What Is a Drug Intervention
By definition, an intervention is “action taken to improve a situation, especially a medical disorder.” In the case of a drug intervention, that is exactly what happens. Becoming more common, this process of organizing an intervention to help those inflicted with addiction, rather than punishing them.
An intervention is a process where an addicts family and friends with the help of a professional interventionist, can show the addict his or her destructive behavior with immediate treatment plans following the conclusion of the intervention.
How Does an Intervention Work?
The first step is for the family to realize that their loved one is completely spiraling out of control and needs their help and support to get better. The most important factor in an intervention is proper preparation. Much of what happens and how the intervention is going to work is decided before the addict is involved.
The goal of any intervention is to encourage the addict to seek help at a treatment center by setting boundaries, while giving the family and friends of the addict a time for them to express how that person has affected them.
The intent is to engage in a structure conversation with the addict in a non-confrontational manner. The immediate objective of any intervention is for the addict to listen to what their family and friends have to say and to ultimately accept the treatment that is set up.
According to Psychology Today, “addicts are more likely to seek treatment when they undergo an intervention, but interventions don’t affect the outcome of treatment itself. In general, an intervention is a last-ditch effort for an addict who has consistently refused treatment or fallen off the sobriety wagon. Consequently, most people who undergo interventions are already heavily entrenched in their addictions. But when addicts have strong social support and access to good treatment, they’re more likely to get better; an intervention can serve as a rallying point for a family that is dedicated to helping a loved one achieve wellness.”
Step 1: Realize that your loved one needs professional help and intervention to get better.
Step 2: Get help from a professional interventionist, social worker, or doctor. This is a group effort and supporting one another through this process is crucial.
Step 3: Work with your interventionist who will work with you to form an intervention team. This core group is usually made up of family members, close friends, coworkers, or children of the addicted individual. Anyone who is currently struggling with drugs and alcohol themselves should not be on the intervention team.
Step 4: Make sure you are well prepared with a set plan. Your interventionist will guide you through crucial parts of the plan such as scheduling a specific date and time, location, and agenda of the intervention. It is important to know exactly how things will go, and what each individual will say so on the day of, emotions don’t take over and cause chaos.
Step 5: Each person on the intervention team should write their own intervention letter. For more information on how to write an intervention letter, visit the next page.
Step 6: Set boundaries. There needs to be consequences for your loved one in place, incase they refuse accepting the intervention. Only then can your loved one feel pressure and the severity of their addiction or alcoholism problems. Learn more about setting boundaries here.
Step 7: Practice! An intervention can be an emotional rollercoaster for those involved. While having a professional interventionist there to guide you through the process, it is important to stay close to the planned agenda. In order to ensure everything goes smoothly, plan a rehearsal or run-through of the intervention beforehand. This can help avoid issues like blaming, self-pity, time constraints, etc. Practicing can also allow everyone involved feel confident in the process and their part in it.
Step 8: Have treatment set up and offer help to your loved one affected. Those hosting the intervention should be willing to provide necessary support while the addict is in rehab. Your professional interventionist in conjunction with the admissions team at GateHouse Treatment will work with your family to have every detail including transportation set up so when your loved one accepts the help, the transition to treatment is immediate.
When is an Intervention is Necessary?
There are three simple criteria to be able to judge whether an intervention is necessary.
- The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) defines addiction as a “primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry. Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social and spiritual manifestations. This is reflected in an individual pathologically pursuing reward and/or relief by substance use and other behaviors.” The person you are considering to be the focus of your intervention must first be recognized as an addict. To know if your loved one is addicted, look for signs & symptoms of addiction, and if needed talk to a professional interventionist.
- If your loved one has been to treatment repeatedly before, with no avail. Many times, the addicted individual needs boundaries to be set, and the loved ones of an addicted individual need guidance from a professional. In this case, an intervention can definitely be beneficial.
- If the family and friends of the addicted individual have no experience with dealing with addiction or alcoholism, then calling a professional interventionist to help with hosting an intervention can be beneficial to the family as well as ensuring the loved one gets to treatment immediately. This can be the difference between life and death.
If you have any questions about a drug intervention for a loved one or how to be an interventionist, contact GateHouse Treatment today at (855) 448-3638
Reminders for Your Intervention:
- Bring all your written documentation, including letters, treatment resources, and any personal resources you want to keep on hand to remind you.
- Follow the direction and lead of the professional interventionist guiding you through the process. Ask questions, and be open.
- Follow rules of the intervention set by your interventionist and announced at the start of the intervention
- Avoid judgement or confrontation
- Trust that you have done all the preparation you can, and the outcome is up to the individual suffering.