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Addiction Intervention

Many times, a person may be addicted to drugs or alcohol and not be able to see that it is a problem. They may deny it to others, even if they secretly know the truth. In other cases, they really believe they can handle everything on their own. When the addiction begins interfering with their lives and hurting those around them, the next step is typically an addiction intervention.

What an Intervention Looks Like

An addiction intervention often begins when a family member or friend wants to hold one. They may seek out professional help to organize it, and they often get others involved. An intervention is a pre-planned meeting with multiple people and the addict. Everyone has a chance to express their feelings and explain how addiction is impacting them.

Each person who sits in on the intervention has a chance to speak to the addict. They will give concrete examples of what it has done to them. One person will explain what is expected of the addict and what the consequences will be if they do not seek treatment.

An intervention may be informal or formal. In an informal intervention, the family or friends decide to intervene on their own. A formal intervention includes a professional with experience in handling these situations. They will guide the intervention and may even educate participants on addiction, so that they can better understand what the person is going through.

A formal intervention is beneficial in many cases, especially if the addict is expected to react violently or in anger. If the person has a mental health disorder, it is best to have a trained person on hand. A professional interventionist can keep the process moving along smoothly and monitor the situation to tell if it should end. They can answer questions about the treatment as well.

Types of Intervention

Interventions are not all the same. They can use different formats based on which method seems to be the best fit for the participants and the addict. They may include more than one meeting as well.

  • Motivational interviewing – a process often seen in therapy, it is also used in interventions where the leader asks questions of the addict to get them to see the problem and make a commitment to change.
  • ARISE (A Relational Intervention Sequence of Engagement) – three phases are included in this type of intervention with multiple meetings, treatment for the family as well as the person, and preventing relapse.
  • CRAFT (Community Reinforcement and Family Training) – the addict receives rewards for taking positive steps to decrease drug use and to help motivate them to attend treatment.

These types of interventions are usually conducted by a professional, and they often have better results than the traditional confrontation method.


Preparing for Intervention

Before the intervention, all of the participants need to be prepared. They can write down their thoughts and create a script of what they want to say. This also helps prevent them from getting distracted by the comments of the addict.

Only people who can remain calm should participate. They must expect negative words and behaviors from the addict and not let them impact their responses and attitudes. They must stick with what they decide for consequences if the individual does not agree to treatment, and should be prepared to follow through.

An intervention can be successful even if no change is immediately made. Sometimes it can take days or weeks of the person suffering the consequences of their decision before they decide to get the help they need. While interventions do not work for everyone, they are a valuable resource when you are unable to get a loved one to realize their need for help. For more information about the benefits of holding and addiction intervention, dial an addiction specialist today