What is an Intervention?

One of the hardest things in life is watching a family member or friend’s life spiral down to complete destruction. When an individual is struggling with addiction, families also bear the consequences of the disease. As a result, families often experience a poor quality of life financially, psychologically and spiritually, and take on enabling and/or codependent behavior.

It’s challenging to help a loved one struggling with any type of addiction. Sometimes a direct, heart-to-heart conversation can start the road to recovery. But when it comes to addiction, the person with the problem often struggles to see it and acknowledge it. Some people enable the person’s addictions because they feel like they can “control” the situation and keep it from getting worse. At times, it can feel like there is nothing you can do for that person.

People who struggle with addiction are often in denial about their situation, and often unwilling to seek treatment. They may not recognize the negative effects their behavior has on themselves as well as everyone around them. It is often the case, when an person is trapped in the cycle of addiction, that they believe their addiction only impacts themselves.

The best way to get the attention of someone who is struggling with an addiction is by holding an intervention. At one time there was an attitude that people couldn’t be helped unless they “hit bottom” but that has changed. Often people who are resistant and enter treatment due to an intervention do very well. An intervention is the process by which an addict’s family, friends, counselors or professional intervention specialists can show the addict their self-destructive behaviors and how it affects themselves, family and friends. The immediate objective of an intervention is for the self-destructive person to listen and to accept help. The goal of intervention is to present the alcohol or drug user with a structured opportunity to accept help and to make changes before things get even worse.


How Do You Know If Your Loved One Is In Need Of An Intervention?

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, addiction is defined as “a chronic, relapsing brain disease that is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences.” If an individual is addicted to any substance and has indicated she does not wish to seek treatment, it may be time for an intervention.

Any time an individual is suffering from addiction and either does not understand she is addicted or does not seem to care about herself enough to seek help on her own, it is possible an intervention may help.

If you suspect that a loved one is dealing with alcohol or drug addiction it is imperative to reach for help as soon as possible. If a person acknowledges they need help, makes promises to get help, but doesn’t follow through it is a sign that an intervention may be necessary. Additionally, the following statements often indicate that an intervention is the best next step:

“I don’t need help”
“No, I won’t go to treatment”
“The problem isn’t that bad”
“It is my life, it’s no ones business”
“I’m not hurting anyone else”

Have you tried different methods to get your loved one to accept help but were unsuccessful? This is understandable. When families try on their own to overcome opposition with a loved one, it is very difficult and usually unsuccessful due to the personal and emotional connection.

Without competent assistance, dealing with destructive behaviors can leave families discouraged or convinced that nothing can be done.


What Is The Solution?

Fortunately, these are the exact type of difficulties interventionists are trained to deal with. There is a solution that will bring hope for you and your loved one. When working with a trained professional, your loved one is given a clearer vision and understanding of the options that are presented to them in a loving, supportive environment.


Professional Support

Anyone who calls the Surasky Neurologic Center for Addiction to request an intervention will be encouraged to talk to a counselor first, as often times a professional intervention is not necessary. However, there are times when an intervention is critical. We work with a highly successful team of interventionists. If your loved one is suffering with drug or alcohol addiction and have been unwilling to get help, don’t hesitate to reach for professional help and call us immediately.


How Do Drug Interventions Work?

A professional drug interventionist will call together the family and close friends of the subject, and initially discuss the best course of action to take regarding what is said, and how best to get the subject to the meeting. A strategy will then be executed to bring the user to the meeting (often under the guise of something else) where the users loved ones and friends will be gathered waiting. The professional drug interventionist explains to the user how their drug addiction has affected their relationship with each person in the room in a negative way. The family and friends will have been coached and prepared on what to say during the drug intervention. In many cases, the interventionist will work with your insurance company and the highest quality inpatient rehab facilities to ensure that a bed is available and waiting for your loved one.