Objectives of an Intervention

“I love you, and I want you to get help.” It’s a powerful statement, and families torn apart by addiction might repeat this phrase over and over again during their interventions. In time, these family members may come to believe that pushing an addicted person into treatment is the only goal of an intervention, and they may work hard to make it happen. However, there are secondary goals that an intervention might help to address, and in time, the family may find that it’s these hidden objectives that can provide them with a truly robust recovery. These are just a few of the changes an intervention can bring about.


Immediate Objectives

Families wounded by addiction may have only a passing understanding of the changes taking place in the person they love.

They might be able to identify superficial amendments, such as:

  • Weight gain or loss
  • Change in personality
  • Increase or decrease in energy
  • Difficulties with focus
  • Lack of personal accountability

But they might not be able to really understand the chemical changes that drive an addiction. Without this knowledge, it might be all too easy to accept blame for the addiction, or criticize the addicted person for his perceived weakness. These nasty feelings can impede communication, making an intervention less than successful, and perhaps making an addiction stronger and more persistent.

intervention objectivesIn the planning stages of an intervention, the family has an opportunity to learn more about how addictions form, and how they can change the way the person they love thinks and feels. They might learn about studies that suggest that the prefrontal cortex of the brain is damaged due to drug use, and this might stand at the root of compulsive and addicted behavior. They might also read articles or attend lectures in which former addicts discuss their behaviors, and the thoughts that prevented them from getting care. When families understand the issue a little better, they’re in a better position to help, and the intervention process can make that knowledge possible.

All of this education is put to good use during the intervention, and here, the family’s ultimate goal is to break through the denial and ensure that the addicted person sees the need for care. A study in the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease suggests that people with addictions often deny their use of drugs when questioned by family members, and those who do deny their drug use tend to relapse to drugs quicker than those who freely admit to their problems. An immediate goal of an intervention is to break through denial and entice the addicted person to admit to the addiction and the need for help. It’s hard, but with the proper techniques and a significant amount of practice, it certainly is possible.

Getting Started

While it’s true that interventions can deliver amazing benefits to families in need, some families struggle with the logistics of these conversations, wondering how to structure the talk and where to begin to find help. They may even wonder about how the talk should progress and what sort of formula they should follow for their intervention. Should they surprise the addict or include them in the planning? Should they even hold a straightforward intervention at all or is conflict the best way to express the severity of the situation? If you have questions like these, we’d like to help. We have an extensive database of interventionists, and we’re adept at explaining the process and helping families to find the right professional to help them. Please call us to get started on your customized search.