Southworth Associates International provides advice and assistance to those supporting a loved one through the necessary first steps towards recovery from drug addiction. There is an opinion that a person suffering from drug addiction must reach ‘rock bottom’ before they acquire the motivation to change. However, our evidence at Southworth Associates International suggests otherwise. As the addicted person spirals further down into their addiction, their loved ones will become enmeshed in this journey, often enabling the addition in both an emotional and financial sense for longer than necessary.
Families and Addiction
Conflicts and divisions within a family often stem from drug addictions, alongside significant levels of denial. Blame is often prevalent, directed at other family members perhaps by the addicted person or by others in the family. Furthermore, members of the family may blame themselves, feeling a deep sense of shame that they may have been responsible for the situation as they attempt to make sense of the addiction.
If a loved one has been struggling with addiction for a long time, it could be that there was hope the addiction was not severe and would be confronted and ceased in an organic way. It could also be that the loved one felt afraid of pushing the addicted person away following a confrontation around their drug use, and where they may go, and who with and what the consequences would be. Underneath the traumatic feelings of guilt, shame and anger will usually lie love, loyalty and a desire to protect the addicted person, which they may then use as leverage against their loved one. Maintaining a drug addiction requires the person to be a skilled manipulator, using whatever emotional leverage they can in order to feed their addiction.
Southworth Associates International aims to provide the same level of support to family members and loved ones as they do the addicted person. It is necessary for families to recover from the control and emotional abuse that can occur, which is why Southworth Associates International strives to treat the whole family, advising how to establish and enforce practical and emotional boundaries to help restore the family’s dynamics.
Interventions go beyond attempting to stop the addicted person’s drug use, they also aim to prevent families and loved ones continuing their unintentional complicity in the addiction cycle.
Family members can struggle to provide help and support to their loved one’s addiction due to the myriad of emotions present. It is vital that prior to an attempt at intervention they seek counsel from a professional.
We aim to help facilitate the acceptance and engagement for the addicted person into the treatment and recovery process, alongside the healing process of the family from the stress and disruption that addiction causes.
Commitment to Recovery
While treatment is a vital and necessary part of the recovery process, it is just one stage of the recovery journey. For those addicted to drugs, recovery is a life-long process and depends on several components. Permanent abstinence requires a level of commitment that requires appropriate boundaries, and the addicted person to take responsibility for the addiction. It is far easier for the addicted person to project their issues onto their loved ones and blame everything and everyone other than themselves, avoiding the painful process of reflection. Challenging and confronting an addicted persons behavior in a loving and compassionate way is complex, but vital for the family to move forward positively and achieve true, life-long recovery.
Should We Choose To Intervene?
Drug addiction has the power to strip a person of their quality of life and alienate them from their loved ones, if left untreated. It is therefore necessary to engage with appropriate professional support when confronting addiction; it could be the difference between life and death. Southworth Associates International takes great pride in our ability to deliver intervention processes that heals every person involved in the cycle of addiction.
Interventions exist to break the patterns of addiction by identifying and understanding behaviors for what they truly are. We will aim to help teach the family to understand when blame and enablement are at play, and to recognize when the addicted person is being manipulative, encouraging the family to feel confident in saying ‘no’ without concurrent feelings of unmanageable guilt.
The majority of people addicted to drugs want to stop using, but feel helpless and don’t know where to begin. Our intervention process seeks to enable the addicted person to recognize their part in the addiction cycle and highlight manageable, achievable steps for them to take, becoming accountable and responsible for their drug use in order to recognize why change is necessary.
The Intervention Process
While drug addictions can be fatal, interventions have the capacity to breathe new life into every person who engages in them. Our intervention processes strive to help the addicted person take responsibility for their addictions, while also encouraging the family to relieve themselves of the sense of responsibility they feel.
It is paramount to a successful intervention to understand each family members role within the addiction. Our interventions are thoughtfully and carefully constructed to highlight any dysfunctional behavior within the family that may be enabling the addicted person in a compassionate and understanding way. The addicted person can manipulate the love and loyalty a family provides in order to obtain emotional and financial support, effectively hindering their recovery by removing any motivation to change. An addicted person must accept that they are responsible for their addiction to achieve a desire to change and feel hopeful for the future.
An Addict’s Perspective
Those who suffer from drug addictions tend to always choose the path of least resistance, which directly correlates when researching treatment avenues. An addict will always opt for a program which is quick, easy and close to home. Therefore it is important that the addicted person is not the solo adjudicator in deciding which treatment program is the best for them.
It is inevitable that as a loved one of an addicted person, you will have experienced many broken promises; they may have convinced you they will get clean by attending meetings, that you must pay for psychiatrists or other forms of treatment or therapies which always result in you paying lots of money, but ultimately not being effective. It may be that the addicted person has every intention of stopping their drug use, but without appropriate intervention, it is impossible. The addicted person and their loved ones will suffer together, looking towards an inevitable future of either jail, hospital or death.
Is There a Right Time to Intervene?
Often, a family will delay seeking help from an interventionist until the impact of the addiction has become so severe, they feel they cannot continue. However, this can be avoided; intervention must take place when initial signs of addiction become prevalent. By waiting for an addicted person to reach their lowest point, or ‘rock bottom’ it could mean there is no more motivation to change, or to accept help, as so much may have already been lost.
Even if there are doubts, nothing can be lost by contacting us and discussing the situation you face, seeking advice for the next steps for your family and loved one suffering with addiction.
For the peace of mind you deserve, call one of our expert interventionists today.