In any intervention for a drug addict, the disposition of the addict’s family is exceedingly important. Full recovery involves not only restoring the addict’s life, but also ensuring that the people around the addict are also capable of helping with the long-term goal of total abstinence from drugs.
Family support is a term used to describe a series of intervention practices that help family members cope with the effects of their loved one’s drug addiction. Often interventions focus solely on the addict, and tend to downplay the harmful effects drug use has on the family dynamic. Family members are often hurt, confused or angry when it comes to confronting the addict. This is counterproductive to the recovery process and may lead to future problems with both the recovering addict and the affected family members.
Family support is focused on discovering any problems between the family and the addict and repairing any damage that is found. According to the Effective Interventions Unit Evaluation Guide, family support strategies include:
The goal of family support in the interventional setting is to provide family members with the information, skills and counseling they need to cope with the devastating effects of drug addiction. Once the family dynamic has been strengthened, the chances of a successful recovery are greatly enhanced.
After you hold an intervention, you will need to take the next step toward your loved one’s recovery; find the right treatment that works best for his or her needs. The following are important phases of the rehab process that should be investigated in some depth.
An intervention is a thoroughly planned meeting that often acts as the initial step in treating an addiction. While interventions often target those abusing drugs, they are also used for any type of addiction – such as one to gambling, sex, hoarding or alcohol. Interventions are often organized by concerned family members who invite friends, colleagues and other people the addict respects to participate in the intervention. An intervention provides a venue for the attendees to share their experiences with the addict in the hopes of spurring him or her to seek treatment.
Interventions present the addict with a clear, concise picture of the horrible effects of their addiction. Hopefully, the addict accepts that their addiction not only affects them, but also damages the lives of the people they love. If, during the intervention, the addict decides to seek treatment, the interventionist offers a prearranged treatment option. If, however, the addict refuses to seek treatment, an intervention is still able to provide information and coping strategies to all of the people negatively affected by the addiction.
See More: What is an Intervention?
Interventions can be conducted by either one of the addict’s friends or family members or by a professional interventionist. The process of conducting an intervention takes careful planning and organization. Even if you decide not to use an interventionist, consult a healthcare professional who will provide you with essential information you will need to run a successful intervention.
Retaining a professional interventionist is particularly useful in cases where the family anticipates violence or severe denial from the addict. An interventionist is best prepared to handle these negative emotions, thereby allowing the intervention to move forward. Often long-term drug users, addicts who have relapsed, or adolescent addicts react better to an intervention that is moderated by a professional interventionist.
Interventionist are also more prepared to handle the pressure and burden of scheduling an intervention. They are trained to make sure the meeting is well attended, and that each participant knows what to say and when to say it. Since using a professional interventionist greatly increases the chances of the addict seeking treatment, it’s worth the investment.
An intervention should be considered for anyone who is exhibiting symptoms of severe addiction – whether to drugs, alcohol, sex, gambling, hoarding or an eating disorder. In some cases, the person may be addicted to illicit drugs like crystal meth, cocaine or heroin, or may be addicted to prescription drugs like morphine or Vicodin.
Some symptoms of drug addiction include:
Often these addicts are in denial about their addiction and not willing to undergo treatment. Do not wait for the addict to seek treatment, but rather schedule an intervention as soon as you believe they are addicted. Waiting may lead to dire consequences. An intervention provides the addict with a clear path that leads to treatment and recovery.
Furthermore, interventions do not just help the primary addict, but also offer solace to family members and friends who have been adversely affected by their loved one’s addiction. These secondary victims of addiction also benefit from participating in a professionally moderated intervention.
The people who are asked to attend an intervention play crucial roles in determining whether the overall process of the event is a success. Together with the lead interventionist (whether professional or otherwise), the other attendees are called the intervention team.
The intervention team typically consists of four to six of the addict’s closest friends and family members. These are normally people who the addict likes, respects, trusts, loves or depends on. Community leaders, teachers and religious figures may be asked to participate. Make sure each participant understands the goal of the intervention and is prepared to share poignant experiences with the addict. Hearing stories from these trusted individuals helps addicts face the effects of addiction and leads them to seek treatment.
Do not include people who the addict does not like, other addicts, or anyone you feel may hinder the intervention. If you are ambivalent towards inviting someone, have them write a short letter that can be read during the intervention meeting.
See More: Who Participates in an Intervention?
