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Intervention

What is An Intervention?

Simply put, an intervention is the effort that friends or family put in to help a suffering addict realize that he has a problem that requires treatment at an inpatient rehabilitation center. Often, this kind of process is facilitated by an interventionist, who is a trained professional in this regard. Often, this person is trained in theology, addiction counseling, and social services and can help set up the intervention without causing the addict to become alienated or feel defensive, which would otherwise cause him to lash out at friends and family.

In order to be eligible to stage an intervention, the person in question needs to be addicted to a substance that is either harming his health or preventing him from engaging in everyday life with normal functionality. Addictions can include one to gambling, self-starvation, shopping, binge eating, drugs, or alcohol. Typically, the family and friends of the addict will work together with a course of action for the addict to take for help.

The Process

First and foremost, it is most common during the process of intervention for the friends and family to get into contact with the interventionist. Upon meeting with the family and friends of the addict, he will generally ask that each individual write a letter to the addict that details in what way the addiction has negatively impacted that person in life. The letters will be read during the intervention and are prepared in advance so that each person has something to say during the process. It is believed to help persuade the addict to get help and not become defensive if he hears the many different ways in which the addiction has been harming those close to him in his life.

At this point, the interventionist will then discuss how the actual event will occur, and the friends and family will then help work to figure out a neutral environment for this event to occur. The professional helps guide the loved ones through the process and will discuss what kinds of reactions that the addict will likely display as a result. These can result in denial of the addiction, anger at staging the intervention, or accepting that there is a problem that needs to be handled and that he will take care of. Family and friends are often willing to accept issuing an ultimatum to the addict. For example, family members may refuse to provide any personal or financial support in the event that the addict does not agree to enter treatment at an inpatient rehabilitation center.

Before the intervention occurs, those involved in the event are asked to keep it quiet so that the addict does not prepare for it in advance or avoids showing up at all. Normally, someone will be given the task of making sure the addict arrives to the intervention at the appropriate time. Once everyone is at the location, the professional informs the addict that he has arrived at an intervention and will request everyone begin reading from their letters out loud one by one. Afterward, it is up to the addict to decide whether he will enter an inpatient facility for treatment within a given time frame. If he chooses to refuse help, then the other individuals at the meeting are expected to keep their promises and refuse additional support to show that they will not help contribute to the destructive behavior of the addict. In this case, then the participants might try again with another intervention in the future if necessary.

Experts in mental health always advise having an interventionist around to confront the addict, especially depending on the kinds of drugs that the addict is abusing and the mental state he is in. This is because the addict has the potential to become violent during the intervention; most are in denial of having a problem in the first place and will become defensive if they feel that they are being attacked, especially with an ultimatum. Professionals can also assist with finding an acceptable inpatient facility that will work for the addict in question.

If the addict realizes that he has a problem that is affecting others and agrees to find help, then his loved ones will usually support his decision through the phase of treatment. They may attend peer-led groups to help understand what the addict faces and understand the addiction more.

In order to be successful, it is important to have much advanced planning. Team leaders can help family members organize interventions and explore options for treatment, but rehearsing the event without the addict present will help provide a smoother experience when the day comes. The professional may request that anybody currently with a hostile relationship with the individual not be present on that day.

Treatment Options

After an intervention, there are a number of different options for treating a substance abuser, which can be separated by the stage at which it occurs, the location of the process, and the type of treatment being conducted. The separations of the treatment does not mean that someone abusing a specific substance can only be treated through one kind of process, however; it is common for a substance abuser to go through a number of different kinds of treatment at different points or concurrently, and all individuals who successfully become free from an addiction can go through additional forms of recovery. Typically, the types of treatment are offered at various venues like an inpatient clinic, and different stages of treatment refer to detoxification of the substance and the recovery process after the physical dependence is over.

Ending the abuse of a substance means having to go through different points of treatment, starting with the actual cessation of the use of the drug, which requires professional support for the symptoms of withdrawal. Attempting to detoxify from a substance on one’s own is very dangerous, even if the abuse does not appear to be very significant to the addict and his family. In most instances, once the addict has been able to remove the substance from his body, patients later opt for additional ways to help maintain recovery, which can include ongoing care at an inpatient facility or discussing experiences with fellow peers.

Additional Factors with Intervention

In truth, the delineation between the different kinds of substance abuse treatment is largely artificial; most people suffering from an addiction will be a part of a long-term support program for their addiction that involves counseling with fellow peers and education about transitioning back to independent living.

The venue is another important factor. For example, there could be intervention strategies, intensive programs, or peer-led discussions. In most cases, it is important to first go through with detoxing before helping the individual learn how to live without the substance in his life.

Intensive programs can take several days while community discussions will include talks that are targeted with further understanding addiction and the issues that are ongoing as a result of the abuse of the substance. A brief intervention will usually only occur with someone who has abused a substance, but has not yet developed a true physical addiction to it.

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