How Does an Intervention Work?

Edited by Paul Alexander

Last updated November 25, 2019

Dealing with addiction in the family is a very stressful experience. You may be at your wit’s end and worried about your loved one’s health and safety. Perhaps you’re frustrated, feeling that your friend or family member is in denial about needing help. When other attempts to get them into treatment haven’t worked, or you’re unsure about how to approach the topic, an intervention can be beneficial.

Before taking action, you should have a general idea of what the intervention process looks like. Northbound Treatment offers comprehensive alcohol and drug rehab programs for substance abuse disorder. We’re here to help at every stage of recovery, including confronting your loved one about their habits. Keep reading for tips and guidance on the best way to do a drug and alcohol intervention.

What Is an Addiction Intervention?

So, what’s an intervention and how do interventions work? An intervention is a highly structured, planned conversation involving close family and friends, the person with an active addiction, and an intervention specialist. Northbound’s rehabilitation center has a team of on-site interventionists, as well as a network of connections throughout the country, to assist with out-of-state interventions. You do not have to go through the intervention process alone.

What to Know About the Drug and Alcohol Intervention Process

Maybe you’re wondering if a professional intervention is something you should consider. What if it’s not time yet? Perhaps you fear your family member isn’t ready to talk about it. Or what if you don’t really need to hold an alcohol or drug addiction intervention for your loved one? It’s common to have questions and concerns like these. In fact, many people who are (or have been) in your shoes have wondered the exact same things. It’s all part of the intervention process.

The truth of the matter is that your family member may never be “ready to talk about it.” They might never feel truly comfortable discussing their addiction with you. But that doesn’t mean you should continue to wait for the “right time” because it may never come. So, it’s up to you to help your struggling friend or family member before the situation worsens.

If you’re still unsure about how to stage an intervention, Northbound Treatment is here to assist. This is a very challenging thing to do. And yet it may be your only chance to help the person you love to break free from substance abuse. So, if you think an intervention might be necessary but you’re not quite sure, it’s best to keep an eye out for the signs.

How Does the Intervention Process Work?

Normally, a team of individuals gathers during an intervention with the purpose of addressing a friend or family member about his or her addiction. Ultimately, the goal is to encourage the individual to get professional help. Substance abuse negatively affects individuals who suffer from it, but it also impacts their friends and family members. The intervention process often brings these things to light, helping the addicted individual understand the consequences of their substance abuse problem.

The intervention group taking part in the process should consist of individuals who truly care about the person. It should be people who can control themselves in emotionally charged atmospheres. After all, it’s highly likely there will be challenging moments during the meeting, and high emotions can sometimes cause interventions to be ineffective. For example, individuals may feel the need to place blame on others or unnecessarily bring up negative instances from the past. This can cause problems and prevent the meeting from being successful.

During an intervention, the family members of the person struggling with addiction can discuss the effects of the problem. Doing so in a safe, neutral, and comfortable setting helps ensure each person feels secure and free to speak truthfully.

After the team establishes a location, they can prepare to hold the intervention. It’s important to go over what you’ll discuss in the meeting and talk about the intervention process in detail, including who will speak first and how long each person will talk.

Next, it’s time to intervene. During the meeting, individuals may discuss their concerns and feelings. This can help the addicted individual to see the importance of making a change. Also, during the intervention, group members can talk about the consequences that might occur if they don’t get help. In some cases, this might mean the person may no longer be allowed to live at home.

If the individual does not decide to get professional help, the consequences must be enforced. If, however, they choose to make a change, it’s crucial to take immediate action. Be sure to have a treatment center lined up to admit your loved one after the professional intervention.

Knowing When to Intervene

Here are some common signs that it’s time for an intervention:

  • Your loved one has an increased level of tolerance. Have you noticed they drink a little more alcohol in one setting than before? Maybe they’re using more medication than usual, or perhaps they take pain pills “just in case.” 
  • The individual is spending more and more time alone. Maybe your friend or family member is starting to show signs of social isolation. Your loved one might also lose interest in things they used to enjoy.
  • Financial hardship is becoming apparent. Addiction has a way of causing people to struggle financially, as continuous alcohol or drug use can rewire the brain and cause impaired judgment. This may lead people to make irresponsible decisions. Also, when a person depends on alcohol or drugs, they struggle to function without it. As a result, they often spend a substantial amount of their money obtaining their drug of choice.
  • Your loved one has lost a job or failed classes. Many times, people who suffer from addiction struggle to succeed in school or at work. They may have difficulty getting to work on time, or they might struggle to keep up with their studies.
  • There’s an obvious lack of self-care. Addiction can cause people to lose interest in personal hygiene, nutrition, and physical fitness.

The Importance of Professional Guidance

If a loved one is in denial about the extent of their substance use or is unwilling or unable to recognize the negative effects, an intervention can shed light on the reality of the situation. That being said, the best way to do an intervention is under the guidance of an addiction expert. 

The intervention specialist will work with your family to:

  • Identify concrete examples of the person’s destructive behavior
  • Create a narrative of what each person will say
  • Determine a plan of action for when your loved one either accepts or refuses treatment

A professional interventionist will walk you through setting it up, helping you to figure out the best time or place for the confrontation. They can also help you recruit a good intervention team to carry out the process. Finally, the intervention specialist can be present during the meeting to help guide and mediate if needed. This may be extremely beneficial because interventions can be very emotional, and it can be hard to stay on track. The professional interventionist can help to keep everything together in those trying moments.

Once you and your family come to the conclusion that an addiction intervention is necessary, it’s vital that you follow through with it. It may, however, be difficult to know where to start. After all, your loved one is suffering from a disease. This illness changes how your family member thinks and feels, so it may be challenging to convince them to get help. The last thing you want is to make your loved one feel as though you’re attacking them. The goal is not to place blame or make the person feel ashamed. Instead, the intervention process about showing them how much you care and how concerned people are for their well-being.

Let Northbound Treatment Help You and Your Family

It’s never too late to get your loved one the help they need. Here at Northbound, we truly believe that recovery is possible. Through an organized intervention, our team can help your loved one break the cycle of denial and steer their life in a positive direction. When they enroll in one of our alcohol or drug rehab programs, you can have peace of mind knowing that they’re in a safe environment receiving the personalized treatment they need. In addition, family members are engaged in the recovery process.

If you’re concerned about someone you love, contact Northbound Treatment today about talking to an intervention specialist. Give us a call at (888) 978-8649.

External sources:

Article Reviewed by Paul Alexander

Paul AlexanderPaul Alexander is the founder and CEO of Northbound Treatment. He received his Certified Addiction Treatment Specialist training at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, CA, and was awarded Outstanding Alumni Service Award in 2002. Paul holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminology, Law and Society, Summa Cum Laude, from University of California, Irvine, and a Juris Doctorate degree from Loyola Law School of Los Angeles. He believes wholeheartedly in transformational leadership, organizational health and effective, fully integrated substance use disorder treatment.

LinkedIn

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

accreditations
accreditations