Addiction Intervention

Enforce Their Value and Confidence to Take Steps Towards Change

Intervention – Helping a Loved One Beat Addiction

Trying to help a loved one struggling with addiction can be extremely difficult and leave you feeling helpless. People coping with addiction are typically in denial about their substance use disorder and battle to accept its effect on their lives and those close to them. Frequently, a more structured and formal approach such as an intervention is required for your loved one to seek help.

An intervention can encourage a loved one to get help to change, increase their self-worth and help them identify triggers for their addiction. They are effective by showing the person with the addiction just how intense their substance abuse affects everything and everyone in their life.


What Is the Goal of an Intervention?

The specific goal of an intervention is to motivate the person to accept professional help, whether it be outpatient or inpatient treatment. Treatment depends on the substances used, the severity of the addiction, co-occurring disorders, and the person’s preference.


What Is the Definition of an Intervention?

An intervention is a planned and structured technique used by family, friends, and sometimes an intervention professional to encourage a loved one to change unhealthy or risky thoughts, feelings, and behaviors formed from substance use. It is a chance for loved ones to offer the support an individual needs to seek help one may not take responsibility for or otherwise seek on their own.

Interventions can be an agitated and emotional meeting. Loved ones present the impact of how the addiction has affected them and the people around them. An intervention specialist is encouraged to have the opportunity to be present and explain a course of treatment that would work best. In some instances, resistance can occur, such as interrupting, denying, and disputing, creating a bad reaction to the intervention’s desired outcome. The involved specialist will avoid arguments and reformulate a new approach to cultivate a willingness to change. Loved ones should always take a compassionate approach to help motivate the attitude of change; however, they should address resistance behavior with boundaries or consequences. The choice of advice or ultimatums directly relates to the severity of the substance use and its detrimental effects on the user’s life and health.


Who Needs an Intervention?

After becoming acquainted with intervention, it is only natural to question if your loved one struggling with addiction needs one. An intervention is ideal for an individual who denies the harmful effects of their addiction and shifts the blame on others rather than the substance abuse effects—one who has a combative attitude to their substance use disorder. However, you can hold an intervention as soon as your loved one displays signs of addiction. It may even be beneficial to get treatment for your loved one before the addiction develops into more risky behaviors.


How to Stage an Intervention


Contact a Professional:

The first step to organizing an intervention is to contact a qualified professional counselor, an addiction or intervention specialist, a social worker, or a psychologist to ensure the intervention is safe and effective. Regardless if a professional has the opportunity to be present during the intervention, they will be extremely helpful in giving you guidance to lead and plan it. Trained and qualified specialists provide professional advice to control issues that loved ones may face to execute the intervention successfully.


Create a Plan:

Consulting a professional for the intervention is directly connected with creating a plan for the intervention. A selected interventionist can help you arrange and guide the process. This process includes scheduling the particular day, time, and the team of the intervention.


Form the Intervention Team:

An intervention team includes friends, family, or anyone close to the loved one that will personally partake in the intervention. Your chosen interventionist professional can help you build this team, not to include anyone who may derail the intervention. This group should work together to offer a concise plan and solution to create a healthy atmosphere.


Prepare and Gather Information:

Once you have gathered group members and connected with a professional, it is important to learn about the substance of abuse and the recovery process. Members of the intervention team can discuss the loved ones’ stories and details of addiction to assess arrangements for and after treatment. Gather information about rehabilitation programs and the detoxification process to decide which suits your loved one struggling with addiction best.


Determine the Consequences / Boundaries:

If the person who is addicted refuses treatment, it is essential to establish the consequences and boundaries each person will create. Each individual involved in the intervention should make a clear, specific set of consequences ahead of the intervention and commit to them if help is ultimately not accepted. Despite the person’s decision, loved ones must stick to the set of boundaries and consequences to encourage them to seek help eventually.


Practice What to Say:

Each person who has decided to participate in the intervention has to rehearse what they will say to their loved one. They should be personal statements describing how their addiction has harmed their relationship, making them realize how it affects everyone around them. The intervention team should write impact statements, letters, or take notes to help deliver an open, loving, and caring message focusing on empowering change and avoiding criticism and blame.


Decide on the Treatment Plan:

Having a rehabilitation center ready for your loved one can be the difference in having him or her change their mind to get help. You should make treatment facility arrangements ahead of the intervention to allow your loved one to quit their addiction safely, under medical supervision.


