Intervention for Crystal Meth Addiction
When a family member or friend falls privy to a methamphetamine addiction, life can become very narrow. The meth addict puts all priorities that were once of importance and shifts them to the bottom of the priority list. Drug use becomes the primary focus. Family obligations, employment responsibilities, and personal hygiene are compromised. Family members stand to the side and watch, baffled and upset. They want the person they love to come back; their loved one turns into a different person while under the influence of methamphetamine, also known as “crank”, “ice”, “crystal”, and “crystal meth”, among many other street names. A meth intervention can help family members get their loved one back.
Thankfully, there is hope for crystal meth addicts. Many individuals addicted to crystal meth undergo treatment within a drug rehabilitation center and go on to lead sober, meaningful lives. However, the incredibly powerful nature of crystal meth addiction makes it very unlikely that an addict will seek treatment on his or her own volition. Herein lies the benefit of an intervention.
What is a crystal meth intervention? Family members, friends, and others deeply impacted by the person’s addiction – such as a spouse or coworker – get together and draft up a plan. An intervention is an orchestrated, preplanned group forum in which the addict is approached with an offer to seek treatment. In order to properly prepare for the intervention, all involved parties collaborate on a plan prior to the date of the planned event. They combine forces by reviewing the addict’s personal history, drug use and frequency, and underlying issues – such as depression or bipolar disorder.
It is recommended that a professional interventionist enter the equation. It is very valuable to have an unbiased, experience professional guiding the addict’s family members and friends through the planning process. An interventionist also offers value in that he or she has gone through an intervention many times prior; thus he or she knows what to expect. An interventionist can help family members to settle into a contented state of mind during the actual day of the intervention. The interventionist will tell family members what phrases to avoid – and when to let comments roll off their backs. For instance, upon being confronted with an intervention, a meth addict may withdraw into an emotional shell and lash out at certain family members. The interventionist will recommend to family members that if such behavior should occur, family members should avoid responding. Reacting to the addict’s probes and coercion will only breed contempt, and derail the intervention’s focus.
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Family members and friends should consider a crystal meth intervention in the event that:
- Family members have repeatedly asked the meth addict to seek treatment, but have been presented with false claims, broken promises, and disappointment
- The meth addict is compromising important functions such as parenting a child, taking care of an elderly relative, or showing up for work
- The meth addict is stealing from family members, manipulating loved ones, and acting in self-destructive and/or dangerous ways
- Family members want to stop enabling the meth addict but find that unconditional love compromises their ability to stick to “tough love” principles
In the event of a meth intervention, family members collaborate on which treatment center the meth addict will attend. Once adequate research is conducted on a fitting place – inclusive of an affordable cost, and a reputable staff the family feels comfortable with – intervention participants plan the logistics in great detail. Pre-intervention work involves:
- Booking the plane ticket to the rehab center, bus ticket, or car service
- Coordinating payment with the rehab center’s intake manager beforehand
- Writing out a list of consequences that will occur if the meth addict refuses to seek treatment, i.e. no jail bail-outs will be provided; the meth addict will no longer be allowed to live in his mother’s home; or the meth addict will no longer be permitted to care for her daughter until she has stayed sober for a pre-specified length of time
- Absorbing advice through the interventionist – or through addiction resources, in the event that an interventionist is not in the cards – such as how to talk to the addict during the intervention, terms to avoid, and suggestions for what to put in the letters to the addict
One of the ways in which an intervention is successful lies in its ability to provide the meth addict with a moment of clarity. No longer can the addict afford to continue trudging the destructive path he or she is traversing.
Through an intervention, the addict is read letters from every family member describing how the individual’s addiction has impacted his or her family’s lives. For instance, a mother reads a letter to her son in a loving way, avoiding anger and confrontation. She tells her son that she can not sleep for more than an hour at a time as a result of worrying about her son; she cries on and off throughout the day; and she had to leave her job due to overwhelming stress, concern and worry surrounding his addiction. She cannot help but choke up as she reads the letter to her son.
Sitting on the couch in a room with all of the people that care about him the most, the meth addict feels the logical, rational portion of his brain tell him, “Seek treatment. This is the right thing to do. It’s time.” Hopefully, with a little nudging and persuasion from all parties involved, the meth addict will make the right decision and accept the offer for treatment. The offer for rehabilitation is synonymous to offering the addict a ticket toward a better life, a passport to happiness, an option to live a meaningful life.