What Is Drug Intervention?

We’ve all heard of the term ‘intervention.’ There are entire television shows dedicated to staging and performing interventions for different types of addicts. It’s a rather simple concept, but like all things related to battling addiction, it’s notoriously hard to stage successfully.

The basic idea behind an intervention is simple. People close to the addict gather in one place and let him or her know how worried they are. They list their grievances in an honest, direct manner. That way they can let the addict know how much they care for them and how much the addiction harms them as well.

To learn what happens in a real life intervention, we share true stories of our intervention experiences. Names are changed to protect the privacy of the individuals involved. For example we recently completed a difficult intervention in Atlanta Georgia. You can read about the entire process from beginning to end.

To a lot of people, a drug intervention might seem intimidating. After all, the addict has to face their family and friends. However, interventions also tend to include doctors, official members of the addict’s faith (if they’re a believer), interventionists, licensed counselors, or even police officers in extreme cases. That’s why it’s important to organize and stage an intervention properly.

Rehabinfo.com image of addict in need of drug intervention

Different Types of Intervention

Although this article focuses on drug intervention, you should know that there are other types of interventions out there. They include:

  • Alcohol interventions
  • Gambling Addiction Interventions
  • Excessive eating disorder interventions
  • Self-harm or suicidal interventions
  • Interventions for other types of compulsive behavior

Staging an Intervention

Gather the Right People

It’s extremely important to get the right ‘team’ to perform a drug intervention. Usually, we should get at least 3–4 family members for the intervention as well as some close friends. It’s also pertinent to get a trained intervention professional or an adviser on addiction. Professional doctors or psychiatrists also come to mind.

Gather All the Facts

In order to help our loved one deal with drug addiction, we need to know everything about the situation. We ought to focus on the type of drugs they use, what effects they have on the human body, how our addicted loved one gets a hold of these drugs, etc. Every bit of information helps. It’s also a good idea to research the best treatments out there, as well as all the ways we can help them through rehabilitation.

Plan the Intervention Properly

Once we have all the data, we need to form a round table with both the family members and the specialists. That way, we can work on staging the best possible drug intervention for our addicted loved one. A specialist will bring nuanced, objective facts to the table. They can help us approach the problem from a professional point of view. Family members, on the other hand, can help find the best way to provide emotional and moral support to the addict. If the loved one has violent tendencies, it’s important to talk to an officer on how to handle them during an outburst.

During this stage, we should write down everything we plan on telling our addicted loved one. We should jot down everything, from facts about their condition to our honest feelings about their behavior. We can’t attack or manipulate our loved one with these notes, but our approach must be direct and honest. They need to know that the addiction is hurting both them AND us.

The hardest part of this step is deciding on consequences if the loved one doesn’t follow through with the treatment. We must support them, but they need to know that we’re serious about them getting the treatment they need. For example, we can tell them that they have to move out, or that we’ll stop providing them with money if they don’t accept treatment for their addiction. Each member of the intervention should have their own version of the consequences, and they MUST be ready to follow through with them.

The Intervention Staging

When we have everything set, we invite the addicted loved one to a specific spot, but we don’t tell them anything about the intervention. Once we’re all there, each member of the intervention starts to express how they feel about the situation. The addicted family member gets a simple choice. The first option is to accept the treatment, which is the first step to recovery. The second option is to refuse the treatment, but they will have to face the consequences we listed.

Of course, it doesn’t end with the treatment itself. We need to try our best to accommodate to our loved one’s healing process. We can do that by adjusting our lifestyle to help them cope or offer to go to counseling with them, together. It’s also important to know what to do in case our loved one relapses.

The Experience

So what is the intervention experience all about? If you have never participated in an intervention, you should read more over at our intervention experience page. We will provide more details and enlighten you as to what you can expect.

Interested in Staging a Drug Intervention?

If you have a loved one who’s suffering from drug addiction, please call 1-800-492-7848 and find a rehab center near you. It’s never too late to save a loved one, and a drug intervention might be the best way to go.

For more information on staging a drug intervention, please see our recent post called How To Do Your Own Drug Intervention.