An intervention is more than a chance for the addict or alcoholic to seek treatment. In fact, when executed properly, an intervention is an opportunity for the entire addicted family. Addiction is a disease that breeds insanity, one that affects the family like no other can. An intervention can begin to undo the damage.
But it should always be performed by a trained professional. Otherwise, the outcome can be a disaster. However good their intentions, family members are often too close to the addict’s situation to be effective. A professional can maintain the distance necessary to insure at least some modicum of success.
An Overview of the Intervention Process
Every professional intervention is different. The way it plays out depends on the family dynamic involved. Usually, the family will need to set and enforce boundaries for the addicted member. The family must also decide what consequences will ensue should their drug use continue.
The interventionist begins by assessing the situation in some detail. She meets with the family, both as a group and individually. She listens to their concerns and answers any questions they might have, either about the intervention itself or what happens afterward. Treatment options will be discussed, as well as contingency plans should the addict refuse help.
It is not uncommon for the interventionist to let the addict know what’s going to happen in advance. This helps the addict be receptive. It also gives them a role in the treatment process. Helping the addict discover a sense of agency is one of the best ways to help them start toward recovery.
The interventionist will guide the process from beginning to end. They will step in should any conflicts arise. An intervention is not a time for blame, yelling, or name calling. It should remain calm and solution directed at all times. The family members will describe what effects the addict’s behavior has had on them. And the addict will be given time to respond.
The family will insist on the boundaries they’ve decided to put into place. At some point, talk will turn to possible treatment options. If interested, the addict will have a say in all this. If they are not willing to participate in treatment, the family will discuss the consequences of their refusal. Hopefully, the intervention will end with the addict entering the treatment process.
But an intervention can be successful regardless of the addict’s decision. If nothing else, at least the other family members will be able to resume their lives. They will also rest easy in the knowledge that they’ve done all they could to help. An intervention also makes it more likely that an unwilling addict seeks help in the future.