In many cases, addiction sufferers are in denial while it is their family members or friends that encourage them to get help for their problems. Many addicts do not believe they have an issue and are therefore unwilling to entertain the idea. They do not think that their drinking or drug taking is causing any harm to either themselves or anyone else. In these circumstances, it can be difficult for loved ones to get through. However, what happens when the opposite is true; if you are the addict but cannot get your loved ones to accept the situation. For some addicts, forcing family members recognise the gravity of their situation can be equally difficult.
Parents often do not want to admit that their child could possibly have an addiction, even if all the signs are there. They do not want to believe that their little girl or boy could have grown up less than perfect. For them, denial is the only way to deal with the situation. Many parents bury their heads in the sand because to accept that addiction is a real problem would be akin to admitting failure on their part.
The Stigma of Addiction
Addiction is an illness yet many people simply do not understand this. They believe addiction to be a sign of weakness or failure, and many are ashamed of it. Parents may not want other family members or friends to know that you have an addiction because they are embarrassed. Nonetheless, you need to make them understand your situation so that they can be there to support you through your recovery.
An intervention is usually staged when the loved ones of the person with addiction want to get through to that individual. They will get together with the addict to try to make him or her see that help is needed. Nevertheless, if you are having the opposite problem, you may need to stage a reverse intervention. Ask a group of people to sit with you and your loved ones to try to make them see that you do indeed have an addiction and that you need their help to get better. It is a good idea to ask individuals with experience of addiction such as a counsellor, your family GP and any family members who already support you.
Choose a place where your parents are going to feel comfortable, such as your home, their home, or your GP’s surgery. Be ready to talk about how addiction has affected your life and how you need them to support you through the process of rehabilitation. You may want to invite parents of a fellow addict from a support group who could tell your parents how they felt when they found out their child had an addiction. These people could offer addiction advice and support to your parents and make them understand how they could help you.
Make sure that the intervention is led by a qualified individual such as the GP or counsellor. These individuals have experience in dealing with addiction and will be able to guide the discussion in the right direction and help to avoid any confrontation.
Be Prepared for Resistance
Even if you stage a reverse intervention, you may find that your parents are unwilling to accept the situation. If this is the case, you must not let this affect your recovery. If they do not want to admit your problem, you should carry on with your rehabilitation with the support of others – this could be other family members, friends, or other recovering addicts. Your parents may take some time to come around, or they may never accept that addiction was a part of your life, so this is something you will have to learn to live with.