abuse drugs or alcohol are bad people, but because they are sick people. They have become so expert at avoiding uncomfortable feelings, things, and situations, that going away to an uncomfortable treatment program is usually the last thing they will want to do. Families that try to intervene on their own usually approach their loved one with a residential treatment center option that they have found. And within a few hours, often find themselves negotiating with someone who offers them hope. And usually, in the end, their loved one doesn’t agree to an inpatient setting, but instead a therapist, or outpatient, or an AA meeting. And the family that was so solid before, has backpedaled ..in the end saying “well, something is better than nothing.”
On a professionally guided intervention we determine a treatment plan that has the most chance of success, and we make the conditions right for your loved one to want to go. An intervention is not a conversation. It is a major life event that is designed to have a tremendous effect on your family and the one you care about who is slipping away. By having a trained professional, we can help you to say what you need to…but because it comes in a different way, it is actually heard instead of dismissed. There is a reason that over 90% of professional interventions result in the client agreeing to the residential treatment program that the family has chosen.
If you are considering an intervention and have any questions we are here for you 24 hours a day. There are many things that you can and will say to convince them to quit…it just usually has to happen in a different way than you are used to. Simply reach out to us, and we’ll be happy to help you turn your frustration and fear into a loving, caring event filled with hope.
Founder, Intervention Services