Anyone who has been living with an addicted person(s) for very long has heard the term “intervention.” An intervention is when a person or group of people comes together to confront someone who is addicted. The goal of an intervention is to get the drug or alcohol user into treatment. For some, interventions can be highly charged, emotional and stressful. For others they can be the event that changes the course of a severe abuse problem permanently.

The World Health Organization defines intervention as something that can range in time from 5 minutes to 30 minutes of meeting/counseling/preparation time with an intervention specialist. However much planning before this meeting has to take place to set it up and work out the logistics that go with it. For example family members and loved ones should speak with several rehabilitation centers before an intervention and locate one that will suit the needs of their loved one. In addition to this they should have the clothing and toiletry items ready to go in case the user agrees to treatment. The intervention specialist arrives and then the meeting will likely take place with the addict. Some interventionists will have the family and addict meet together, while others will handle the addict themselves, convincing him or her to enroll in treatment.

There are also some other ways to conduct an intervention. For example, The Intervention Guide explains that holding an intervention can be as simple ask just talking to your family member or loved one. It could be a basic conversation about his or her drug use and how they can receive help.

There is also another type of intervention called a ‘Family Intervention.’ According to the Mayo Clinic family members can put together an intervention where they sit down with the user and may involve group members like clergy members or friends of the drug user.

What Type of Intervention is Best

When it comes to substance abuse family members may have already exhausted all options in regards to speaking to the addict by themselves or holding a family intervention. In this case a professional intervention is usually a good option.  But conducting these types of interventions could help the addict to agree to treatment or at least make it clear that family and friends are aware of the problem.

At any rate the consensus seems to be that there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to intervention.  Whether or not it is a good option for you is dependent on you entirely.  Do you feel confident you can handle the situation on your own to a successful outcome?  Are you too emotionally involved to remain rational while confronting or handling your loved one?  And more to the point, can you confront the true reality of the situation?  Have you already tried everything you know to do and have not yet achieved success?  These are the questions that someone must ask themselves if contemplating an intervention.

The criteria you should base your final decision on is:  What is the most likely way of achieving success in getting my loved one to stop abusing drugs or alcohol?  Then proceed accordingly.  After all, that is the goal and the ultimate restored health and vitality of your loved one is the most important thing.

Intervention Options

There are a great number of intervention options available, not just in terms of the type but in terms of the service providers.  You can have your clergy perform the intervention, or a professionally credentialed person such as a licensed counselor or other health professional.  The growing trend though is in use of Peer Recovery Support Specialists.  These specialists are defined by Wikipedia as people that have recovered from their own substance abuse problem and devote their lives to helping others with similar problems.

In making the decision as to who you want to conduct your intervention you should:

  1. Determine which type of interventionist will be the most able to reach the person. Who is most likely to achieve the desired response of their agreement to get help?
  2. Talk to the potential interventionists, of varied qualifications (keeping #1 above in mind), and have them describe to you in detail their approach and methods.
  3. Get a list of references for the individual that you decide to hire. Talk to others that they have done interventions with.
  4. Make sure that the rehab program they are taking your loved one to is one that gets results with handling addiction and is a safe and effective option you help the drug user.

It is important to remember that taking the step to do an intervention can be the step that saves someone’s life. If you think that your loved one or family member is in need of intervention services feel free to contact us today for more information.