How CAN we help someone living a destructive lifestyle?

Sometimes we need help in order to recover.

Most of the time, life hands us our moments of intervention: It creates a crisis so great that we are moved to seek recovery. Other times, we are simply too sick to see what is happening to us; we are blinded by our addiction and cannot even see the crises and damage. This is a time when we need help. We need our families and friends working as a team, to lovingly and compassionately, yet firmly and respectfully, create our moment for us in such a way to begin recovery.

People are often afraid of confrontation; they want to help bring about an end to the destructive lifestyle they are witnessing, but they simply don’t know what to do. Often, attempts to help have previously been made but these attempts have been rejected and often have ended in arguments, finger pointing and resentment. In other cases, promises have been made but soon broken: promises to reduce or stop drinking, to stop using drugs, to change destructive behavior. Sometimes, in exasperation, we create our own denial because it is easier to deny the problem than it is to constantly argue, worry and nag.

Nothing we have tried seems to help and the problem continues to worsen. In many cases family members are wounded and often think of separation or divorce; children become afraid of the parent; job loss is a very real possibility or has already occurred; financial problems add additional worries; friends have begun to distance themselves; health problems are beginning to occur; legal difficulties have arisen; life has lost all joy, meaning and purpose; God seems to have abandoned us.

An intervention is a loving, compassionate and respectful process. While an intervention may sound like a confrontation, it is not about pointing fingers, blaming, or creating shame or guilt. An intervention is the beginning of the healing process for the individual and for the family and friends. The immediate goal of an intervention is to have the person get professional help, which in many cases, is a treatment program. Intervention is a first step towards recovery and rebuilding families, careers, health and happiness.