Post-Holiday InterventionDecember 20, 2021
Many people eagerly anticipate the holiday season because it is nostalgic or provides an opportunity to enjoy favorite foods or traditions. However, the holidays are stressful for many people, bringing family obligations, packed schedules and the pressure to spend time and money picking out the “perfect” gifts. For people living with substance use disorders, these stressors can worsen their disease, sometimes with tragic effects.
Seeing your loved one struggle with a drinking or drug problem can be heartbreaking, especially during a time of year that’s supposed to be joyous. If you’ve been upset about a friend or family member abusing substances, you may have asked them to stop, only to be disappointed when they continue on their self-destructive path. Instead of trying to blame or shame them, recognize that they are sick with a chronic illness that is taking over their life. A holiday intervention is one way you can help them break the cycle of addiction.
Does Your Family Need an Intervention?
Denial is one of addiction’s most insidious characteristics. Your loved one may stubbornly insist that their unhealthy habits are only affecting them, but you know differently because you have firsthand experience with all the hurtful effects of their substance use disorder on your family dynamic. An intervention is your opportunity to tell them how you feel and give them your insight into how their worsening condition is harming your life.
During an intervention, each family member will read a prepared personal statement addressing the topic of addiction and how it has impacted them. Be sure to use compassionate language, and do not make the mistake of being overly confrontational. Remember, the goal of any addiction intervention is to convince the meeting’s subject to accept help – not to embarrass or accuse them.
Benefits of a Holiday Intervention
A substance abuse intervention may not seem like an ideal fit for your family’s holiday get-together, but helping a loved one overcome an addiction should take precedence over your desire to pretend the problem doesn’t exist. Remember, sooner is always better when your loved one’s life is on the line. Waiting for the “perfect time” will only increase the chances of an addiction spiraling further out of control. In combination with the added stress of the holiday season, an untreated substance use disorder could lead to a DUI, overdose or other tragic consequences. Consider these advantages of hosting a holiday intervention.
- Family members who live far away may come to visit during the holidays. Their contributions to an intervention can help remind the person struggling with addiction how many people care about them and want them to recover.
- Instead of spending the rest of your holiday season worrying about a family member’s health and well-being, you can celebrate their decision to embrace sobriety and recovery.
- Helping a loved one acknowledge the realities of their illness and agree to enter treatment can be a gift for your entire family.
Working With a Professional Interventionist
If you are planning to host an intervention for a loved one, remember that spur-of-the-moment substance use interventions rarely succeed. Preparation is crucial, so everyone knows their roles and what to expect from the process. Having support and guidance from a professional interventionist can help assuage any concerns you might have about organizing or pulling off a smooth family meeting, keeping everyone focused and on track for a positive experience.
As a neutral third party, an experienced intervention planner can prevent conflict and family tension from arising during a meeting. At Whitman Recovery Service, we have specialized in family intervention planning since 1984. When time is of the essence and your loved one is suffering, help break the chains of addiction by contacting us today.