An intervention is a method that is commonly utilized in order to motivate someone to seek help for a drug or alcohol addiction problem. Discovering the best time to hold an intervention in order for it to be successful can be extremely challenging. Because the most common hallmark of a drug or alcohol addiction problem is denial, an intense approach may be necessary in order be successful at reaching the person that is struggling with a substance abuse problem. An intervention presents an addict with the opportunity to receive the professional drug treatment that they so desperately need.
Many times, an addict may be aware of their drug or alcohol addiction problem, and they will know deep down that they are in dire need of treatment. In these types of circumstances, the individual with the chemical dependency problem could still deny their addiction to drugs, and continue to cling to the false belief that they can quit using drugs on their own, at any time. When an intervention takes place, it can create a brief but powerful moment of clarity for the addict, which will often motivate them to accept treatment, right then and there.
The following intervention tips can help to ensure that the process is successful:
If your group decides to utilize the services of a professional interventionist, be sure that they are highly trained and experienced:
If the family has already selected a drug rehab program, the staff at the treatment center will usually be able to take care of locating and securing a reputable interventionist to help facilitate this delicate process. A quality interventionist will be able to lead an addict's loved ones to a place where they can be effective at encouraging them to attend a drug rehab program, so that they can finally get the professional help that they need.
When an addicts loved ones are meeting with an intervention specialist for the very first time, they should feel completely comfortable about conducting an informal interview with this caring treatment professional. Inquiring about how long that the interventionist has been doing this type of work, and asking pointed questions about what the intervention will entail, should only serve to make the individuals that are involved feel more comfortable and secure about moving forward in this process.
It is important for friends and families that are a part of this process are able to give their full attention to the interventionist that they have hired, as the intervention process can often be a complex process. Loved ones are not sure if the addict will show up high or if they will be coming down off of drugs, but a quality intervention specialist will take the guesswork out of knowing what to do in either case. If the opportunity presents itself, be sure to allow the interventionist time to meet alone with the addict, because it may be difficult to discuss their addiction in front of their loved ones.
One of the most vital intervention tips is to prepare ahead of time, by identifying the enablers in the addicts life, who, despite their good intentions, will sometimes stand between an addict and their recovery.
The reason that it is important to be able to identify and educate the enablers in an addict's life prior to an intervention is because these individual's are commonly in denial about the loves one's addiction. During the intervention, this individual is generally the person that the addict will turn to for support as they try to avoid drug treatment and attempt to minimize or justify their substance abuse problem. Before a successful drug intervention can take place, the enablers in the group should be enlightened about how they unwittingly have made it easier for the person to continue in their addiction. Loved ones of the addict should join forces to confront the enabler, by clearly pointing out how damaging their behavior has been to the addict.
Enablers need to be told why they should not lend or give the addict money or cover up any of the debts that have stacked up as a direct result of their substance abuse problem; additionally, these loved ones need to fully understand that indirectly funding the destructive habit will only serve to make it easier for the addict to continue to abuse drugs or alcohol. It is not enough to tell an enabler to stop these behaviors; laying out clear cut examples of what this type of behavior entails will be much more effective. A prime example of enabling behavior is when an addict has stayed out all night getting high on drugs, and is unable to get up for work; an enabler will call the addicts workplace to tell the employer that the person is sick with the flu, thus, blocking the natural consequences of the addict's behavior.
Enablers should be confronted before the intervention in regard to how detrimental that their actions can be to an addict, who is already in self destruct mode. If an enabler refuses to make healthy changes, they should be asked to abstain from the intervention, as their enabling behaviors could serve to contaminate the entire process. Even when an intervention has been successful, the addict may reach out to the enabler during the recovery process; this individuals is the person that the addict will call to provide transportation if they decide to leave the drug rehab center before completing treatment.
Be sure to identify the motivation of each person that will be present at the intervention:
Perhaps one of the best intervention tips would be to be certain that every person that is in attendance at the intervention is able to come from a place of love and genuine concern for the addict. Many times, loved ones have been negatively affected to such a great extent by the addict, that they may not be able to put aside their anger and resentment so that they can be a part of the intervention process. A person that is caring for a child that has become permanently injured as a direct result of the addict choosing to drive while under the influence, may not be able to put aside their resentment so that they can be a part of the intervention process. Another example of a person that may not be able to come from a place of love could be an adult child that has suffered from mental, physical, or sexual abuse at the addict's hand; thus, this family member may choose to opt out of the intervention, when attending the process would only serve to exacerbate their pain.
One of the most effective intervention tips is to be careful in selecting the group of individuals who will take place in the drug intervention, as this is oftentimes the most important step in the process. This select group should be comprised of people who are close to the addict, and that have firsthand knowledge about the substance abuse problem. This team of individuals who care deeply about the addict should clearly understand that an intervention is meant to be a caring and non judgmental process, that will make the addict feel loved and cared for. A successful intervention should also make the person that is struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction aware of the negative impact it has had on this group. For a variety of reasons, it may not always be possible for all of the addict's loved ones to be able to physically attend the intervention meeting. When this is the case, the person may opt to have their letter read by another loved one that is in attendance or they may choose to participate by phone.