There are two different types of intervention letters. The first is written by those affected by the addict’s actions who are not invited to the intervention meeting. When planning an intervention, the interventionist often discovers that there is a large group of people who have been hurt by the addict’s drug abuse. Ideally, the interventionist would invite all of these victims but that is not practical; doing so would cause the intervention to be muddled and run too long. Instead of inviting everyone, the interventionist asks some of the people to write intervention letters. These letters contain a few instances that highlight the negative effects that the addict’s drug-related actions have caused and how the addiction has adversely impacted their lives.
The other type of intervention letter is a letter written by intervention team members. Most interventions have a rehearsal meeting that allows each participant a chance to tell the rest of the team what they will say during the intervention. In some cases, the participant is unable to memorize the exact story. In these cases, the interventionist will recommend that the team member write an intervention letter that they can use while speaking at both the rehearsal and during the real intervention. This helps the participant remember all the important points and makes sure that they stay on track.
See More: Write an Intervention Letter
If you are invited to attend an intervention, you may be confused about what exactly you should say. Fortunately, most interventions are planned by an experienced professional who will provide you with a detailed guide of what is expected of you.
Most interventionists will want you to share one or more experiences that highlight the negative effects the addiction has had in your life. Do not take an accusatory stance while relating your story, but rather provide an unbiased, detailed account of what you want the addict to realize. If you show too much negative emotion, the addict may take offense and block out what you are trying to say. However, a simple story told with respect is often able to reach the addict and force him or her to face the consequences of their addiction. Most addicts ignore how their addiction affects them, but are shocked by tales showing how their actions damage the lives of their loved ones.
Interventions take a lot of planning and organization. If you are invited to a professionally run intervention, the interventionist will often provide detailed instructions about what you are to say and do during the meeting. Remember that these instructions are important and should be followed.
Arrive to the intervention on time. There is a little preparation that is needed before staging an intervention and if you are late you may miss some crucial information.
Speak passionately and encouragingly when it is your turn to share your thoughts and experiences. Ideally, you have already written down and practiced your speech. When the interventionist calls on you, address the addict and share your feelings on how their addiction has affected you.
When it is not your turn to speak, be an active listener. The addict may be watching you and if you seem disinterested or bored, the overall impact of the intervention may be lessened.
Do not resort to physical action. Physical actions, whether violent or otherwise, are not a part of why you are attending the intervention. If the addict or someone else becomes violent, there should be someone tasked with controlling the situation.
Knowing the goals of an intervention helps both the interventionist and all other members of the team focus their actions. This collaborative effort greatly enhances the chances of success.
Most interventions have at least one main goal – to make sure the addict seeks treatment. This goal is accomplished by first helping the addict face the effects of addiction. Once the addict has accepted that he or she needs treatment, the interventionist provides treatment options the addict can take advantage of. It’s advisable that a bed is reserved ahead of time at a treatment center, so the addict can leave the intervention and go immediately to treatment if they are amendable.
Another goal of most interventions is to provide information and support to friends and family members affected by their addicted loved one’s actions. Oftentimes, these victims require some form of therapy to help cope with the damage caused by addiction.
Gauging the success of an intervention is done by evaluating whether the stated goals have been met. Fortunately, most interventions mediated by a professional have very high success rates, providing the addict with an avenue to recovery.
Unfortunately, not all interventions are immediately successful. The addict may not accept treatment or may deny that they have a problem. Anticipating this possibility and planning a strategy to deal with the failure of the intervention meeting often provide an avenue for future success.
Before the intervention takes place, the interventionist must apprise all the participants of the plan that should fall into place if the intervention fails. Each member must be given a set of instructions that stops them from enabling the addict. Parents, friends and other loved ones should no longer provide financial support to the addict. They should also not offer the addict housing if they are evicted from their current residence.
Do not get angry or violent if the addict refuses treatment. By staying positive and refraining from actions the allow the addict to continue his destructive addiction, you increase the chances that he will seek treatment in the near future. Remember that half of the addicts who initially refuse treatment decide to seek treatment within a few weeks following an intervention.
An intervention is a delicate process that often deals with many passionate emotions, tense feelings and damaged relationships. Without proper guidance, these sentiments can overwhelm the participants of the intervention and decrease the chances of success. Therefore, the intervention leader should set definite boundaries before and at the start of the intervention.
All members of the intervention team should know that they are there to speak to the addict. They are not there to participate in any physical action against the addict or to force the addict towards an action. The intervention’s goal is to help the addict realize that he or she needs help, not to coerce them into a treatment process they do not want.
