What Is Involved in Drug and Alcohol Interventions?

When someone is suffering from substance abuse disorder or alcoholism, they often become withdrawn from those around them and alienated from their loved ones. However, they are invariably not the only ones suffering from the destructive effects of addiction and loved ones, close friends and co-workers are often caught up in the chaos with painful consequences.

This is the principal reason many loved ones of addicted people take matters into their own hands by enlisting intervention help for families from a qualified professional like an interventionist in San Francisco or in an intervention rehab center.

Intervention is a word that’s commonly used although people may not be fully aware of its definition. In this article, we seek to clarify what’s involved in taking action and getting a loved one the treatment they need by staging a drug intervention.

What Is an Intervention?

As the word implies, an intervention is an event that’s planned as an “interruption” of someone’s damaging or negative behaviors. It is not supposed to be a confrontational occasion which will only serve to push someone with addiction further into isolation. Because of the delicate nature of an intervention and the possibility that things may not always go to plan, it is always advisable to be absolutely sure that a loved one has a problem before taking the next step.

What Happens in An Intervention?

An intervention usually takes place at a neutral location where nobody feels they have the upper hand in the situation. It generally involves a small group of people who are close to someone who has issues with alcohol or drugs and is intended the persuade them to reach out for professional treatment.

Some of the objectives of an intervention include:

  • Getting the loved one to recognize that their behavior is having a damaging effect on others
  • Showing them that they are loved and supported by the people close to them to encourage them to voluntarily accept help
  • Making them aware of just how different their personalities and actions have become while their addiction has been deepening and reminding them of what their goals and objectives used to be
  • Point out to them exactly what the consequences of their substance abuse will be if they continue to use and refuse to accept help

Participants in an intervention should have a very clear idea of what they want to say before it takes place. This enables them to voice their concerns in such a way as to be matter-of-fact rather than confrontational and ensures that the intervention doesn’t become heated or aggressive. Loved ones who are the focus of their family’s intervention should not feel in any way ambushed by those closest to them.

Who Needs a Drug Addiction Intervention?

When people have a better understanding of what a drug intervention is, their next question is often “who needs one?”

Drug interventions are most often intended for people who are in denial that they have a problem with alcohol or drugs despite the fact that many around them have seen very clear warning signs. Someone who is not capable of accepting they have addiction illness is unlikely to get to the point where they choose to reach out for help. In these cases, an intervention is often the only way to get them the treatment they need.

A common characteristic of someone who is in denial of addiction is for them to blame others for their behaviors and actions when confronted with their substance abuse. It is important to remember that they are not choosing to ignore they have a problem but because of the nature of addiction, they no longer have self-control.

Cravings for drugs and alcohol become progressively stronger as dependence develops which can trigger significant changes in a person’s personality. One of these changes is to lose the ability to accept their behavior has consequences for themselves and others so that they have no sense of accountability for their actions.

Interventions can be incredibly emotional experiences for all participants which is why many people seek professional intervention help for families. Everything from the timing of the event and its location through to what will be said when and by whom has to be carefully planned ahead of an intervention so as to maximize chances of success. At the same time, participants have to be prepared for unpredictable outbursts and potentially violent behavior which is where professional intervention guidance can be of invaluable assistance.

The presence of a neutral third-party who is qualified to lead proceedings for the best outcomes can do much to instill a sense of calm to an intervention. A mediator who can help loved ones communicate clearly and without anger with one another can guide the dialogue so that everyone gets the maximum benefits. They can also clear the path for loved ones and their families to take the next significant step of entering rehab.