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What is an Intervention?

Whether it is an addiction to drugs or alcohol that needs an intervention, noticing a destructive dependency of your loved one can be very disheartening and overwhelming. Where and how to begin addressing the problem is likely your first concern. That’s why we suggest initially considering holding an intervention.

This involves gathering loved ones and possibly experts to confront your loved one about their addiction, address your concerns for their safety and well-being, and implore them to receive treatment. For years we have seen how powerful a tool this can be. They are often the impetus for loved ones to seek the help they so desperately need.

Interventions Tend to Have High Success Rates

Interventions tend to have high success rates because they are rooted in love and concern; something many individuals struggling with addiction are so desperately seeking. They are meant to be a positive approach to addressing addiction rather than one that involves blame and negativity.

The success of this relies on the team you assemble. It also depends on how you structure it. You need to plan your intervention carefully. Make sure everyone is on the same wavelength, and you are sure you are addressing your concerns effectively. If completed with the right intent and approach, this meeting can be a great approach to positively reinforce the need for help.

Signs That You Should Hold an Intervention

You know your loved one best and will know when there is an issue. You may ask when it is time for you to step in and plan an intervention. Since your loved one’s well-being is at stake, the sooner you can address the problem, the better.

Take note of changes in regular habits and behaviors. Be sure to research the negative effects of various drugs and alcohol and see if their recent behavior aligns with those. You may be witnessing changes in their lifestyle, motivation, or emotions. You may have noticed their tolerance has increased, or they are exhibiting risky, unhealthy behaviors.

If you see any of these, consider speaking to other loved ones before planning anything.

Waiting Too Long Can be Dangerous

When it comes to drugs and alcohol, waiting too long can have dangerous or fatal results for your loved one. While the signs of drug or alcohol dependence, abuse, and addiction vary based on the substance, some classic red flags that your loved one has a substance issue include:

  • Depression
  • Anger
  • Changes in weight
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Dilated pupils
  • Unkempt appearance
  • Poor hygiene
  • Poor skin tone
  • Constant fatigue

This is by no means an exhaustive list. Do not ever think you are being too concerned when you begin to consider taking action. It could likely save their life.

How to Best Approach an Intervention

There are multiple approaches you could take. Depending on the situation, some may approach it one-on-one with a specialist, in the traditional sense (often called the Johnson Method), with the whole family or following a crisis such as an overdose. The approach may also vary depending on if you are dealing with an alcohol addiction or drug addiction.

While there are various methods you can explore when it comes to staging an intervention, you should consider some general best practices no matter what you pick.

  • Create an intervention team
  • Appoint a point person
  • Share information/compile examples
  • Map out the plan
  • Conduct a rehearsal intervention
  • Ask for an immediate response from your loved one

The intervention’s timing may be one of the most integral components of success. You will want to hold it when your loved one is sober so they can retain the information most clearly and react most rationally.

What Not to Do at an Intervention

An intervention is stressful and emotional for everyone involved. In an attempt to see a positive outcome from the intervention, there are some things you should try to avoid when holding one:

  • Try not to hold an impromptu intervention or one without a plan
  • Avoid having too many people at the intervention
  • Don’t get distracted from your script because of emotions
  • Don’t be too accusatory or demeaning; do your best to remain supportive
  • Don’t hold the intervention when your loved one is under the influence
  • Don’t use too many labels
  • Try not to blame your loved one for any emotional or physical distress they have caused you

Also, while we suggest not rushing into intervention as lack of planning can result in a lack of success, the risk of waiting to hold an intervention, or worse, not holding one at all, can be severe. Your loved one will likely fall further into their addiction, which can have major short-term and long-term personal, physical, mental, and emotional effects.

When You Should Involve Us

While it is common to hold interventions with just loved ones, it is a good idea to explore seeking the help of an addiction intervention specialist. We have team members who would be happy to help you plan and host your intervention. Our addiction intervention specialists know how to assess your loved one’s problem and history and devise an effective guide to the intervention because of their professional experience.

Some signs that you should involve an addiction specialist during the intervention include:

  • If your loved one has a serious mental illness
  • If you loved one has a history of suicidal behavior
  • If your loved one has a history of violence
  • If you suspect your loved one is taking mood-altering substances

Most importantly, an addiction intervention specialist will bring a sense of security to your loved one because you have a veteran of addiction recovery on your team. They will come armed with authority on effective treatment plans and approaches to long-term recovery that will reduce the impending hopelessness your loved one may be apt to feel.

What to Consider in Terms of Treatment

If the alcohol intervention or drug intervention is a success, the likely outcome will be your loved one recognizing the need to seek treatment. If an addiction specialist is on your intervention team, they will have a good understanding of what may be the most effective treatment plan for your loved one. Even without a specialist on your team, we highly encourage you to come into the intervention with a treatment plan already arranged.

This will show your support for your loved one and reduce any further burden on them. Because while a successful intervention is important, it is the steps you all take following this that will direct your loved one’s long-term recovery.

Addiction Treatment at Resurgence

At Resurgence Behavioral Health, we are here to help and support you and your loved ones while staging an intervention and after for treatment.

We understand what it takes to address a problem and the emotional and psychological support you will need to help your loved one become their best self.

Please contact us today with questions or concerns.

Addiction Treatment that
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Individualized treatment programs delivered in a comfortable, relaxed setting promote healing in your recovery journey.

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