The intervention is not a place for seeking revenge. Everyone should know that the goal is not to punish the addict, but rather provide a positive environment where they have the opportunity to obtain treatment for their addiction. You are there to motivate and encourage, not accuse and insult.
Each member of the intervention team should understand that the event’s bottom line or main goal is to provide treatment options to everyone who has been adversely affected by the addict’s behavior. Some members may assume that the only goal is to help the addict, but this is incorrect. Often, the addict’s friends and family require some form of treatment for the emotional and physical burdens they carry.
The addicts are the main focus of the intervention meeting, but treatment can be given to other members before and after the intervention. The overall success of the intervention is measured by how many lives it has improved. If the addict seeks treatment and if the affected family members have found some solace, then the intervention is usually deemed a success.
There are various different approaches to the intervention process. Three primary intervention approaches are:
See More: Intervention Techniques and Methods
Al-Anon is a group that concentrates on supporting friends and family of chronic alcoholics. Al-Anon recognizes that in most cases, it is a friend or family member who first realizes that their loved one is addicted to alcohol. However, most people do not know what the next step in the treatment process is.
Al-Anon provides detailed information on what the treatment process entails. They give treatment options that are available to alcoholics and offer insight as to which option is best for your unique case.
Furthermore, Al-Anon helps family members and friends cope with any negative consequences associated with alcohol abuse. Oftentimes, it is the friends and family members of an alcoholic who are most affected by the actions of the alcoholic. These victims will require some form of treatment or therapy, and Al-Anon offers this form of support and hope.
Interventions are useful only in certain cases; they are powerful tools that must be used judiciously. Ideally, a trained interventionist or other experienced healthcare professional will make the call on whether an intervention is necessary.
Interventions are appropriate for chronic drug addicts who are in denial of their addiction or have refused to accept treatment on at least one occasion. People who are addicted to alcohol, prescription drugs, street drugs, gambling, sex or those who suffer from eating disorders may benefit from an intervention, according to Mayo Clinic. Usually, addicts are blind to the negative effects their addiction has on their lives and the lives of their loved ones. A properly staged intervention forces them to face the far-reaching consequences of their addiction.
Interventions provide an opportunity for an addict to seek treatment and prevent further damage to themselves and others.
Trying a drug just once does not typically lead to abuse; however, using a drug for the first time opens the door to potential future abuse and addiction. Identifying when use has turned to abuse helps family and friends determine whether an intervention is needed.
Drug use becomes abuse when the victim begins to use the drug more frequently and that drug use adversely affects their lives. Drug abusers will tend to lose focus on work-related goals and suffer financially. They will often cause domestic problems and alienate some of the friends and family. The addict’s health will become compromised. They will often act confused and angry. They may contract a communicable disease or develop skin, heart, liver or lung diseases. Addicts often react violently when questioned or confronted about their drug or alcohol abuse.
If you notice these symptoms in your loved one, do not hesitate to seek help. The sooner an addict receives treatment, the better the chances of complete recovery. Untreated drug abuse, invariably leads to the addict’s demise.
See More: When Drug Addiction Occurs
Interventions offer an opportunity for the addict and any affected family members or friends to seek treatment. In some instances, treatment may be initially rejected; however, in time, that decision might change and treatment will be desired.
Addicts and members of the intervention should be informed that the opportunity for treatment remains open for as long as they need it. Prompt treatment is always best, but even delayed treatment is better than no treatment at all. Addicts should seek treatment once they come to terms with the damage their addiction has caused, not only to themselves but to the people around them. Family members should seek treatment if they are experiencing negative effects or emotions associated with the intervention or their loved one’s addiction.
Treatment is always the goal of an intervention. Usually, all members of the intervention (the addict and all the gathered family and friends) require some form of treatment. The interventionist’s job is to ensure that everyone is given the opportunity to receive the aid they require.
The setting of an intervention is very important. The proper setting and ambience increase the chances of a successful intervention. There are multiple potential locations where an intervention can be he
See More: Selecting a Site for an Intervention
Drug addiction is a deadly disease that affects whole families. The addict is not the only victim of the addiction but those around the addict also suffer. For the addict, an intervention is often a life-saving moment. Addiction leads to a host of health risks, ranging from heart disease and liver failure to an increased risk of contracting a communicable disease and suicide. Drug addicts, on average, are much more likely to die prematurely when compared to the overall population.
