What is an Intervention?

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How To Stage An Intervention For An Alcoholic

It is always a challenge to convince someone battling with drug or alcohol addiction to get help. People with addictive behaviors are often in denial of their situation. Most of the time they are not willing to seek treatment because they do not recognize or acknowledge that there is an existing problem.

If this is the situation you may need to stage an intervention, but you must plan it very carefully. You may need to seek the help of others to help you take action. Staging an intervention is one of the first approaches that you can do to save your loved one before things truly get out of hand.

An intervention is a carefully planned encounter where members of the family and concerned friends come together to talk to a loved one about their addiction and how it affects everyone, not just the person with the addiction.

The main goal of an intervention is simple: to convince the loved one that there is a problem and to get the proper medical care to recover and heal. Everyone at the intervention should understand and agree with this goal.

A doctor or a licensed drug counselor is often consulted first or invited to the intervention. This counselor sets the goals and guidelines for each participant in the process and what to do in case the individual refuses treatment.

When to Intervene with a Loved One?

The decision to have an intervention for a loved one is difficult. Not only is it emotional, but determining that it is necessary isn’t straightforward. Addiction is an illness and it seems to have a genetic component, but it can’t be detected by a blood test. People with addictions are skilled at concealing it and addiction can mask itself as something else. So when is the best time to intervene with a loved one?

Here are some common signs and symptoms of addiction. If you see your loved one manifests any of these, then it is time that you make a decision.

  • Skin Infections and Abrasions
  • Aggressive or Passive behavior
  • Lack of motivation
  • Deterioration of personal hygiene and appearance
  • Change in sleep pattern (more or less)
  • Items in the house go missing
  • Always borrowing money
  • Wears long sleeves even on warm days
  • Has problems in school or at work

How to Stage an Intervention?

It is easy to understand the meaning of intervention. Creating, developing, and arranging the intervention is the hard part. While the task could be overwhelming, careful planning will greatly increase the odds of a positive outcome.

To plan and stage a successful intervention you need to:

  • Hire a licensed drug or alcohol counselor or intervention specialist
  • Select the people that will take part in the intervention
  • Choose the proper time and venue to conduct the intervention

Find an Intervention Specialist

To stage an intervention, find a professional who is an expert in addiction to help you: a social worker, a licensed drug or alcohol counselor, a psychologist, or an intervention specialist. Such specialists will help you organize an effective and structured intervention by:

  • Considering your loved one’s condition.
  • Enumerating various ways on how to approach this condition.
  • Offering guidance on what kind of treatment is most likely to work.
  • Assisting you in case the individual is in denial

Form Your Intervention Group

An intervention group is usually composed of four to six members. These are the people who are most important in the life of the individual, people whom the individual respects and depends upon. The intervention specialist can help you narrow down the right people for the intervention team.

Common member of the team are:

  • Fellow church members
  • Best friend
  • Other close friends
  • Spouses
  • Parents
  • Grandparents
  • Co-workers

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Learn and Rehearse

The intervention specialist will instruct the members of the group about addiction and recovery. Each member must have compassion and thorough knowledge about addiction. The individual with an addiction will probably feel angry and cornered anyway, so it must be clear that the intervention is coming from a place of love.

Next, each member of the team should enumerate how the loved one’s addiction and actions have hurt them personally. These should be written down and reviewed by the intervention specialist to make sure they contain no unnecessary details or hurtful language.

Choose an Intervention Meeting Place and Time

The time and place of the intervention is an important factor in its success. Your addicted loved one should be at ease during the intervention, so the place should be:

  • Not threatening or overwhelming.
  • Private.
  • Someplace the loved one feels safe.

As for the time, schedule the intervention at a time when the addicted loved one is sober and can spare the 30 or 90 minutes the intervention will last.

Be Prepared for Anything

Despite careful and meticulous planning, there is no guarantee that the intervention will be successful. It is difficult to predict or control the reaction of people with addictions when they are confronted, even a loved one. They may be in denial or unwilling to get help. They may be more deeply addicted than you realize. So, be prepared for anything.

The intervention specialist‘s professional experience may help greatly in handling potential surprises by calming down your loved one, toning down the level of hostility, and making sure that the process remains productive and peaceful. Someone whose authority your loved one respects may help also.

If things get so far out of hand that your loved one physically endangers the intervention team, immediately call 911.

Perceptions of Intervention

Intervention is gaining popularity in the United States and other parts of the world. Many think that intervention is an effective way of convincing an addicted loved one to enter into a drug rehabilitation and treatment center. Over the past decade, interventions have become a favorite subject in pop culture.

These types of reality TV shows may raise awareness on the benefits of intervention, however, they poorly reflect the right attitude towards the process. There is a common misconception that they require a hostile confrontation with an addicted loved one. A&E’s Intervention, for instance, shows the process as a tough event. This is not usually the case.

Intervention is a good opportunity for friends and family to show their care and concern to their addicted loved one. It is a time to share their concerns with their troubled family member and improve the likelihood of a positive treatment result. By expressing their perceptions, fears, and pains, they can help the addicted loved one to find a healthy way out with good family therapy.

The Next Steps Forward

The intervention team should set recovery goals after the intervention takes place, but they also should plan and prepare in case the intervention is unsuccessful. There is no guarantee the addicted loved one will accept treatment. The intervention may be perceived as a betrayal. Prepare yourself emotionally should this happen but be hopeful that a positive change can still take place.

If the intervention does not work, the intervention team may have to walk away. If the relationship with your loved one is destructive, you may have to remove yourself for your own sake.

If you have a family member showing signs and symptoms of alcohol or drug abuse or addiction, seek help immediately. You can call Mountain Springs Recovery today. Our medical professionals will assist in helping your loved one get help for addiction.

Medical disclaimer:

Sunshine Behavioral Health strives to help people who are facing substance use disorder, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.

Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.

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