The Intervention Process - Educating the Family

Continued from first in the series: "Intervention Process-What It's Really Like and Making the Call"

The following is Part 2 in the Intervention FAQ Series. These questions arise most frequently regarding the Intervention process. 


Question: What is “educating the family?”

Answer: Families need to be educated about addiction, codependency, family dynamics, communication and problem solving skills - they need to know what dysfunction looks like and what recovery looks like. It’s important for families to see how the addiction has affected them. The important thing to do is to unite the family so the addict is not dealing with a family member one on one. Addicts and alcoholics are too skilled at manipulation, especially when they’re dealing with people on a one-to-one basis. A united front is essential to a successful intervention. It strengthens their resolve.

Question: What kind of behavior should family members look for in themselves as warnings signs?

Answer: Addiction is incredibly difficult to sustain for any significant period of time, so for starters any behavior that enables the addiction. Addicts can’t do it alone-they need the help of others and they are skilled at getting that help. Addicts are expert liars and manipulators. They lie and keep secrets so paying bills, providing other forms of financial support, making excuses for their behavior, cleaning up their problems or assuming responsibility for their basic needs are all forms of enabling. If a family member has a tendency towards caretaking, enabling or codependent behavior they will probably not believe or see that they are part of the problem.

Question: Is it hard for family members to recognize their own enabling behaviors?

Answer: Absolutely. Family members tend to focus on the addicts’ behavior and problems - so much so that they seldom see their own behaviors and problems. It’s difficult for some because when someone we love is in trouble we help them. That’s a perfectly natural response, particularly if for a parent. Some people get caught up in the cycle of crises-resolution- relief or gratification. Others see their addicted loved one as being too fragile to take on responsibilities-it might push them over the edge or exacerbate their addiction. Whatever the reason, it takes away an opportunity for an addict to experience the consequences of their behavior, it makes it easier to maintain the behavior.

If you have any questions about detox or treatment for yourself or a loved one, please call us 24-hours at (888) 426-6086 or contact us here.

Check out the last Intervention Installment at The Road to Recovery