Addiction Intervention Basics
Understanding what an intervention is and how it works can go a long way when the time comes that you must become part of an intervention on yourself or a loved one. Addiction intervention is the term commonly used to describe a set of behaviors used to approach an individual who suffers from addiction with an offer for help or drug addiction treatment. Addiction interventions are a way of gently confronting the addict in a way that will hopefully address their addictive behavior and get them to understand their dire need for treatment.
An addiction intervention sounds simple enough, right? You know someone that has a problem with drug or alcohol so you simply go up to them as a friend and say, “hey John, we both know you’ve got a problem with drugs and it’s time to get some help.” Unfortunately, if you have come to a point where an addiction intervention is necessary then you already know that confronting the individual in this way won’t work, it hasn’t worked and you need an alternative way to get the person in to treatment…and fast!
So what do you do? How do you get the individual to accept your help or the help of friends and family and attend an addiction treatment program immediately? You do so with an addiction intervention.
Factors to Consider When Planning an Addiction Intervention
There are some really important factors that you must first consider when planning an addiction intervention. First, you must consider the fact that an addiction intervention requires multiple people to work together to get the addict to go to treatment. You cannot do an addiction intervention on your own. At a minimum you need at least 2-3 other people who can influence the addict such as friends, family members or coworkers. You may also need the help of a qualified interventionist to help you perform the addiction intervention.
Addiction empowers the individual to make their own decisions (whether right or wrong) and you will need empowerment to overcome the various rebuttals of the addict during the intervention. The intervention should be a time when you show the addict how much you love them and how your love for them has influenced your desire to help by getting them into treatment for their addiction.
Next, an addiction intervention must be well planned. Sometimes the drug addiction of an individual will not allow for much planning time for the intervention and in these cases it is definitely helpful to have an interventionist help you with the planning and execution of the intervention. If the drug addiction is not as dire or the addict is not in severe danger to themselves or to others than you may be able to plan the addiction intervention on your own but either way it must be planned out thoroughly.
Successful planning of an addiction intervention includes building a team or support group that will take part in the intervention (this includes making sure that there are no addicts on the team), planning a place for the intervention to take place and a time that is going to be most effective for the intervention. Other factors to consider when planning an intervention include what type of treatment the addict should go in to, where the treatment will take place, how long the treatment program will last and financial obligations such as what treatment costs and how it will be paid for. Make sure that all ends have been met and tied before you confront the individual with the idea of treatment this way there is no way for the addict to back out because of financial obligations, a lack of understanding or any other possible excuse they may have—the addict will have all the excuses and reasons in the world to stay away from treatment and to continue with their drug habit, it’s part of the addiction.
How an Addiction Intervention Works
Addiction interventions work by showing the addict how much they are loved and how much support they can look forward to if they just walk away from their drug addiction. The intervention also shows the addict that their drug addiction is causing negative and undue consequences in their own life as well as in the lives of their loved ones. By coming together as a group and offering treatment to the addict, the intervention works to show the addict that there is a way to overcome their problem and that they can count on having the support that they didn’t know they had. The intervention empowers the individual to get the help they need to recover from drug addiction.
For the addict who doesn’t realize that they have an addiction problem or who doesn’t think that they have a problem with addiction, the intervention works to show them that not only is there a problem that is resulting in negative consequences but others (their friends and family members) have noticed the problem too. Sometimes it is very beneficial for an addict to realize that their problem is not “behind closed doors” and that others know what they are up to. The success of an addiction intervention is dependent upon the genuine care and love that is provided by those who have come together to perform the addiction intervention on the addict.