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Why Intervention?

The reason why conducting an intervention can ultimately be a life-saving measure is because it is a process that can interrupt a potentially life-threatening addiction. There used to be a belief in our society that a person with a substance abuse problem would not be able to get help unless the decision to get treatment originated with the addict. The biggest problem with this notion is that denial is one of the major symptoms of addiction, and will often serve to prevent the addict from recognizing that they have a serious substance abuse problem. When a person is unable to perceive that a chemical dependency problem exists, it is unlikely that he will be able to make the choice to get treatment.

The reason why intervention can be the most effective answer for a substance abuse problem is because it would be highly unusual for an addict to ask for help, unless they are in the midst of a crisis; thus, it would actually be remiss for family and friends to idly sit by and wait for these individuals to "hit bottom", that could potentially mean death. Much of the time, the individual that is abusing drugs is so deeply entrenched in denial, that they will often cling to the false belief that they are in complete control of their chaotic existence.

The reason why intervention can be a viable solution for an addict and their loved ones is because all of these individuals can be negatively impacted by a family member's substance abuse problem. Loved ones will often adjust to the drug or alcohol addiction in a variety of unhealthy ways, which can create a system that is dysfunctional and enabling on behalf of the addict. This type of a dysfunctional system generally stems from loving intentions and an effort to support the individual, not malicious intentions or a desire for the person to remain stuck in their addiction; however, the addict staying sick is generally the way the addiction process plays out within this type of a dysfunctional family system. The addict's loved ones can watch helplessly as their family member or friend travels into the darkness of drug or alcohol addiction, or they can choose to conduct a drug intervention, which could motivate the addict to seek treatment.

The reason why intervention often serves to interrupt the potentially deadly path of addiction, is because when an addict is confronted with all of the negative consequences that have transpired from their drug usage, he may be motivated towards change. The reason why loved ones should stage an intervention before the addict actually "hits their bottom" is because reaching this low place could range from losing a job, or could be as far reaching as being arrested, hospitalized or could even include death. Intervening before a major crisis occurs may be just the life-line an addict needs before they sink to a point that could be irreversible.

Another reason why intervention could be an effective solution when a loved one is suffering with a drug or alcohol addiction is because an individual with this type of a problem will often become delusional; when an addict reaches this point, they may not have the ability to have any real insight into how serious their substance abuse problem has become. Because the addict's reality may be greatly distorted, their loved ones may need to conduct an intervention to overwhelm them with reality, by presenting the facts in a way that the person can receive them.

The benefits of a drug intervention are directly correlated to the degree of effort and time an addict's loved ones are ultimately willing to invest in the process. One of the primary benefits that can be derived from a drug intervention is the acquisition of knowledge that can be acquired by the family in relation to the subject of addiction. Prior to an intervention, an addict's loved ones should read and study everything that they can about substance abuse and addiction, from as many quality resources as possible.

Why hire an intervention specialist?

When an intervention specialist is hired, the group will have an unbiased professional present that can help to keep the addict from falling into manipulative patterns with their loved ones, which would ultimately be destructive to the overall objective of the intervention. Barring the use of an interventionist, families should make a point of speaking to a drug rehab specialist prior to the intervention, in order to learn more about this process.

When a drug or alcohol addiction remains uninterrupted, it will plunge the addict through many lows, until they finally hit a "bottom." The reason why a professionally staged intervention can be extremely effective is because it is not only a process that could help the addict to recognize their dire need for treatment; additionally, it can be a process that teaches loved ones about how they may have aided the person in continuing with their substance abuse problem, while believing that their actions were necessary or helpful.

Because one of the primary themes of an intervention is self-love, a professional intervention specialist is able to stress the importance of breaking codependent family bonds. While many loved ones have been giving selflessly on behalf of the person with the substance abuse problem, often putting the addict's needs before their own, they may actually have unwittingly been coerced into dysfunctional codependent patterns. The interventionist can further explain that although addicts may make choices that can destroy relationships, their loved ones can also make destructive choices in their vain attempt to restore the emotional norms of the relationship. Family and friends that care about the addict can inadvertently become complicit in their substance abuse problem.

