An intervention is the act of intervening and confronting someone in hopes that any destructive or problematic behavior of the individual will change. This is particularly used in the case of addiction. Because someone addicted to a substance can struggle to see that they need help, family members or friends may step in and offer a solution-based method to get the person they love to treatment. However, in many cases, family or friends advice may not be enough. That’s where trained interventionists step in. These professionals are trained in addressing a person with a substance abuse disorder, often knowing how to help the addict see that rehab is not only necessary but desirable in order to live a fulfilling life free from drugs. Fortunately, there are drug and alcohol rehab centers that employ these special workers and help the transition to drug or alcohol rehab go as smoothly as possible.
Intervention Strategies For Drug/Alcohol Rehab
Because addiction is a complex disease, intervention typically requires intentional and focused planning, unless the addict is in immediate, life or death danger. However, even if a person is in immediate danger, it is wise to have guidelines on how the intervention is to be presented so that there is a greater chance that the addict or alcoholic will agree to treatment. Typically, an intervention is ran through these steps:
- Planning: A friend or family member recognizes that an intervention may be necessary and starts to plan how it will look. During this stage, it is best to consult a qualified professional counselor, especially one that specializes in addiction, a mental health counselor, social worker, or a trained interventionist. Without the guidance of one of these trained professionals, the likelihood of your loved one agreeing to treatment is decreased. These professionals can help map out how best to approach an intervention with your loved one.
- Gathering Information: During the gathering information stage, a family member will do research on the addiction of their loved one and start to look for a treatment center that can help if their loved one chooses to get help.
- Forming an intervention team: Although it is assumed that the family members looking for treatment for their loved one’s addiction will attend the intervention, it is also best to keep in mind that having an unbiased facilitator (particularly, a trained addiction professional) will most likely increase the chances that your loved one will receive your concerns more openly (although not guaranteed). Because friends and family members have strong emotional responses, and possible reactions to their loved one’s behavior regarding addiction, having someone keep the intervention on track without overwhelming the addict/alcoholic is extremely beneficial.
- Choosing consequences: If your loved one chooses to not forgo treatment, the group may decide what their consequences will be (e.g.- they will need to move out and find their own place to live, etc.).
- Writing down what each person will say: This is where each family member/friend will plan out what they would like to say to the addict. This is not meant to berate the addict/alcoholic or shame them for their behavior. Remember, addiction is a disease. Only the behavior of the individual should be discussed, not attaching the behavior to the inherent characteristics of the individual. This note should be written in love and concern, not as a means of venting or demeaning the individual.
- Having the intervention meeting: Without telling the individual that they will be going to an intervention meeting, have the individual meet up/pick up the individual and take her/him to the meeting (they need to be willing to meet up or be picked up for reasons unknown, do not drag the person out of the house but have a good reason as to why they need to go to the designated meeting place). During this meeting, each individual will speak what they wrote down in the previous step and ask that the individual make a decision to go to treatment on the spot. Do not use threats to manipulate the person but follow through with the consequences if you choose to present them to the addict/alcoholic.
- Seeking treatment: Hopefully the addict agrees to treatment but if they do not, it is vital to your own well-being that you seek therapy or a recovery group that can help you to live a fulfilling, peaceful life regardless if your loved continues drinking/using drugs or not.
In order to have a successful intervention, following the above strategies is essential. However, there are other key components to a successful intervention that need to be considered. First off, it is important that the intervention team only includes four to six people that:
- Do not have an untreated substance abuse disorder themselves
- Your loved one does not dislike
- Will not try to sabotage the intervention
What is the Effectiveness of Having an Intervention for Drug or Alcohol Rehab?
Interventions can be extremely effective at getting your loved one to a drug or alcohol rehab center, however, it does not guarantee that they will stay there. Ultimately, it is up to the addict/alcoholic to agree to treatment and to follow through with the protocol set up at the chosen rehab center. In this case, the effectiveness of intervention is dependent on each individual case. In order to have the greatest likelihood that the substance abuser will stay in a treatment center, however, it would be beneficial to look for rehab centers that offer the types of activities that the user enjoys.
Although the activities are not the primary focus of treatment, they can be helpful in relieving some tension and distress often caused when transitioning from addiction to sobriety. Most treatment centers are run differently, so doing research beforehand the intervention takes place is vital. Remember, although your loved one may disagree on going to a treatment center for their substance abuse disorder, it does not discount the possibility of them seeking treatment in the future. Do the research, make a plan, and give the choice to your loved one.
Finding a Drug or Alcohol Rehab Center for Intervention
It can be overwhelming to look for a treatment center that will best suite your loved one’s needs. Typically, researching rehab centers that accept your insurance policy is a great place to start (unless the funds are available, and you are willing to spend money for a treatment center that does not accept your insurance, of course). Additionally, check to see if they offer interventionists and detox programs. Some drug and alcohol rehab centers offer both services so you don’t have to go elsewhere when looking for someone to help your loved one get off of drugs. Furthermore, look to see what program activities and aftercare look like to ensure your loved one has a greater chance of staying at the treatment center and has options to help ease their transition out of rehab and into the “real world”.
Although interventions do not have a 100% guarantee that someone with a substance abuse disorder will accept treatment, they can be beneficial and effective at getting the user to consider the possibility that they need help. Whether they choose the help or not is up to them but remember that you helped plant a seed in their consciousness for treatment in the future. Reach out to a professional interventionist now and discuss what an intervention could look like for your loved one so that your loved one can be set on a path of life-long sobriety.