Interventions may also save the lives of family members affected by their loved one’s drug abuse. Some family members may have fallen into deep depression or suffer from severe stress and tension. By eliminating these negative emotions, an intervention decreases the risk of suicide and health problems in close friends and family members.
Remember though that interventions are only the first step in the treatment process. If an intervention is to truly save lives, further treatment is always necessary.
Even if you suspect that your loved one suffers from an addiction, you may be hesitant to stage an intervention. However, in most cases of severe addiction, an intervention is the best first step on the road to recovery. Interventions help the addict come to terms with the plethora of negative consequences associated with their addiction.
An addiction not only hurts the addict, but also the addict’s friends and family. Most addicts easily turn a blind eye to their own problems, but when their addiction hurts their loved ones, most addicts are shocked and more amendable to seeking treatment. They can’t stand knowing that their actions hurt others; however, they cannot realize this until they participate in an intervention.
Staging an intervention may save your loved one’s life and will definitely improve your life and the life of anyone else affected by the addiction. There are very few, if any, cons associated with a well-orchestrated intervention. So, if you sense that someone you love is an addict, talk to a professional interventionist as soon as possible. Early treatment is the best way to beat an addiciton.
An intervention is a very complex meeting that requires thorough planning and scheduling. Spontaneously holding an intervention is never advisable because important things may be forgotten and the overall chances of success are greatly diminished.
Preparing for an intervention involves selecting and contacting all potential intervention team members. You should also provide everyone with the goals and tasks the intervention team will try to accomplish. Some participants may need counseling and training before the intervention meeting. Furthermore, you will definitely need a schedule and timetable to follow during the event.
All this preparation is usually too much for an untrained person to handle. Often the best thing to do is to contact a professional interventionist who has trained extensively in the science of organizing and running an intervention. An intervention moderated by an expert offers the highest chances of success.
The discussion and stories shared during an intervention are not spontaneous but instead written in advance prior to the intervention meeting. Most participants are asked to write what they are going to say in the form of a letter. These letters combined make up the script for the intervention. The intervention leader lists the order of speakers and moderates the intervention, giving time for the addict to react to some of the stories that are shared.
Keep your letter or script succinct. Do not berate or insult the addict. Instead just detail the way the addict’s behavior has damaged your life and the relationship you share. Talk about your emotions and how you are hurt. Do not attempt to coerce the addict to seek treatment. Ideally, your story will help convince the addict to seek treatment of his or her own accord.
If you need help writing your letter, talk to the intervention leader and the other members of the intervention team. The professional interventionist knows what the other members are writing and can help you write the best letter possible for the event. While writing your letter, always keep in mind that the overall goal is to help the addict seek treatment.
Leading an intervention requires strict attention to detail and the ability to relate well with all the members of the intervention group, including the addict. Intervention leaders organize the timing and attendance of the intervention, and they are responsible for educating all team members on how to speak and act during the intervention meeting.
The intervention leader ensures that each team member has written a clear, motivational statement that will positively impact the addict. During the meeting, the intervention leader calls upon each member to speak and then makes sure the addict has a chance to internalize the words of the team members. The team leader is also sometimes responsible for making sure a representative from a treatment facility is there to offer the addict treatment. Finally, the team leader clearly states that the intervention team members will not longer continue to support and enable the addict if he or she decides not to seek treatment.
If you are unsure about leading an intervention, contact a professional interventionist who is trained to handle all the complexities and responsibilities associated with leading an intervention. We can put you in touch with one today.
Professional interventionist study for years to develop the skills necessary to hold a successful intervention. Hiring an interventionist may cost some money, but it is one of the best ways to ensure that your loved one receives treatment.
Typically, you will have to pay for the interventionist’s time and expertise, as well as any travel and lodging expenses. An interventionist’s individual fee will vary greatly, depending on their expertise and the particular case. All fees should be negotiated ahead of time. It’s also important to realize that if your loved one does not receive treatment, you will end up spending much more.
Hiring a professional interventionist is often the most cost-effective way to increase the chances of a successful intervention. Talk to your insurance company or the interventionist about the financial options you have available to you. Most interventionists will offer various payment plans that may make the process more economically feasible.
Read about how to pay for an interventionist
Once you decide to hire an interventionist, you may find it difficult to chose one from the many possible candidates. You can contact local healthcare providers for referrals. You can also give us a call and we’ll put you in touch with qualified, trained professional interventionists in your area. It’s preferrable if you choose an interventionist who has experience in the particular addiction in question.