Because an intervention has the potential to be a volatile process, hiring a trained interventionist to facilitate the intervention can keep the meeting from dissolving into a screaming match, with the addict taking control of the room. A professional interventionist can help loved ones to finally be able to give the addict the kind of healthy love that they will need upon becoming sober. The intervention will accomplish this by helping loved ones to gain insight into their enabling behavior, in order to begin the process of healing themselves. Because loved ones will often lose perspective in the midst of the chaos that is a common hallmark of addiction, reaching for the assistance of an intervention professional is often the first step towards freedom for everyone that is involved in the intervention process.

Planning a Family Intervention

An effective intervention should always be held with a group of people who genuinely care about the addict; these individuals must be able to present concrete and specific facts about the addict's drug use and his resultant behavior. This group can range from immediate family members to very close friends who know the addict better than anyone. Unfortunately, at the time of a drug intervention, many of the addict's closest friends could be people that are not vigilant about their own sobriety; thus, any person that is actively engaged in abusing drugs should not be allowed to participate.

Family members who are highly respected by the addict are often the best candidates to have present at the intervention. Ultimately, the group that attends the meeting should be representative of a small gathering of people who love and care about the person and who want them to get the professional help that they need. During an intervention, these loved ones should each be given the opportunity to communicate to the addict about the pain that the substance abuse problem has caused them; it is important that these facts be presented in an extremely calm and rational manner, as judgment and anger have no place in this process. If anger is projected on to the addict, they may become defensive and will be less receptive to what is being said. When the person that is being intervened upon feels attacked, they may push back; thus, the addict then could become angry and storm out of the potentially life-saving meeting.

The reason why intervention is often effective in motivating an addict towards positive change is because it presents a forum for loved ones to be united in insisting that the addict attends a quality drug treatment program. Each person that is present at an intervention should only have one motivation for being there, and that is to help save the life of the person to get the professional help that they need and deserve; if an individual has another agenda, they need to be omitted from the process, as they could cause more harm than good.

The group that is attending the intervention should write personal letters to the addict about their concern for them; additionally, each person should include in the letter the ways in which they have been affected by the loved one's substance abuse problem. Prior to the intervention, the participants should make arrangements to enroll the addict into a quality drug treatment program, to be attended immediately following the conclusion of the meeting.

The group should hold a pre-intervention meeting to rehearse the entire process and to determine seating arrangements and to decide the order in which each person will address the addict. There will always be loved ones at the intervention who will have more sway with the addict; thus the intervention may either begin with this person's letter or end with it, because of the sheer magnitude that their words could have.

During the pre-intervention, loved ones must determine what actions that they will take if the addict refuses to accept the professional drug treatment that is being offered to them. The consequences of the addict refusing to accept substance abuse treatment should be clearly outlined in a concrete manner.

Consequences of Refusing Treatment

Consequences of refusing to accept treatment should be delivered in a calm and rational tone, by each person who is attending the intervention. Upon hearing the list of consequences, if the addict still does not accept the professional help that is offered to them, loves ones should immediately follow through with their conditions. To be the most effective, these consequences should leave very little room for the addict to refuse professional help. Some common consequences of not accepting treatment may include:

  • Many loved ones that are attending the intervention will choose to break all emotional ties with the addict, until which time that they choose to go to treatment.
  • Loved ones attending the intervention should inform the addict that if they do not accept treatment, that they will no longer be provided with any type of financial assistance, under any circumstances.
  • All participants at the intervention should tell the addict that they will not bail them out of jail if they should become incarcerated.
  • Everyone attending the intervention should tell the addict that they will not provide them with a place to live, where they can come and go as they please.
  • The addict should be told that if they refuse the treatment that is being offered, that everything that any person in the group has previously provided for them, including cell phones, vehicle, etc. will be confiscated upon the conclusion of the intervention.

The reason why an intervention is vital is because the process itself could be the "answer" that the substance abuser has been praying for as a way out of what they may have previously viewed as an inescapable addiction. During a drug intervention, the help that an addict may have been too ashamed to ask for, is being offered to them on a silver platter. This process is often viewed as a great gift that serves to take the pressure out of the addict having to admit how serious their substance abuse problem has become.

The reason why an intervention is often psychologically cleansing to the addict is because they realize that all of the secrets about their drug use have finally been brought out in the open; it is at this point, that honesty can become the driving force for the addict and their loved ones to finally be able to get the help they so desperately desire and deserve.