You raised them right, but they still need love and guidance
Addiction is frightening. As a parent, few things are more worrisome than a child’s addiction. Planning an intervention for your teenager or college-aged child may seem difficult, but it’s one of the most effective methods of substance use intervention. You’ve raised your child to the best of your abilities. Now, they’re old enough to care for themselves.
This said, your role as a parent needn’t end. Your job is to love, care and nurture them. Sometimes, this means helping them seek help for themselves.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse has covered teen and young adult substance abuse extensively. Repeated substance use alters the brain’s neurochemistry. Brain imaging studies conducted on those with addictions reveal critical changes to brain area’s associated with decision-making, judgment, memory, learning and behavioral control.
Quitting a substance is difficult—particularly for young people. The inability to stop abusing substances isn’t necessarily a moral failing. Rather, it’s an illness which needs to be treated—and you can help.
Your Child Comes First: What to Do If They’re Addicted
Drug intervention and alcohol intervention takes time. If you’ve just discovered—or believe—your teen abuses substances, you should take a deep breath first. Substance abuse intervention is a serious matter, but a little thoughtful planning and care go a long way.
It’s a scary time, but you have the power to act. Before you intervene, prepare for the important conversation. It’s important to establish a foundation which creates a future for positive outcomes.
The Power of Positive Psychology
The effectiveness of positive approaches to substance abuse intervention is grounded in science. Advances in positive psychology have come a long way in the past decade. The addictions field, itself, has shifted in a positive direction. For this reason, the modern intervention center focuses on positive approaches to the disease of addiction.
Positive psychology has, historically, promoted micro interventions capable of creating changes at the individual’s core. The U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health has covered this extensively, suggesting that adequate care needs to include—and begin with—a nurturing approach.
To dig a little deeper, we feel it’s important to understand the role future-oriented intervention plays in addiction recovery. Meaningful recovery is achieved when the individual’s past pain is worked through. A drug intervention specialist can help, but the path’s groundwork must be laid by the parent.
Positive psychology reframes the situation of addiction, suggesting that the addiction itself is a behavioral disorder. With this suggestion, however, there is a follow-up discussion about how behaviors can be changed. This reframing, discussed by a number of experts, is proven to empower and motivate addicted individuals to recover from substance abuse.
So, before sitting down with your kid, understand that intervention is about a healthy future—not about an unhealthy past, or even present. Alcohol intervention and drug intervention alike benefit from the above-mentioned positive psychology approaches. Intervention help may be incredibly stressful to provide, but it’s entirely worthwhile in the long run.
By re-envisioning life, someone struggling with alcohol intervention or drug intervention can rectify the past’s pain. This pain, if otherwise unconquered, may rise again—leading to relapse. While substance abuse intervention is a critical part of recovery, it’s only the beginning. Intervention help doesn’t end once the intervention has been given. Intervention help is ongoing—spanning across the entire recovery process.
How Does Positive Psychology Work Over Time?
Any drug intervention specialist will tell you how important ongoing treatment is. Where positive psychology is concerned, a well-thought-out first step is instrumental to future success and relapse prevention.
The same drug intervention specialist would also discuss the importance of self-discovery. An addicted individual must discover which activities, and relationships, are the most important. There aren’t any limits.
This visioning process can be successfully used by many addicts—helping them imagine the very same world accessible beyond addiction. In the long run, this positive approach can help them create tangible goals, working towards new heights while maintaining the efficiency of their recovery.
Removing the Negativity Bias
If your teen or college-aged child is preoccupied with negative emotions, treatment interventions may not work. Anger, the fear of relapse and negative familial interactions have negative long-term impacts on drug abuse intervention. If they focus on the thing threatening his or her wellbeing, they may become closed off to new ideas, relationships and options.
This process is called negativity bias, and it’s unfortunately prevalent in a lot of drug abuse intervention cases. Also known as the “negativity effect,” negativity bias suggests that negative feelings—like anger and fear—can override one’s psychological state. When this happens, a recovering individual may brood on the negative state—suffering from a higher chance of relapse.
This trait exists for a reason. It’s been essential for our survival as human beings. Unfortunately, the trait didn’t account for the scientific development of highly addictive substances. To be truly at peace—and to successfully acknowledge drug abuse intervention—the suffering individual needs to counteract their negative feelings by being mindful. By practicing behaviors which foster positive outlooks, your child has a much higher chance of success when faced with treatment interventions.
Planning an Intervention
Now that you know how important positive psychology’s role is, you can begin planning an intervention. Before looking into drug intervention programs for help, you should make sure you’re approaching the situation carefully.
You’ve raised your child to the best of your abilities. You’ve seen them succeed. You’ve seen them fail. You’ve put them through school, and now they’re on their own. You’re proud of their accomplishments, and you understand their weak spots. To a degree, staging an intervention is easy. It’s difficult, however, because your child still needs to be treated as an independent thinker.
Bring Loved Ones into the Equation
It’s important to create an “intervention team”. Treatment interventions will help your offspring, in the future, but the initial intention to change needs to be promoted by loved ones.
