What is Drug and Alcohol Intervention?

An intervention is when a group of family members, co-workers, or friends band together to confront a loved one about his or her drug or alcohol addiction. The purpose of an intervention is to help an addict agree to drug or alcohol addiction treatment or mental health counseling by explaining how their addiction has not only ruined their own life but has affected the lives of those who love them.

An intervention can be either informal or formal. In an informal intervention, a group that stages the intervention will sit down with the addict during a time when the addict is sober and calmly discuss specific instances when the addict’s behavior negatively affected everyone. The group will discuss immediate treatment options with the addict, answer any of the addict’s concerns or questions, and provide him or her with a description of the specific consequences he or she will face should he or she choose to forego treatment and continue using. In a formal intervention, this group sit-down is refereed by a trained professional who mediates the discussion and directs the conversation towards the ultimate goal of getting the addict to agree to seek treatment.

Benefits of an Intervention

There exists a common myth that an intervention is only beneficial to the addict. This is not true. An intervention is cathartic for all who are involved. Oftentimes friends and family members have been profoundly affected by a loved one’s addiction. This is their chance to discuss with their loved one how his or her addiction has affected their lives while still showing their love and support. In the end, the benefits of an intervention are enormous – not only will the addict get a second chance at life after addiction treatment, but the family will have that person they loved returned to them.

The Dire Consequences of Waiting

The consequences of waiting to stage an intervention can be devastating to both the addict and his or her loved ones. Addiction begins first as a mental dependence but, in time, progresses to a physical dependence that is painful to break. The sooner intervention is staged in an addict’s life, the better his or her chances of accepting and responding to recovery. It is a common myth that addicts will not accept treatment until they are ready.

This is completely false. It is much easier to break an addiction that is just beginning to take hold rather than waiting until that addiction has taken its toll on the body and spirit of the addict. The life of a drug addict is a dangerous one; if the drugs do not kill the person, the criminals they associate with and the risky behaviors they engage in might. Additionally, by passively waiting to stage an intervention, a family not only enables the addiction to continue hurting the one they love but enables the addict to hurt the family as a whole through their addictive behaviors. Waiting to stage an intervention is an unwise decision that can have devastating effects on all involved. So take immediate action, especially if the addicted family member has been there for quite some time.

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