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The Importance of Intervention

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How to Get an Intervention

An intervention is needed for people who are in denial about their situation and are unwilling to seek treatment. They fail to recognize the negative effects of their behavior, causing harm to themselves and others in the process.

Navigation: What is an Intervention for Drug Addiction?, Benefits of a Drug Intervention for Someone with Drug or Alcohol Addiction, What Are the Steps Involved in an Intervention?, What Does an Interventionist Do?, Who Should Be on the Intervention Team?, How to Find a Treatment Program for Your Loved One, How to Increase the Chances of a Successful Intervention, Rehab Is Your Best Chance


It’s not easy having a loved one who is struggling with addiction. You can try to support them throughout their rehab journey, but sometimes addicted people deny having a substance abuse problem.

People with addiction face a lot of stigma, so they tend to hide their condition out of shame, guilt, fear, or regret. A lot of them are afraid to seek help because they don’t know what will happen in rehab. This is why very few people actually receive the medical attention that they need to recover from their addiction.

In order to fix this problem, we need to educate them about the recovery process and inform them about what to expect from rehab. But before you can do that, they need to recognize their need for treatment. Before they can accept treatment, you may have to sit down with them for a heart-to-heart conversation about their situation.

If they still struggle to see or acknowledge the problem, you may need a more focused approach. This is where drug intervention comes in.

A formal intervention may be warranted for conditions like prescription drug abuse, street drug abuse, alcoholism, and drug dependence.

An intervention is needed for people who are in denial about their situation and are unwilling to seek treatment. They fail to recognize the negative effects of their behavior, causing harm to themselves and others in the process.

With an intervention, you can present them a structured opportunity to make the necessary changes before their situation gets even worse. The goal is to motivate them to seek help or accept treatment.


What is an Intervention for Drug Addiction?

For someone with an addiction, an intervention may be one of the most important steps in their recovery journey. An intervention is done by family members and friends of a person dealing with an addiction to help them realize that they have a problem and that they need help.

Interventions are carefully planned and rehearsed in order to eliminate the need for spontaneity. Family members and friends can make their own plan or they can consult a professional interventionist.

The participants are encouraged to stay on topic so that they can avoid common mistakes like placing blame or making accusations. When you say hurtful things to your addicted loved one, it only pushes them further away. This may cause them to refuse help.

Interventions should remain positive. While you are letting the person know that their actions have negative effects on the people around them, it should also be clear to them that they have your support. An intervention is meant to discuss the problem and then offer a clear solution, which is detox and rehab.

If a family member is struggling with addiction, the intervention process may help them get started on the right path.

Although TV shows have glamorized interventions, they don’t usually provide an accurate portrayal of how the process actually works and what steps are involved. But before we discuss these steps, let’s take a look at the benefits of a properly executed drug or alcohol intervention.


Benefits of a Drug Intervention for Someone with Drug or Alcohol Addiction

An intervention has several benefits that are worth considering. For example, it can motivate someone to seek help for their alcohol or drug problem.

Drug interventions create a venue wherein addicted people can get some education on addiction and recovery. This reduces the fear that they have surrounding rehab. The intervention process will also educate the participants about the disease that their loved one has, giving them a deeper understanding of addiction and allowing them to provide the appropriate level of support.

If someone is in denial about their condition, a drug intervention can be a powerful tool that can help them understand their situation and realize the importance of treatment.

During the intervention, friends and family members can express their concern about their loved one’s behavior. It can provide an opportunity for everyone to show their support for the addicted individual during this difficult time. Knowing that they have your support will also ease their anxiety about seeking treatment.

A drug or alcohol intervention can save their life. It can prevent your loved one from suffering the worst effects of this deadly disease. In some cases, addiction can lead to overdose and death. Not to mention that it has plenty of other physical and mental health effects in between.

At the end of the day, an intervention can strengthen your relationship with the addicted individual. It will improve their mental health, allowing them to focus on their recovery and applying the coping mechanisms they learned in rehab. In the long run, this will help them achieve and maintain their sobriety.

What Are the Steps Involved in an Intervention?

An intervention is a process in which family members, friends, or other loved ones come together to confront someone about their destructive behavior and encourage them to seek help. The goal of an intervention is to persuade the person to accept professional treatment for their addiction, mental health issues, or other destructive behavior.

If you are concerned about a loved one and think they may need an intervention, here are some steps you can take:

First, you need to educate yourself. Learn as much as you can about your loved one’s addiction and behavior. Learn how to recognize the signs and symptoms of addiction. This will help you understand the impact it has on their life.

You can then gather information about the drug addiction treatment process. Find out everything you can about detox, therapy, and rehabilitation programs. Educating yourself allows you to approach the intervention with a non-judgmental outlook. It will also help you choose a suitable treatment program for your addicted loved one.

Next, you need to form a team. Reach out to other family members, friends, or loved ones who share your concerns. This will be the intervention team. You may or may not include a professional interventionist. Make sure everyone is on the same page and has a clear understanding of the situation. Later on we will discuss who should be on the intervention team.