Hold the Intervention:

Loved ones will ask the person struggling with addiction to meet at the decided intervention location without disclosing the reason. Without revealing the purpose for the meeting, it does not allow one to continue to deny the problem, go into hiding, or hinder treatment plans. Each person on the intervention team will take their turn speaking to the loved one, expressing their love, feelings of concern, and explain the specific consequences of refusing the prepared treatment plan. Once each team member has had their chance to speak, they should present the loved one with a treatment option in which he or she will have to decide on the spot. Each member should be ready to carry out their consequences and boundaries should their loved one decide against accepting help.


Follow Through:

Being involved in a loved one’s rehabilitation can help them avoid relapse and stay in treatment. Sometimes harmful behaviors connected to daily habits can slow down the rehabilitation process; that is why a loved one’s familiarity and support in treatment participation, such as partaking in counseling, can make such a difference. No matter what your loved one decides, each group member needs to follow through with the statements they made during the intervention to avoid worsening the substance abuse.

Intervention Strategies

  • Input / Feedback: Most people who suffer from addiction are unaware of how dangerous and harmful their substance use has become. Providing feedback that is personally relevant to their substance abuse and the dangers and harm directly associated with their addiction is necessary to allow acknowledgment. Feedback that emphasizes a comparison between your loved one’s past, before addiction and the risks they are willing to take now with its associated consequences can influence your loved one to seek treatment.
  • Responsibility: Enforce your loved one’s value and self-confidence to take steps towards change. Inspire them to speak about reasons and motivations to seek help. A person who wants to change their substance use needs to have the willpower and confidence to change. An essential principle of intervention for someone struggling with addiction is acknowledging responsibility for their behavior and their choices about their substance use. Your loved one’s desire to stop substance use is directly associated with how necessary they think this change is and how confident they are in accomplishing it.
  • Advice: Allow your loved ones to see the benefits of stopping their substance abuse by giving them a perspective into a fulfilling life. Provide an understanding of the advantages of dropping the harm related to their substance abuse. This increased awareness of their addiction provides purpose and reasons to change their destructive behavior.
  • Choice of Options: A feeling of personal control and a sense of executing change can help your loved one fortify an attitude for transformation. Providing options of change for your loved one, such as identifying trigger situations by creating strategies to avoid them and determining which people in their life give the most positive support, can reinforce a sense of personal responsibility. Another example of an encouraging choice is identifying rewarding activities that substitute substance use, such as exercise or time with family.
  • Empathy: A large portion of an intervention being effective is your loved one feeling compassion and empathy. Everyone partaking in the intervention should attempt to connect with the person to listen with an open mind, and understand the cycle of addiction unbiasedly. Labels, such as ‘addict,’ ‘junkie,’ or ‘alcoholic,’ are avoided.


Can Consulting an Intervention Specialist Help?

Consulting a qualified professional counselor, an addiction specialist, a social worker, a psychologist, a psychiatrist, or an interventionist will immensely help bring together an effective intervention. It can increase the possibility your loved one will follow through with seeking treatment after the intervention and avoid violent or self-sabotaging behavior. Experienced interventionists and other qualified professionals are trained to consider your loved one’s specific condition and circumstances, advise the safest approach and provide guidance in the best type of treatment.

In particular circumstances having a trained professional present at the intervention is critical. They can direct loved ones to steer the process and help in person during coordination and then ultimately guide the actual intervention. Interventions can be successfully led without the interventionist being present but having expert help is fundamental during the planning process.


How Do I Hold a Successful Intervention?

To ensure an intervention has the best chance of success is to plan and organize and execute with compassion and empathy. Interventions come from a place of love, not frustration; therefore, all team members must be patient and accepting, careful not to use the opportunity to air grievances.

Despite the ultimate goal of an intervention being that the individual accepts the help, sometimes, that doesn’t happen. Some people may react in anger or resentment and refuse treatment. Refusal does not mean the intervention failed; in many cases, people respond negatively initially but take action to get help later. If your loved one rejects the offer for rehabilitation, prepare yourself to stick to the consequences promised, but do not dismiss them as a failure. Loved ones need to be firm in their boundaries and understand that they will have support if they decide to seek change. The purpose of the intervention is to help the person, which should remain the most significant objective.

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