If you have a family member or loved one who is battling addiction and you’re feeling frustrated and powerless, chances are that you have encountered the idea of intervention before. But what is an intervention exactly? How does intervention work and how do you go about staging a successful intervention? Better Tomorrow Treatment Center provides answers to these questions and more below.
What is an Intervention for Addiction?
An addiction intervention is a carefully planned process that involves confronting a loved one struggling with addiction about their destructive behavior in a respectful and non-judgmental way. The aim of an intervention is to encourage the individual to seek help and go through addiction treatment.
The intervention for addiction typically involves a structured meeting that includes the individual struggling with addiction, family members, friends, and an intervention specialist who guides the process. Each participant is given an opportunity to communicate how the individual’s addiction has affected them personally, while expressing their love and concern for the well-being of the individual. This is often done through letters or statements that are read aloud during the meeting.
How Do I Know If We Need an Intervention for Someone?
Knowing when an addiction intervention is necessary can be a complex and emotional process. Generally, it may be considered when someone’s addictive behaviors negatively impact their life and relationships, and when their attempts to quit or manage their addiction have been unsuccessful.
Here are some signs that may indicate the need for an addiction intervention
- The individual’s daily life is negatively impacted by their addiction. They may experience difficulties at school, work, or in personal relationships. If this is the case and the person isn’t showing any signs of stopping or willingness to accept help, then an intervention may be warranted.
- The individual displays risky behaviors, such as driving under the influence or engaging in unsafe sexual practices. When a person’s immediate safety or their life is in jeopardy, waiting for change or realization to occur may not be practical.
- The individual has developed a tolerance to their substance of choice, leading to increased use, difficulty quitting and increased risk-taking behaviors. This could mean criminal acts like stealing or robbery, frequently engaging with dangerous people, going to dangerous places or all three.
- The individual experiences withdrawal symptoms when attempting to quit or cut back, overdoses and/or encounters other unpleasant consequences, but continues to use with no signs of stopping.
- Loved ones have expressed concern and attempted to persuade the individual to seek help, without success. This is often the condition that most often motivates people to seek an addiction intervention. It is usually best to approach the person first to gauge their willingness to accept help and attempt to reason with them. The addiction intervention is something of a “last resort” when reason has failed.
Who Stages an Addiction Intervention?
Interventions for addiction are staged by family members, community leaders, 12-step sponsors and religious and spiritual leaders. There are also professionally trained intervention specialists called interventionists. Hiring a professional, whenever possible, is the best single decision you can make to help improve the chances of a successful intervention.
The interventionist helps facilitate the conversation, ensuring that everyone has a chance to speak, and guiding the group towards an effective outcome. The goal of the intervention is to encourage the individual to seek treatment by providing them with professional support, treatment options, and resources.
How Does an Addiction Intervention Work?
In the simplest sense, the ideal behind an addiction intervention is to “raise the bottom”. The “bottom” is the place an addicted person reaches where the discomfort or pain of using drugs outweighs the discomfort or fear they have for accepting help and going to treatment. It’s the place where they stop digging the hole they are in.
Most people who find recovery from addiction “hit bottom” all on their own, but it always takes some pain and difficulty to get there. Everyone’s bottom is different. Sadly, thousands of people die every year before they have a chance to reach their bottom and ask for help. This is a bigger risk than ever in light of the opioid epidemic and spike in overdose deaths.
Overcoming Obstacles to Success in an Addiction Intervention
Addiction intervention works, in part, by making accepting help or treatment the easiest, most attractive option for the person. This means setting hard boundaries, ending enabling behaviors and setting consequences. All of these boundaries and rules can be very hard to implement towards someone you love.
Codependency is often a factor that can undermine addiction intervention. This is one of the biggest reasons why hiring a professional interventionist to stage the intervention is wise. A successful intervention requires strict adherence to any boundaries set or conditions established. A professional who isn’t emotionally involved and cannot be manipulated is much better equipped to help you do this.
A Better Tomorrow for You and the One You Love
If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, Better Tomorrow Treatment Center wants to help. We can help, but only if you pick up the phone and establish first contact. From there life is going to start to get a whole lot better. It takes some patience and faith, but no matter how far down the rabbit hole you or your loved one seem to have fallen, recovery CAN happen. Make your first move today. Right now. Call us at (844) 989-1451