Consider consulting with a professional interventionist who can guide you through the process and help you prepare for the intervention. When in doubt, get professional help. This may include an interventionist, a doctor, or a social worker. If you feel unsure about what you’re doing, some professional advice may go a long way.

Once you have the team together, you can start planning the intervention. Choose a time and place for the intervention, rehearse what you will say, and decide on consequences if your loved one refuses to seek treatment.

For this to work out, you have to develop a clear plan that everyone needs to follow. This involves choosing a specific date, time, and venue for the intervention. It’s important that everyone presents a united front.

The intervention team should write impact statements ahead of time. These are personal statements detailing how the person’s addiction has harmed them. Substance abuse tends to affect relationships, and it’s important that the person knows how their condition has affected the people they love. Be honest when writing these statements, but also avoid being overly confrontational. Leave out any personal attacks against the addicted individual.

Interventions tend to stir up a lot of strong emotions. It is important to avoid letting these emotions distract the group from the main goal, which is to guide the person towards treatment. This is why you should rehearse the intervention beforehand.

The intervention should not take too much time. Each member should read their impact statements without falling into self-pity or blaming their loved one. You need at least one rehearsal with everyone present before the actual event. Each participant should know what to say, when to talk, and when to cede the floor.

Once all the preparations are complete, it’s time to hold the intervention. Ask your loved one to come with you to the intervention site without telling them the reason. If they know about the intervention meeting ahead of time, they might not come.

On the day of the intervention, meet with your loved one and calmly express your concerns, providing specific examples of their behavior and how it has affected you and others. Encourage them to seek treatment and provide them with resources and support.

The intervention meeting is the perfect time to offer help. Present them the treatment program that the intervention team has selected beforehand, which they must accept on the spot.

You also need to set boundaries and establish consequences that you will enforce should they refuse treatment. Everyone on the intervention team should commit to ending codependency and enabling behaviors. Let them know that there will be consequences and be prepared to follow through.

Once they accept treatment, let them know that each member of the intervention team will support them during their recovery. You can offer them rides to treatment once a week, for example, or offer to attend family therapy sessions with them.

Manage your expectations. TV shows usually depict happy endings wherein the addicted person accepts treatment—but this does not always happen in real life. Even with your best efforts, you can only do so much. At the end of the day, the person must willingly accept treatment and work towards their own sobriety. If the person refuses treatment, enforce the consequences you have established. This will let them know that you are serious about wanting them to get better.

If they do accept treatment, make sure you give them all the support they need. Treatment is a stressful process. Your loved one may even relapse a number of times. But relapse is a common occurrence and should not deter you from supporting your loved one. 

Remember that interventions can be emotionally charged and difficult, but they can also be an important first step towards healing and recovery.

What Does an Interventionist Do?

An interventionist is a professional who helps individuals and families deal with addiction, mental health issues, or other problematic behaviors. They work closely with clients to create personalized plans that support their recovery, and they also facilitate interventions that encourage individuals to seek help.

Some of the tasks that an interventionist may perform include:

Conducting assessments of individuals’ behavior and identifying areas of concern.

Developing personalized treatment plans for clients that incorporate therapy, medication, or other interventions.

Coordinating with other healthcare professionals, such as therapists, doctors, and addiction specialists.

Educating clients and their families about the nature of addiction and other behavioral disorders.

Facilitating interventions that encourage individuals to seek treatment for their issues.

Providing ongoing support to clients and their families as they work towards recovery.

Overall, an interventionist plays a critical role in helping individuals and families overcome addiction and other behavioral problems. They use a variety of techniques and approaches to support their clients, and they work closely with other healthcare professionals to ensure that clients receive the care they need.

If you are not sure how to go about setting up and conducting an intervention, you may want to consult an addiction professional. Aside from a professional interventionist, you can also look for a licensed drug counselor, a social worker, a psychiatrist, or a doctor. They can help you conduct an effective intervention and keep the entire event organized.

Aside from helping you organize the intervention, the interventionist will also serve as a moderator during the event. They will make sure every member of the intervention team has enough time to speak. They will also keep the meeting from becoming too emotional.

If your loved one has a history of serious mental illness, a history of violence, or has shown suicidal tendencies, you should consider working with a professional interventionist for this meeting.

Who Should Be on the Intervention Team?

Choosing the members of the intervention team is crucial to the success of the meeting. It would depend on several factors such as the individual’s condition and the available resources. Aside from friends and family members, you may also include a licensed therapist, a medical doctor, a social worker, or an interventionist.

The team should be composed of individuals who are caring, supportive, and non-judgmental. The intervention team may consist of four to six people who are important to the addicted person. This may include their close friends, adult relatives, or someone they respect.

Do not include someone who has their own substance abuse problem or mental health issue if their condition remains unmanaged. Avoid adding someone who is disliked by the addicted individual or someone who will potentially sabotage the intervention.

