Do Interventions Actually Work?

If you’re like a lot of people, you’ve heard of interventions but may not have actually participated in one yourself. But when someone you love and care about is letting substance abuse take over their life, an intervention can start feeling like the right move. 

But do interventions actually work? 

The answer is not so simple as “yes” or “no”, but the short answer is “they can”. In fact, studies have found that family member involvement in general increases addiction recovery success rates

There are actually a lot of different factors that go into how effective an intervention is, and you will need to take many things into consideration. But above all, it’s important to plan the intervention carefully and not just throw it together. When you’re ready, we invite you to get in touch with our addiction specialists at Footprints of Serenity to start planning an intervention for your loved one. In the meantime, here’s what you need to know about how to make an intervention as effective as possible.

Pick the Right Time and Place

Though it can often feel like there’s never an ideal moment for an intervention, that doesn’t mean you can’t be tactful about when you do it. Naturally, you’re going to want to pick a time that works for everyone who will be involved (close friends and family members who have been affected by your loved one’s substance abuse). That said, your priority should be choosing a time when your loved one is least likely to be under the influence, as substance abuse can increase aggression and irrational thinking. It should also be held in a familiar place where they can be comfortable and receptive. Our intervention specialists can work with you more closely to find a good time and place. 

Speak With Love

You are having the intervention because you care about the addicted person. While you may be angry with them for the way they have let their substance abuse affect daily life, the intervention is not the time for yelling or raised voices (getting angry risks only making them mad and non-receptive to help). Your loved one needs to know that you only want what is best for them, and you don’t like watching them destroy their life and relationships.

Even when talking about times that they hurt you the most, it is important to stay calm and avoid accusing tones. With this in mind, consider having everyone write down beforehand what they want to say to your loved one. 

Have an Addiction Treatment Plan in Place

The intervention will not work if you don’t show your loved one that they have the actual power to change. At Footprints of Serenity, we will work with you to find real addiction treatment options that your loved one is eligible for. These options must be presented to your loved one during the intervention so they know that, A) you are completely serious about them getting treatment, and B) the opportunity to change their life has arrived. Some people even choose a treatment program that their loved one can start immediately upon the intervention’s conclusion, so they won’t have the opportunity to run or change their mind later on. 

What If My Loved One Refuses Treatment?

Whether or not an intervention “works” is measured by whether or not the addicted person chooses to get help / enter an addiction treatment program. It’s important to remember that, at the end of the day, your loved one is their own person and is responsible for their own decisions. Sometimes, despite everyone’s best efforts, the addicted person still refuses help. 

If your loved one does refuse to get help or even insists they do not actually have a substance abuse problem, then it is crucial to show them how serious you are. Do so by following through on what you said would happen if they chose to continue down the path of addiction. If you said you would stop answering their calls or giving them rides, go ahead and stop. If you said you would cut them off either financially or emotionally (or both), then you must do exactly that. Above all, do whatever you can to cut off any behavior on your part that may have enabled them. Everyone who participates in the intervention must agree ahead of time to follow through on their promised actions as well.

It’s also important to not give up hope. Once they see how serious the intervention was (by everyone following through on their words), only then will there be a chance of them coming around and seeking help. 

Getting Started

At Footprints of Serenity, we provide both intervention services and addiction treatment program facilitation. Because we believe that people from all walks of life have the capacity to beat addiction and become well again, we work with substance abuse treatment providers across the nation to find the best fit for your loved one and your family. Don’t wait to get help — contact us today to start working towards a brighter, healthier future.

 

Relapse Prevention Tips

tips for preventing relapse

Relapse: the elephant in the recovery room. The thing that looms over every recovering addict’s head. It can happen at any time, sneak up on you when you least expect it. Will today be the day that I use again? Will tomorrow be? Although it’s very common to experience these thoughts in recovery, you definitely don’t have to have them. At Footprints of Serenity, we want to rid the elephant of the room. We want to openly talk about relapse and let you know that with the right coping strategies, relapse is preventable. 

So, What Is a Relapse?

Relapse is the term used when an addict is in recovery and starts using drugs or alcohol again. Relapses can happen at any time. Sometimes someone relapses right after they complete detox and sometimes people relapse after being sober for 10 years. Like an addiction, relapse can take many shapes and forms. Relapse can be a vicious cycle of getting sober, making a mistake, feeling bad, then using again. Relapse can also be an ‘innocent’ slip up – like having one drink because nothing will happen to you if you just drink one beer. 

Relapse is common in recovery and sobriety so if you have relapsed, don’t let it get in the way of you getting sober again. Just because you relapse doesn’t mean you can never achieve long term sobriety. Whether you’re new to recovery or have relapsed, below are some tips on how to prevent a future relapse. 

How to Prevent a Relapse

There are a few tips that people can follow to help them maintain sobriety. Some of the most important tips to remember include:

Tip 1: Although relapse can technically happen at any time during your sobriety, there are warning signs that will let you know you’re on the brink of relapse. All relapses will start in your mind before anything actually happens. If you can be in tune with yourself, and spot the mental signs, you can reach out for help before it happens. Common signs are feeling like you want to isolate, feeling hopeless or like nothing else matters, feeling angry, feeling unmotivated to take care of yourself, starting to think about what it would be like to drink or do drugs again. 

Tip 2: Be aware of how you’re feeling. This includes both physically and emotionally. If you aren’t totally aware that you’re anxious, depressed, or angry often, you may not be able to realize you’re on the verge of a relapse. All of the negative feelings mentioned can trigger drug or alcohol use. By staying in touch with your emotions, you can determine whether or not you need to talk to someone, attend a support group, or do some self-care, instead of turning to drugs or alcohol. 

Tip 3: Stay busy and productive. Boredom is going to happen from time to time and it is important to learn ways to manage boredom in recovery. Constructive hobbies like exercise, reading, and writing, are all healthy ways to cope with boredom. Feelings of excessive boredom and restlessness can lead to feelings of not having a purpose, which can lead to a relapse. 

 

Tip 4: Prioritize sobriety. The most effective relapse prevention tip is to work at recovery every day. Unfortly addiction is a chronic disease. There’s no magic pill you can take to make it go away. Actively working on recovery daily can look like a lot of things: you can attend 12-step support groups, you can meditate, you can make a gratitude list, or go to individual therapy. Addiction is different for everyone so it’s only natural that working at sobriety is different for everyone as well.

If you’re sober and experience a relapse, don’t be discouraged. Relapsing doesn’t mean you will never be sober. Relapse is just a bump in the road. The most important thing to do if you relapse is examine why it happened. You can then use that information in the future to avoid future relapses. 

We’re Here to Help

At Footprints of Serenity, we are a drug & alcohol intervention service provider located in the gorgeous area of Southern California. We also provide services such as recovery coaches, recovery companionship, detox placement, treatment placement, addiction counseling, relapse prevention, and transportation for your recovery needs. Reach out to us today & let us know how we can help you.