What Is An Intervention?

Intervention refers to the process by which a group of people gather together to mediate and approach someone who is addicted. The purpose of the meeting is for everyone gathered to provide the addict with feedback on their actions, attitudes, behavior, and habits that are linked to their substance use disorder - with the main goal of convincing them that the time has come for them to seek addiction treatment and rehabilitation services.

With regards to alcohol and drug interventions, the members present would try to address all the concerns arising from the substance abuse and addiction. By so doing, they would get the addict to understand that their safety and health are at risk, and that they need immediate help before the problem gets further out of hand.

Although interventions are not always needed for someone to start changing their life, those who abuse drugs and alcohol and have developed an addiction might need this process. It could also be the only way to inspire them to change.

When properly performed, an addiction intervention can provide high rates of success for the substance user, as well as convincing them to start working towards addressing their addictions concerns. It can also motivate them to try and achieve full sobriety.

To this end, it is imperative that you perform the process with utmost care and consideration. If the intervention is one sided, negative, or offensive - in fact - it might end up doing more harm than you expected. For instance, it could drive the addict further into their substance abuse.

If possible, you should consider hiring a professional interventionist to help with the process. These experts are highly experienced at hosting such meetings and they can guide you through the planning and execution of your intervention so that you increase the chances of the meeting succeeding.

How To Stage An Intervention?

It is important that you know how to stage a carefully planned and directed drug and alcohol intervention. This is the best way to increase the chances that the intervention will prove to be successful and that the addict will agree to check into a rehabilitation program at the end of the process.

The following 5 most important steps in a drug and/or alcohol intervention could help you stage a successful one so that the addict agrees to get the help that they need to overcome their substance use disorder.

1. Choose an Interventionist

If you are not a professional interventionist, it is inadvisable to try to stage an intervention without getting help from an expert. Today, there are professional intervention specialists - also called interventionists - who are specialized in planning, executing, and managing interventions. The cost of an interventionist will fall within a range depending upon the experience and licensing of the person you choose. Usually costs for an interventionist's services will range from $2,000 to $8,000.

With one on your team, you greatly increase the chances that your intervention will prove to be successful. These experts can also moderate the conversation - especially if it becomes difficult. Additionally, you can count on them to act as the neutral third party, a factor that could ensure that their words and message seem less emotionally troubling and painful to the addict.

2. Plan the Intervention Meeting

Since all interventions and addictions are different, it is important that you plan your intervention carefully so that it can effectively meet all the demands and needs of the particular situation you find yourself in.

Some of the things that you should focus on while planning your drug and/or alcohol intervention include:

  • People who will be present at the intervention
  • Who will speak, and in what order
  • The venue of the intervention
  • The time when you will hold the intervention

3. Prepare and Rehearse

You might also want to ensure that everyone who will be present at the intervention gets to prepare for the part that they will play. If possible, you should also ask them to rehearse the words that they are going to use. In many cases, they might find it useful to write down these words.

One of the main reasons why you need to pay extra attention to the preparation and rehearsal is because interventions carry the risk of becoming highly emotionally charged. This might cause someone to say something out of sadness or anger - which they could regret later on, or which might not prove too useful to the process.

4. Conduct the Intervention

Once the time has come for the intervention, you should ensure that you follow all the preparations and plans that you had made. However, it would also help if you were able to find some form of flexibility to allow you to adapt - quickly and efficiently - to any changing circumstances that might arise.

Even the most carefully planned and rehearsed intervention could also veer in a direction that you would never have predicted. It is for this reason that you are highly advised to prepare and rehearse before conducting the interview. This will allow you to cope better with any of these changes when and as they happen.

Working with an interventionist might also prove useful at this stage, because they have the right training and experience to be able to guide the process and ensure that everyone is focused on the real point of the meeting.

5. Effect Treatment and/or Consequences

The best outcome from the drug and/or alcohol intervention would be the addict agreeing to seek ongoing treatment for their condition. However, this might not always happen, and it is important that you know what to do to deal with the situation.

In particular, it is very important that the intervention team discusses and plans all the consequences that will arise if the addict does not agree to seek the help that they need. For instance, they must explain how they will stop any enabling behavior that they have been engaging in - such as providing the addict with housing or financial support. These consequences should be as extreme as possible, to show the addict just how serious the problem is and why they have to seek treatment.

By explaining the consequences to the addict, they might come to realize that the time is ripe for them to seek treatment. This is highly likely but only if you emphasize the different actions that you are going to take - which could make the addict so uncomfortable that they would prefer to seek treatment instead of suffering as a result.

Apart from hosting an intervention, there are many other ways you can help someone who is struggling with a substance use disorder.

Never Enable

It might be difficult for you to continue watching your loved one spiraling down through tolerance, dependence, and addiction. This is especially if they get to a point where they are no longer able to function as well as they used to in the past.

In such a case, you might be tempted to help the addict - thinking that you are doing it out of love. For instance, you might send them money, take over their responsibilities, or take greater care of the family. You could also find yourself apologizing on their behalf when they act or behave in inappropriate ways.

For all these conditions, it is important that you always know where to draw the line - between enabling and supporting them. Although you might be doing this from a place of love or obligation, all you will be doing is shielding the addict from the reality of their problem.

Through an intervention, you will learn that enabling has to stop. This is because the addict will have to be faced with the real consequences of their behavior and actions before they can realize that they need to enroll for treatment.

Be Compassionate

Last but not least, you should be compassionate during the intervention meeting. This means that you should let them know that you love and support them - and that is why they have to check into a rehabilitation facility. This loving approach might prove quite effective at convincing some addicts to receive treatment.

Overall, an intervention is a lifesaving process because it can help shield your loved one from the adverse consequences and health effects of their substance use disorder - consequences that might include a severe overdose or even sudden death.

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