Getting Someone into Treatment

People with untreated addictions frequently say that there is nothing wrong with them; they falsely believe that they can control their drug or alcohol use. They strongly resist the notion that they need treatment, even when family members or friends believe otherwise. That's why it may be tempting to take a hands-off approach to the problem, hoping that your relative or friend's drug or alcohol problem will just go away - that he or she is just going through a phase and will get better with time. Or you may decide that treatment won't help because your addicted friend or relative doesn't want to make a change. But both of these beliefs are myths that can lead to a more severe addiction and to greater family disruption.

Addiction is a progressive disorder -it gets worse over time. The sooner a person receives treatment for addiction, the greater the chances for long-term recovery. Further, experts know that forced, or mandated, treatment can be successful. In fact, most people receiving treatment for addiction are getting help because they were forced into it by family or friends, employers or the criminal justice system.

Common wisdom taught that confrontation - "intervention" - was necessary to get a loved one into treatment. This confrontational approach is sometimes successful, but may not be the best approach. Intervention methods have been refined in recent years.

And a newer approach, called Community Reinforcement and Family Training or CRAFT, relies on a gentler, more supportive approach. This proven system is being used by 25 clinics in the United States.

However you choose to get your loved one into treatment, if possible, get the advice of an addiction treatment specialist - and try to learn if there is space available in the treatment program of your choice before you begin your effort.

A new method of encouraging people with addiction to enter treatment, called CRAFT, offers families an alternative to the more confrontational methods commonly associated with intervention.

Living with a person who struggles with addiction can be challenging, at best. Learn some essential ingredients to improving family life in these difficult circumstances.

Short counseling sessions, or brief intervention, can get people to cut down on their alcohol or drug use or to seek needed treatment.

While stress on the job can be a major contributor to alcohol problems, most people who seek help for their addiction at work recover and go on to lead a productive work life.

Mandated, or forced, treatment helps people to confront their addictions and can provide them with the tools they need to recover.

Research indicates that clients in drug courts receive more treatment services, closer monitoring and more certain and immediate consequences for their behaviors than individuals in most other types of criminal justice programs.