Your interventionist should have a lot of experience running interventions and have a degree in medicine, psychology, interventional sciences or another similar field. Interventionists with the proper education have studied for years, maybe decades, on the best strategies for performing a successful intervention. Choosing the right interventionist is a difficult decision that may directly relate to the success of the intervention. We’re happy to help you through the process.
There is no one set way for treating addictions. Physicians and other healthcare professionals often cater treatment regimens to suit each particular patient. If you are not medically trained, you should not decide on a treatment approach without first consulting one or more trained experts.
The treatment approach you choose should focus on treating the exact addiction the addict is suffering from, and it should deal with any mental or physical problems that may have led to the addiction. Furthermore, treatment should also provide consistent, long-term therapy sessions to help the addict come to terms with their addiction and develop coping skills to prevent them from relapsing.
The right treatment approach detoxifies the addict, prevents future addictive behavior and provides psychologic support. With the right kind of therapy, there is a high chance that the addict will fully recover and thrive. Do not limit yourself to just one treatment facility. Explore all your possible options prior to selecting a treatment center.
See More: Love First Intervention Model
Deciding whether you should conduct an intervention or if you should consult a professional interventionist requires you to evaluate both your skills and the addict’s situation.
Running an intervention will require you to sacrifice a lot of your time planning, organizing and scheduling the event. If you think you have enough time to perform all the necessary tasks associated with an intervention, then you may be able to conduct it on your own; however, it is still advised that you consult a professional who will be able to provide you with all the information required for a successful intervention.
More often than not, it’s preferable to hire a professional interventionist to coorindate and lead the event. Furthermore, if the addict is in severe denial, consistently violent, has a history of a mental disorder, a long-time drug addict, or is a repeat criminal, then it is best that you hire a professional. Addicts with these characteristics are often resistant to interventions and you will need clear guidance from a professional during the meeting. Self-conducting an intervention with a volatile addict often impedes the treatment process.
Interventions are usually not considered a form of treatment but rather the initial step in seeking treatment for an addiction. Furthermore, the cost of an intervention includes transportation and lodging for the interventionist and other team members, which are difficult to have covered by insurance. Therefore, most insurance companies will not cover the expenses accrued during the intervention process.
However, insurance companies will usually cover the next steps in the treatment process. Detox, inpatient rehabilitation, outpatient therapy and any follow-up treatments are usually completely or partially covered by your insurance. Talk to your insurance company before staging an intervention. You should know the total cost of the full treatment process and know what percentage you or others will have to pay out of pocket.
One point to remember is that no matter the cost of the intervention, it is usually less expensive then letting your loved one suffer from addiction. If you are having trouble finding the funds to cover the cost of an intervention, talk to other family members or charity organizations. There is always a way to find treatment for your loved one.
Evaluating whether an intervention is successful or not is based upon on at least two criteria. The first is whether the addict decides to seek treatment during or after the intervention. Most interventionist state that 80 to 90 percent of professionally conducted interventions lead to the addict seeking immediate treatment. Furthermore, of the 10 to 20 percent of addicts who do not seek treatment initially, many decide to receive treatment in the weeks following the intervention.
Secondly, interventions can be considered successful if they help the addict’s friends and family members cope with the effects of their loved one’s addiction. Family members are often hurt, confused and angry with the loved one. Interventions provide information and coping strategies that allow the team members the chance to release their negative emotions. In this sense, almost all interventions are successful, as they are able to improve the lives of the addict’s family and friends.
Once you have discovered that one of your family members is an addict, you should seek immediate addiction advice. Prompt diagnosis and treatment are the only ways to limit the damage associated with addiction. Without proper treatment, addiction can permanently affect the addict as well as the addict’s family.
Confronting your loved one, without first planning some form of intervention, may be counterproductive. Your emotions and the reaction of the addict often hinder the overall efficacy of a direct confrontation. Instead, talk to a trained healthcare professional who can help you understand the intricacies of addiction and provide you with the possible treatment options.
An intervention is focused on helping the addict accept the addiction and providing them with the opportunity to seek treatment. Unfortunately, most people are not trained to produce these results. Talking to a professional interventionist or other expert is usually the best way to deal with an addict within your family.
Staging an intervention requires the utilization of proven strategies. These are the best methods to ensure that the addict and each member of the intervention team benefits from the process.
See More: Main Intervention Models