A successful intervention team will include people your kid loves, respects and trusts. These people will have an influence on their decision making. Leading drug addiction research information providers, like the Mayo Clinic, also suggest forming a team which can plan together.
Structure matters. A cohesive intervention team of loved ones will keep the intervention on track. It will also help your child understand how serious the intervention is. A lot of drug intervention programs follow the same cohesive design, prioritizing the individual’s recovery over comfort. Make no mistake: While a drug intervention should use positive psychology, it should still be firm.
The intervention team, itself, should include:
- Family members
- Sober friends
- Close relatives
- A coworker
- An employer
- A doctor
Understandably, an employer or doctor may not be available. If this is the case, close family members and sober friends will suffice. Drug intervention programs employ medical workers and professionals, anyway. If your child attends an intervention drug rehab clinic, they’ll get the help they need.
Schedule a Time
Next, you’ll need to establish a time for the intervention. Intervention rehab centers highly suggest picking a time when the individual is sober. When your child is sober, their mind will be clearer. They’ll also make more realistic decisions. If possible, determine your child’s schedule. Find out when they’re sober, and go from there. You can ask their sober friends for advice if need be.
As you’re scheduling an intervention time, gather information about your kid’s addiction. By figuring out the extent of your teen’s problems, you can research their condition. You can also research drug intervention services which might help them. Contact a local intervention center, ask them for advice and give them any information you can provide.
Information gathering is critical for another reason: It makes the intervention much more relevant and personal. Together, your intervention team can pinpoint exactly what your child is doing. By providing examples, your intervention group will be far more persuasive.
Make Positive Notes
Once you’ve gathered important information, you’ll need to record it. From here on out, however, you should be mindful of taking a positive approach to intervention. Once more: Intervention drug rehab approaches are far more successful when utilizing positive psychology.
Each team member should be able to describe specific incidents of addiction—as well as the problems caused by it. These problems can include:
- Emotional trauma
- Financial issues
- Safety issues
- Family issues
- Harm to others
While your child can’t argue facts, they’re still human. Intervention drug rehab isn’t about being right. It’s about being helpful. Your intervention, while grounded on these notes, will need to be directed with your kid’s care in mind.
How to Create Positive Talking Points
Drug intervention services have come a long way. For this reason, intervention rehab centers have studied the ins and outs of positive talking points. The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence cites an astounding 90-percent intervention success rate when the intervention is performed appropriately.
Even if your intervention team isn’t a professional intervention center, it can still take advantage of this valuable knowledge. Before the intervention, look over your team’s notes. Create “talking points,” or conversational starters to lead into the intervention.
Then, target any talking points which are too confrontational. If your child feels condescended to, attacked or disrespected, the intervention is likely to fail. Your team’s intervention guidelines are as follows:
- Be supportive and caring
- Use loving language
- Use gentle speaking tones
- Focus on your child’s problems caused by addiction
It’s important to avoid making your child feel alienated, isolated or attacked. Today’s intervention rehab centers have heavily researched such negative approaches, finding them to be responsible for a high rate of intervention failures. Even if your team isn’t supplying professional drug intervention services, they’re still responsible for their own actions.
Talk About Problems First and Addiction After
Addiction is a deadly, seductive disease. Those suffering from addiction—no matter their age—are often confused, scared and in denial. Once you’ve started the intervention, you should focus on your teen’s difficulties, first. Place the addiction in the background, at the start.
Make sure they’re comfortable. Then, once you discuss the reason for the intervention, talk with them about the above-mentioned problems which spawn from addiction. Again, use loving language. It’s difficult to approach a child about substance abuse, but it’s much easier when love, care, and concern are the confrontation’s driving forces.
The Importance of Choice-Making During an Intervention
Once your intervention team has talked to your kid, you’ll need to talk to them about making a choice. In most cases, this choice will be going to rehabilitation. For lesser addictions, however, it may simply include ceasing all substances. If your child is in college, other arrangements may be needed.
This stage requires a lot of attention, as it may need to be a little forceful. Remember: This is an intervention. While it relies on positive psychology to help your child, it’s still a serious matter. Don’t jump to ultimatums instantly, but help your child understand how serious their addiction is. Help them understand how it’s negatively impacting their life.
The Role of Positive Ultimatums
In the past, families were told to present tangible ultimatums to their relatives This snap decision isn’t fair, however. It robs your offspring of much-needed love and support.
Modern psychologists and addiction recovery professionals, now, suggest using “positive ultimatums,” or ultimatums which focus on your teen’s health, stability, and livelihood. Instead of threatening direct punishment, help them understand how dangerous their decisions are. By continuing their addiction, they’re losing something dear: themselves.
Your child can make the right choice, and they can get the help they need. To do so, however, they need to understand how valuable their life is. Addiction recovery takes time, but it begins with intervention. Your child needs to know how much their family and friends care about them. Then, they need to understand the importance of rehabilitation. If your child suffers from addiction, don’t hesitate to contact a professional. They’re here to help.