14 Jan Help for Alberta Families Struggling with Addiction

Far too many families in Alberta are struggling with the issue of an addiction to drugs or alcohol. For some families it is dealing with teenagers or young adults who are addicted to drugs, and for other families it is the mother, the father, or both who are addicted to substance abuse. Many more families are only too familiar with the uncle or aunt who drinks too much or occasionally goes off the rails.

Unfortunately, many families hide their problems with substance abuse or deny they even exist. The shame attached to a substance abuse addiction causes many families to conceal the fact that a member of their family has a serious addiction problem, and this often stops many families from seeking professional help.

A professional intervention for drug and alcohol addictions is an effective way to help a loved one accept the fact that they need help, but moreover, it can give them the support they need to enter a drug treatment center.

In many cases, an interventionist has a personal history with substance abuse. They may have had a family member who suffered from addiction or they may have had a substance addiction themselves. The personal experience they have ensures that they can talk to the addict and the family members with the sensitivity and understanding needed.

How Interventions Help Alberta Families

A successful drug intervention is specifically designed to help someone in the grip of an addiction to understand how much pain and suffering their addiction is causing both to themselves and to their family members. The intervention can help a family accept that there may be many factors that have led to the addiction, but the purpose is not to assign blame, the purpose of an intervention is to help the patient understand that treatment is the only option. An interventionist can also help family members set and stick to tough rules such as stopping lending money or making excuses for the person who is addiction.

In Alberta, there are over five different intervention groups located in Calgary and Edmonton.

Interventionists are trained professionals; they may be qualified addiction’s counselors or psychologists, but they all have the professional training needed to coordinate interventions with families and support the family throughout the intervention process.

An intervention gives the family a chance to speak their mind and tell the addict exactly how they feel about their addiction. However, this is often a difficult part of the intervention that can become emotionally charged. An interventionist can train the family to ensure they understand how to talk to their loved one without anger, recrimination, or guilt. When faced with these negative emotions, a person in the grip of an addiction shuts down. They become defensive and retaliate with anger and hostility and it can cause them to become estranged from their families.

An interventionist can help a family identify and avoid inflammatory words or subjects.
They can help a family understand explain how the addiction causes pain without attaching blame or guilt. They can help families understand that this is a long process that won’t go away overnight, but it can be overcome.

Effective Interventions in Alberta

The good news is that recovery from addiction is possible, and research has proven that when a number of factors are involved in treatment, there are high recovery rates.

Treatment should be available across a continuum of care, starting in a primary care setting and involving community addiction and mental health clinics, acute care and crisis services, and specialized in-patient services for long-term or complex treatment and rehabilitation. The treatment factors that support long-term recovery include:

  • Checking in with ongoing care even when the substance abuse has stopped.
  • A program that also treats associated factors such as depression, anxiety, or any other mental illnesses that may be present and can complicate recovery.
  • A care program that is family centered to provide support to other members of the family and to help prevent the intergenerational transfer of addiction.

There are many families in Alberta dealing with a family member who is addicted to drugs or alcohol, but they don’t have to struggle alone. A professional interventionist can help your family address the addiction and take the first step on the road to recovery.



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