Interventions are sometimes viewed negatively, but, in many cases, they are integral to the long-term health, safety and sobriety of a loved one. Unfortunately, many family members and friends are concerned about whether an intervention is the best course of action.
Understanding the Intervention
An intervention for drug use occurs when family, friends or other loved ones help individuals struggling with addiction understand the scope of their behavior and how it’s negatively impacting everyone around them. An intervention can sometimes help those struggling with addiction overcome their denial and appreciate the severity of the situation.
Interventions can seem awkward for those involved, but it’s important to remember that the goal of an intervention isn’t to have fun, or create memories, or feel comfortable. The goal is to save someone’s life. Therefore, those participating in an intervention should understand and appreciate the gravity of the situation.
An intervention usually operates by using the element of surprise. The individual struggling with addiction will be greeted by their friends, family or coworkers, who can then explain why drug addiction is harming all of those involved. This is a very personal action, and it can become emotional for the individual struggling with addiction as well as all other attendees. Often, enlisting the help of a professional interventionist will help the process go smoothly.
Advantages of an Intervention
The biggest advantage of holding an intervention is that it can be the turning point for those dealing with an addiction to drugs. Often, these individuals are in denial, and they are working hard to ignore the signs that their substance abuse is wreaking havoc on their lives and the lives of their loved ones. An intervention can also be cathartic for the friends and loved ones involved, as it creates a way for them to feel like they’re helping rather than just standing by and watching events unfold.
The primary objective of an intervention should always be getting those addicted to drugs into the right treatment facility. Ideally, transportation would be available and waiting, and there should be availability in a detox or rehab center already reserved. Then, when the individuals dealing with addiction are aware of the scope of their substance abuse, and can truly understand how it impacts everyone around them, they can take immediate action and begin the journey to recovery right away.
Who Should be Involved in an Intervention
Knowing who to include in an intervention for drug abuse can be a tricky issue. On one hand, it may make sense to invite as many people as possible, so that the individuals for whom the intervention is planned can see just how many people care about them and want them to seek help. On the other hand, inviting too many people may result in chaos, and it may be difficult to have the focus that’s required in a successful intervention.
Individuals with strong religious beliefs might benefit from having a trusted member of the clergy in attendance, and some individuals might benefit from having a beloved teacher at their intervention. Above all, it’s important that everyone in attendance has a close, genuine relationship with the person in question. This isn’t an event where casual friends or acquaintances should be there. Young children, while they may play a special role in the family, shouldn’t be in attendance, as it can be confusing for them to understand what’s going on.
It may also be beneficial to invite an interventionist to help guide the intervention. An interventionist makes sure that the schedule stays on track, and that people are able to speak without feeling overwhelmed or disrespected. For those who are new to the idea of an intervention, but who want the process to be a success, working with an interventionist can be a very good idea.
Intervention Styles and Their Effectiveness
There are a number of different intervention styles, and each has its pros and cons. The most popular types include the Johnson Model, the Systemic Model and the Invitational Model. The Johnson Model is the most common intervention style, and it operates by spelling out clear consequences for the main participants if they don’t seek help. There is still support and freedom from judgement, but the Johnson Model can sometimes create feelings of guilt or shame.
The Systemic Model is an intervention style that focuses on the positive rather than highlighting negative consequences. In this style, an intervention might discuss the advantages of sobriety and why working for this goal is so important. The final intervention style is the Invitational Model. Unlike most interventions, this model doesn’t include the element of surprise, and those addicted to drugs can be aware of the intervention and choose whether or not to attend.
After the Intervention: What Comes Next?
It’s necessary to capitalize on the progress made during an intervention and use the momentum to take action immediately. Addicted individuals should be fully aware of their choices and the consequences they might face if they don’t seek help. In some cases, this might mean being cut off financially or no longer having contact with loved ones or children unless they begin addiction treatment immediately.
Thankfully, the majority of those individuals suffering from drug addiction will go on to seek help immediately following the intervention. They might go directly to a detox facility, or they may enroll in a rehab treatment center instead. Either way, it can be beneficial to have these options set up in advance to prevent any changed minds in the hours or days following the intervention. Make sure that the individuals who are the focus on the intervention aren’t able to use one last time before heading to rehab, but are taken directly to a treatment facility.
An intervention for drug use has the potential to greatly improve lives, but it needs to be planned out and orchestrated correctly in order to be most effective. Often, an interventionist can be the right choice to help guide an intervention and help participants get the treatment they need for sobriety.