Part III: Intervention – Getting outside/professional help to get a loved one to realize the seriousness of their problem
An intervention is getting a trusted outsider and/or professional to intervene and address your loved one’s addiction problem. It is an effective means of helping your loved one realize they have a problem and ensuring they seek treatment – especially in cases where your loved one is refusing to accept that they have a problem and/or that the problem is spiraling out of control – either in a crisis situation, or even if you just want to help your loved one before their condition deteriorates further.
An intervention aims at trying to get individuals suffering from addiction to see that they have a serious problem – firstly by providing them with concrete examples of how they are harming themselves and those around them and then getting the addicted individual to go to rehab immediately, laying down the consequences for not seeking treatment. This is known as Pretreatment Intervention. Intervention might also aim at just getting the individual to change his or her behaviors instead of going to rehab. This type of intervention is referred to as Brief Intervention. Here, the consequences are laid down for not changing behavior. Brief Intervention is usually done in less severe cases and when it does not work pre-treatment intervention may be used.
You can either plan an intervention yourself, involving close family members, friends and other significant people in the addicted person’s life (colleagues, community leaders, clergy etc.), or you can seek professional help. An intervention requires a lot of planning. In the former case all members who will be participating in the intervention need to work together on coming up with examples of how the addicted person’s behavior has become a problem for him/herself and those around them. The consequences each one plans to lay down, if the individual does not agree on getting treated, need to be determined, along with the treatment plan. The date and venue also have to be agreed upon. When planning an intervention on your own, it might be a good idea to have neutral mediator or a third party person present at the intervention ? someone who remains objective and ensures the intervention is focused and achieves its objective.
When you seek professional help, the professional usually meets with family, friends and significant others and then works on examples, consequences and a treatment plan for the Intervention. You can contribute and make changes to the intervention plan with the professional.
Whilst all participants in the intervention are informed of the agenda, date and place, the individual who is addicted is not told anything beforehand and is usually taken to the place of intervention on some other pretext.
An intervention might take more than one session to achieve its goal, but it has been proved to be successful in most cases. The rate of recovery for addicts who have been subjected to intervention is high and for many addicts who have recovered from addiction, the treatment started with intervention. The only reason an intervention might fail is because the individual is not self motivated and/or has decided that he/she does not want to quit using the addictive substances.