Addiction Interventions

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When drug addicts are falling quickly, loved ones are often at a loss of what to do. They want to help, but can no longer enable the addict to continue his or her behavior. Interventions have become a popular way to give the addict a firm ultimatum. Some drug and alcohol interventions are performed with professional interventionists. Others, however, are done without professional help.

Drug and alcohol interventions must have preperation in order to be effective. The group of concerned loved ones convenes and discusses what will occur during the intervention. A leader is chosen, who is usually someone who is stable, unreactive, and knows the addict well. The group discusses what they know for certain about the person’s drug abuse. They each develop a list or letter that usually includes how they have been effected by the person’s drug abuse. Moreover, how they have seen the addict fall over time, that they want him or her to go to treatment, and what consequences there will be if they do not agree to go. They pick a time and place for the intervention, as well as a method to bring the addict to it.

Interventions begin with finding a reason to have the addict in a certain place at a certain time. It’s agreed upon by most interventionists that it’s better that the addict is caught off-guard. Therefore, they are more likely to allow themselves to be vulnerable and honest. When the addict arrives and finds their family and/or friends all present in one room, they may become angry. Many addicts are familiar with interventions, and may know immediately what is happening.

The addict is asked to sit down by the leader and simply listen to what the people that love him or her have to say. Each member takes turns reading their letter, asking at the end that the addict attend a treatment center, and providing loving boundaries. These boundaries, such as cutting the person off financially, not providing shelter, or cutting off all communications, are not meant to be threats. They are intended to help the addict see the full scope of their problem and how heavily they have affected their loved ones.

Drug and Alcohol Intervention Goals

The goal of the intervention is for the addict or alcoholic to agree to go to a treatment center. Sometimes the person is simply not ready, or not willing to take a look at their problem. If the person does not go to treatment, the concerned group follows through with their promises of consequences, and hopes that willingness will come soon. Hopefully, however, the person will agree to go to treatment, and just begin to see how much their actions have affected their family.


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It is hard to have well-defined statistics on drug and alcohol interventions, but some consider them to be the most effective form of getting treatment for an addict or alcoholic. Generally speaking, drug and alcohol interventions are more successful than simply suggesting treatment to an addict. The goal of an intervention is usually to have the struggling addict attend a treatment program. However, even if the individual does not go to treatment, the intervention has still served a great purpose. The family and friends have set boundaries and laid out consequences if the person does not go to treatment, and hopefully they can stick to these.

The goal of this is that within a short period of time, the addict sees how lost he or she is without the enabling of the family, and seeks treatment. Keep in mind that drug and alcohol interventions are just the first step in the long road to recovery an addict must travel through. It is important that family and friends stay supportive of the addict and their recovery program. It is a good idea for family members to seek treatment themselves. There are family programs at many treatment centers that can be beneficial to family members who have been affected by the disease of addiction. Also attending al-anon meetings is a good way to meet people in your community who have gone through the same things you are going through.

A professional interventionist takes away the stress of planning and executing an intervention for the first time. They will take on the burden of the decision making process and make sure everything runs as smoothly as possible.

The interventionist will direct the entire intervention, he or she will advise on who should be involved with their intervention and where and when it will be held. They will direct the entire process and do their best to provide the right type of care for the addict.When loved ones are in active addiction the family may feel like they have nowhere to turn to.

They may feel like they may feel as if they have utilized all of their resources and may never be able to reach the addict. In many instances the love of a family is not enough to propel the substance abuser into treatment. Hiring a professional can give families the support and knowledge they need to get their loved one into treatment. Interventionists and professionals in the field of addiction have firsthand experience and insight into what goes through the addict’s brain.

Understanding the Process

In most cases, family members cannot fathom what is running through their loved ones mind and don’t understand why they are so resistant in seeking sobriety. Interventionists educate the entire family on what is going on with the addict and how they can give their loved one the best opportunity to start the recovery process.

The help of a professional interventionist can give a family the strength to finally put their foot down and say “enough is enough”. Interventionists help to promote family unity helps to keep everyone involved on the same page. They help families to realize what they are doing wrong, how they are enabling the addict, and how they can finally put a stop to the madness. The interventionist will help the family to realize they need to stop enabling their drug use. Cutting ties with a loved one or cutting them off financially can be tough, but if they do not agree to get the help they need this type of tough love is necessary.

An interventionist is there to guide families through the process and support their positive action. Having someone outside the family talk to the addict may allow them to listen and receive the advice better. Hiring an interventionist will provide the best possible chance of getting a loved one into treatment. They will be there to orchestrate the entire intervention process and to assure that the addict has the best opportunities available. The benefits of hiring an interventionist make it a viable and important resource that can be influential when trying to get a loved one to agree to treatment.

Although they have a high success rate, all drug and alcohol interventions are not successful. The first and most important thing about an unsuccessful intervention is for the members to not blame themselves. If somebody is not ready, then they are simply not ready.

During the intervention, the group lays out consequences for the addict if they choose not to go. It is imperative that everyone holds to their boundaries, and not enable the addict. Not enabling the addict allows the user to hit a lower bottom. Most addicts choose to get sober only when their life is unbearable for them. Cutting off finances, shelter, and communication like promised actually can help the person achieve sobriety sooner.

Many times an addict might refuse help after an intervention. However if family and friends stick to their bottom lines and quit enabling the addicted person there is a good chance they will ask for help somewhere down the line. Some addicts might be able to survive for a period of time without outside help. However many addicts eventually use up all their resources, this is when many addicts will accept the help of a drug rehab.

Drug and alcohol interventions are becoming an increasingly popular method of helping a loved one find the treatment they need. Interventions are designed to show the afflicted individual that they have people in their lives who truly love and care about them, and to help them find a healthier path. Oftentimes, the goal of an intervention is to have the subject go to an inpatient treatment center. This method is fairly successful, as the addict has his life held before his eyes, and is hopefully able to see the problem or at least care about his family.

The individual may be resentful from the beginning of the intervention. The addict usually has to be tricked into showing up to the location of the intervention, and this alone can cause anger. On top of that, they may notice a professional interventionist present. The presence of a stranger butting into their personal and family life may also arouse anger. As the intervention goes on, the addict may become defensive or even angry at what he or she perceives as accusations. In reality the family and loved ones should be trying to help, and not reactive to any outbursts.

Although the individual may be angry at first with the intervention, it is important to distinguish between anger and denial. The resentment that arises out of an intervention is usually centered around the addict feeling betrayed, tricked, attacked, or judged. These feelings are really just manifestations of the guilt, shame, and depression of addiction.

Although the addict may initially be resentful, the hard feelings almost always diminish over time. Those who have had interventions and have remained sober report their initial anger turning into gratitude. When the addict is sober and thinking more clearly, he or she may find that the intervention saved their life. The resentment during the intervention is mostly the addict talking, and not the individual. Those performing an intervention must remember to come from a place of love, and to not react to any anger the user shows.