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interventionAn intervention is a way for families or loved ones to motivate someone suffering from drug addiction to address their problem and seek help through treatment.  Interventions can be held with the help of an intervention specialist or the concerned parties can hold one on their own.  While an intervention can be a useful tool it is usually best done with the help and guidance of an intervention specialist.

Why does drug and alcohol addiction affect me and my loved ones ?

Drug addiction not only affects the person who is abusing drugs, it affects everyone in their lives.  It can disrupt relationships and cause the user to isolate from family, significant others, and friends.  It can be difficult to help the addict because often they are unable to see how their drug use is affecting themselves and others.  Denial is a part of addiction. The user  usually justifies their behavior and may not be interested in getting help. Talking with the addict can be a way to get them to agree they need help. In other cases a more organized and direct approach may be needed.  The concerned parties may need to get together to take action by holding a formal intervention or hiring an intervention specialist to carry out an intervention and get their loved one into treatment. 

How Does an Intervention Work ?

An intervention takes planning to pull off.  A typical “family” intervention involves family members, loved ones, friends, and anyone else who cares about the person being affected by addiction.  They work together as a team to confront the user about the consequences of their use, and offer them a way out.  The team members provide specific examples of the impact the drug use and destructive behaviors are having on the addict and those around them, and offers a treatment solution that has been arranged beforehand.  In some cases, each team member can outline exactly what they will do if the user refuses to accept treatment.

In many cases a professional intervention is needed to handle an addicted person. This is when the family hire someone to come in and ‘coach’ them while providing support and guidance and getting the addicted person into a professional program.

Is Intervention helpful ? 

This process can be helpful for people regardless of what substances they abuse. It is not necessary to wait for the addict to be ready to go to rehab before holding an intervention, instead look at an intervention as a chance to get the addict the help they need before serious and irreversible consequences happen to them.

The success of carrying this out can be directly related to the planning that goes into it.  Before holding an intervention the team members need to ensure that all aspects of their treatment plan are taken care of.  Consulting with a professional interventionist can be helpful to help the team prepare.  An intervention can be a highly charged situation which can bring up intense feelings of resentment, anger, and a sense of betrayal.  Addicts may lash out, become verbally abusive, or violent when faced with an ultimatum.  Talking with an interventionist during the planning stages will provide insight into what to expect and what to do if things don’t go smoothly. This is another case where it pays off to have a professional interventionist on hand.

Is a Professional Interventionist Necessary for An Intervention ?

Talking with a professional can go a long way in the planning and organization stages.  It may also be a good idea to have the professional present at the actual intervention in certain situations.  The following are specific cases in which it may be necessary to have a professional interventionist present:

  • The user refuses to go to treatment
  • Attempts have been made my family members or friends to get he or she help and have been unsuccessful
  • Family members and other loved ones have tried to reach out but are not sure how to get their loved one help or are generally not experienced in handling addiction
  • The user has a history of serious mental illness
  • If the addict may be suicidal, has had previous suicide attempts, or has been talking about hurting themselves
  • The user has a history of violence, or explosive anger
  • The addict is in denial, and is likely to minimize their using and put the blame on others
  • The user is taking several different substances and their behavior is erratic or unpredictable