Be sure that the members of the intervention team will be able to limit what they say during the meeting. Choose people who can stick to the plan and are responsible enough to show up on the day.

How to Find a Treatment Program for Your Loved One

Before the meeting, the team should find a suitable treatment program for their loved one so they can present it during the intervention. The addicted person may refuse treatment if they have to look for one themselves.

Research different types of treatment programs beforehand and choose one that is ideal for the patient. There are various types of addiction treatment programs such as inpatient, outpatient, residential, detoxification, etc. Do some research and choose the type of program that suits your loved one’s needs.

Consider the facility’s location. Whether it’s an inpatient or an outpatient program, location is going to be a key factor. Choose a location that is convenient and accessible for your loved one, and consider whether they would benefit from being close to home or in a different environment.

If you don’t know where to begin, ask for referrals. Ask your family doctor, therapist, or addiction counselor for referrals to reputable treatment programs. You can also ask other individuals who have gone through treatment programs to recommend a suitable one.

Check each facility for accreditation, license, and certification. Verify that the facility and staff members are licensed and certified to provide addiction treatment services. Also make sure that the treatment center is accredited by reputable organizations such as The Joint Commission or the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF).

You can even look for online reviews of the treatment center to see what other people have experienced while undergoing treatment there.

Once you have narrowed down your choices, you can visit each treatment center and tour the facility to see if it meets your expectations. You can also request to speak with current patients or alumni to get a better understanding of the program.

Look into the treatment approach, the staff members’ qualifications, the duration of treatment, and the success rate of the program. There are plenty of treatment options out there, and they may vary in terms of scope and intensity. Once the person agrees to get treatment, they can be assessed by the rehab facility and determine an ideal treatment plan that suits their needs.

Most rehab programs will be covered by insurance, so verify insurance coverage and do your research regarding all cost-related concerns. Check if the treatment facility accepts your loved one’s insurance plan, and whether they have provisions for sliding scale fees or financial assistance.

There are plenty of resources online that you can check for more information, such as the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Use these resources to find treatment centers near you.

How to Increase the Chances of a Successful Intervention

Although there is no way to guarantee the success of an intervention, there are strategies you can try in order to increase your likelihood of convincing your loved one to go to rehab.

The first thing to do is to plan the event extensively. It may take several weeks to organize a proper intervention, but that’s normal since you have to make sure everyone is prepared for it. An intervention is not something you do on the spur of the moment.

The intervention does not have to be elaborate by any means. You just need to take the time to schedule the meeting, get everyone on board, find a treatment program for your loved one, write impact statements, and rehearse with the intervention team. Everyone needs to know what to do so you can present a united front.

An intervention doesn’t need to be complicated. You just need to be prepared. Do your homework and research about your loved one’s condition beforehand. The intervention team should understand what the person is going through so they can empathize with them and offer realistic solutions.

If you are not working with a professional interventionist, you should appoint one person to act as a moderator during the meeting. Keep everyone informed about any developments by sharing information. Staying on the same page is important, so make sure to hold meetings or conference calls to share updates.

If possible, rehearse the intervention meeting at least once before the actual event. Anticipate your loved one’s reactions and objections so you can have a calm and rational answer to all of them.

Eliminate the person’s obstacles towards rehab by offering support in those departments. For example, you can attend counseling sessions with them, provide transportation, or arrange for child care.

During the intervention, try to keep it from becoming a confrontation. Emotions will be high during this event, but try to keep everyone on the right track by following the plan. Your loved one should be met with love, concern, respect, and support rather than anger and blame. The intervention is a place for honesty but not for hostility.

Finally, you need to get them to decide on their next course of action on the spot. They have to accept the treatment plan or else they will face certain consequences. You need to get their answer on the day of the intervention rather than later. Otherwise, they might continue denying the problem, go into hiding, or start binging drugs and alcohol. Start treatment immediately after.

If the intervention still fails after all your planning and preparation, there is nothing you can do but hope for a positive change. Prepare yourself emotionally for your loved one’s reaction to the intervention. They may react with anger, spite, or resentment. This is not your fault.

However, you cannot enable their behavior and keep supporting them despite their substance abuse. You have to follow through on the consequences you presented. While you do not have control over their behavior, you can remove yourself, including any children, from a harmful situation.

Look for a rehab center near you today and learn more about the treatment process for your loved one.

Rehab is Your Best Chance

Treatment is an addicted individualʼs best option if they want to recover. Beating an addiction not only requires eliminating the physical dependence, but also addressing the behavioral factors that prevent them from wanting to get better. Simply quitting may not change the psychological aspect of addiction. Some people quit for a while, and then take drugs or alcohol again, only to overdose because they did not detox properly. Recovery involves changing the way the patient feels, thinks, and behaves.



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Fel Clinical Director of Content
Felisa Laboro has been working with addiction and substance abuse businesses since early 2014. She has authored and published over 1,000 articles in the space. As a result of her work, over 1,500 people have been able to find treatment. She is passionate about helping people break free from alcohol or drug addiction and living a healthy life.

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