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Interventions Explained

An intervention can help motivate an individual to get help for an addiction. This might be an alcohol, drug, eating or other kind of addiction. It’s a carefully planned process that involves family, friend, colleagues, clergy and other contacts that care about the person struggling with the addiction. The idea is to confront the person to explain the consequences of his/her actions and ask him/her to get into treatment.

Specifically, the ones attending the intervention:

*Provide examples of destructive behaviors including their impact on the people involved
*Prepare a treatment plan that includes goals, guidelines and action steps
*Let the addict know what each person will do if the treatment is not accepted

An intervention is sometimes necessary because as an addict, the individual is often in denial about their situation. The person might also be unwilling to go into treatment. Addicts usually don’t recognize the negative impact they can have on others including their loved ones. The intervention is an attempt at structuring an opportunity for changes to be made before the situation deteriorates further.

The Intervention Team

The team may include from four to eight people who are important figures in the life of the addict. People who the addict dislikes, another addict or anyone who might stymie the intervention should not be present. If there is someone who should be there but cannot attend either voluntarily or involuntarily, s/he could be asked to write a note that could be read at the intervention.

Steps in an Intervention

An intervention usually takes the following approach:

Assemble a planning group: This consists of one to three people and may include a professional counselor.

Gather information: The members of the group research the extent of the problem as well as the condition and related treatment programs.

Prepare the team: The group determines who will actually attend the intervention and where it will be held. The idea is to present a consistent message and to not let the addict know that an intervention is being planned. The attendees need to write down and recite specific instances that resulted in problems, bad feelings and how the behavior of the addict has impacted them.

Deciding on consequences: The group decides what to do if the addict does not accept treatment. This may include something like removing a child or asking the addict to move out.

Attend the meeting: The loved one is asked to the site. The intervention team details how the addict has affected them and what changes will occur if treatment is not accepted.

Follow up: Involve someone to make sure the addict remains in treatment and does not relapse. This might include changing day-to-day behaviors.

A successful intervention is a well planned one. A poorly managed one can result in the loved one becoming even more isolated than before and still resistant to treatment.

Contact Recovery First to discuss an intervention. Our caring and knowledgeable counselors have a lot of experience in this area and will be able to offer some experienced, real-life counsel.

Call the number at the top of the screen to speak with someone about an intervention, today.

About The Contributor
The editorial staff of Recovery First is comprised of addiction content experts from American Addiction Centers. Our editors and medical reviewers have over a decade of cumulative experience in medical content editing and have reviewed thousands... Read More