Once the drug intervention team has been completely assembled, each person should discuss how the addict's substance abuse problem has affected them personally. This process will not only help to create a clearer image of how serious the addiction is, but ensures that every person that is present at the intervention is on the same page.
It is important that the addict knows that the intervention is something that is being done for them, and not to them; regardless of their past mistakes, the addict needs to know the everyone that is present still cares for them and that they are worthy of becoming whole again through drug treatment. It is extremely important that each person that is involved understands how important it is not to discuss details about the intervention to the addict.
One of the most useful intervention tips is to be sure to locate and secured a quality drug rehab program, prior to the meeting:
Locating and securing quality drug treatment should always be taken care of prior to the actual intervention process, so that the addict can go directly to the drug treatment center upon their accepting professional help. There are a number of things that are involved with this process, that include, covering the treatment costs, packing and making travel arrangements; additionally, if an interventionist is not involved in the process, the family should decide who will accompany the addict from the intervention to the drug rehab center, in the event that it is necessary.
Once the intervention process has concluded, the interventionist or the lead person at a family held intervention should contact the drug rehab center to let them know whether or not the addict has agreed to attend treatment.
One of the most effective drug intervention tips is to hold a pre-intervention meeting.
During this meeting, everyone that is involved in the treatment process should be given an opportunity to rehearse their part in the intervention process. This process should identify every detail of the actual intervention, including seating arrangements, locating discreet parking places, and the exact order that each person will read their letters to the addict. Nothing about the drug intervention process should be left to chance; upon leaving the pre-intervention meeting, each person should feel comfortable about the part that they will play in this potentially life-saving process.
Another one of the most important intervention tips is to anticipate what types of objections that the addict may raise, and to come up with workable answers prior to the day of the meeting. These objections can include making arrangements for child care, paying certain bills for them, or even offering to cancel any scheduled appointments that the addict may have made prior to accepting treatment.
If the individual does not accept help after the intervention process, each person that is involved in the process should be prepared to share what the consequences of this decision will be.
For many loved ones of an addict, this will be the first time that they have ever set limits in relation to the individual's substance abuse problem. Each person's bottom line may be different, but such consequences will usually include taking away money, cars, or sometimes even kicking the addict out of the house. It is important for family and friends to remember that they are setting these healthy limits, in order to try to make the addict uncomfortable enough to finally accept the treatment that they so desperately need. When an addict agrees to accept the treatment that is extended to them at the intervention, loved ones should support them in any way that they can.
Many times, individuals who are present during the intervention process may become frustrated if the addict begins to ask question about the treatment process. This could actually be a good sign, and at this point, the addict should be directed to speak with a professional counselor from the drug rehab center that they will be attending.
Sometimes, even after an intervention has taken place, the addict will still be resistant to the treatment process. When this occurs, the family should immediately contact a professional interventionist in order to help them to facilitate another meeting with the addict. The interventionist can assist the family about methods that they can use to further motivate the individual towards treatment.
Alcohol abuse and addiction
- Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse: Signs, Symptoms, and Help for Drinking Problems
- Alcohol Abuse Treatment and Self-Help: How to Stop Drinking and Start Recovery
- Self-Help Groups for Alcohol Addiction: Alcoholics Anonymous and Other Alcohol Addiction Support Groups
- Choosing an Alcohol Treatment Program: What to Look for in Alcohol Rehab
- Understanding Addiction: How Addiction Hijacks the Brain
- Women and Alcohol: The Hidden Risks of Drinking
- Are You Almost Alcoholic? You Don’t Have to be an Alcoholic to Have a Drinking Problem
- Teenage Drinking: Understanding the Dangers and Talking to Your Child
Drug abuse and addiction
- Drug Abuse and Addiction: Signs, Symptoms, and Help for Drug Problems and Substance Abuse
- Overcoming Drug Addiction: Substance Abuse Treatment, Recovery, and Help
- Self-Help Groups for Drug Addiction: Narcotics Anonymous and Other Addiction Support Groups
- Choosing a Drug Treatment Program: What to Look for in Substance Abuse Rehab
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health: Substance Abuse and Co-Occurring Disorders
- Gambling Addiction and Problem Gambling: Warning Signs and How to Get Help
- Compulsive Gambling and Anxiety: Relaxation Exercises Can Relieve the Gambling Urge
- How to Quit Smoking: A Guide to Kicking the Habit for Good
- Internet and Computer Addiction: Signs, Symptoms, and Help for Balancing Your Time Online and Off
- Cutting and Self-Harm: Self-Injury Help, Support, and Treatment
What is addiction?
Addiction exerts a long and powerful influence on the brain that manifests in three distinct ways: craving for the object of addiction, loss of control over its use, and continuing involvement with it despite harmful consequences.
For many years, experts believed that only alcohol and powerful drugs could cause addiction. Brain imaging technologies and more recent research, however, have shown that certain pleasurable activities, such as gambling, shopping, and sex, can also lead to addiction.
Addiction and depression often go hand in hand. Depression can make you feel helpless, hopeless, or empty and numb; but there’s a lot you can do to change how you feel. But with support and small daily steps, you can overcome depression and get your life back. MORE »
Many people drink, do drugs, or engage in other addictive activities in order to cope with anxiety. If that’s the case for you, learning to manage your anxiety and relieve stress in healthy ways will help you in your recovery journey.