What Does a Successful Intervention Look Like?

Unfortunately, people are not always aware of their struggle with addiction. On another note, they may not acknowledge the problems it is causing in their life. This inability or unwillingness to accept issues is why an intervention is sometimes necessary. A successful intervention is possible alone if you follow a few guidelines. You can also work with a professional interventionist. 

Denial is a common symptom of addiction. An intervention held by family, friends, and professionals can help individuals see the severity of their situation and get the help they need. Loved ones provide support and encouragement and help those struggling with addiction take the first steps toward recovery. Hosting a successful intervention can seem overwhelming, but it can make a big difference when trying to get your loved one to seek treatment. 

What Is an Intervention? 

We typically associate "intervention" with addiction or substance use disorder (SUD). However, there are many reasons individuals may stage an intervention. An intervention is when loved ones join forces to help a person suffering from a difficult life issue. Sometimes that means hosting an intervention for addiction, but loved ones might intervene in cases of toxic relationships, a need for medical help, poor decision-making, and more. 

During a successful intervention, you and other family, friends, and loved ones gather to help someone you care for. Together you will try and lead the individual in question to seek professional help. A successful intervention also allows you to express your concerns and feelings about the effects you are experiencing. Working with a professional interventionist can ease some of the stress of staging an intervention. 

Planning a Successful Intervention

The main goal of a successful intervention for addiction is to encourage your loved one to seek help and for you to express your feelings about the harmful impact of their SUD. It can also be an educational opportunity for you and your loved ones. First and foremost, a successful intervention will include a plan, as it is not something you can wing. Below are a few steps to think through before hosting an intervention.

Creating an Intervention Plan

Before hosting a successful intervention, you must plan it. This may include consulting a professional and forming an intervention team or group. Your group may consist of friends, family, or anyone close to and concerned for the individual struggling with addiction. Together, decide on a day, time, and place while each person works on what they plan to say during the intervention.

The conversation should focus on the facts of the problem and possible solutions. It can be easy for emotions to run high, so preparing what you want to say before the intervention is vital. 

Gathering Information

Next, gather information. Research and understand the addiction your loved one is struggling with and put together a list of potential treatment programs they can utilize. 

Outlining Consequences

Unfortunately, a successful intervention requires consequences if a loved one does not accept treatment. The members of your intervention team must decide on these consequences and follow through with them. While these consequences should be motivating, they should not be harsh or use scare tactics.

Presenting Examples

In addition to preparing what you want to see, you should have examples handy. Specific incidents can help your loved one acknowledge how many problems addiction is causing. You may also want to prepare stories of how their addiction impacted you. 

Rehearsing the Intervention

Once the intervention is planned, your intervention team should rehearse the intervention ahead of time. That way, everyone can become more comfortable with what they are going to say and prepare for how things may go. Individuals will take turns voicing their concerns and collectively presenting treatment options. Of course, you will also discuss the consequences if treatment is not sought. Then, you will host the intervention as planned. 

Post-Intervention Follow-Up

You must also follow up with your loved one after the intervention. It is crucial for individuals to feel supported when embarking on their recovery journey. That may include driving them to a facility, attending support group meetings with them post-treatment, or being a trusted member of their support system long-term. If your loved one hasn't taken steps toward treatment, follow through with the consequences your team has decided on.

Understanding Treatment Options 

Again, an intervention is an educational opportunity for you and your loved one. Before hosting an intervention, research treatment options you can offer your loved one.  

Some addiction treatment options include: 

  • Residential detox programs help individuals detox from substances and manage withdrawal symptoms
  • Partial hospitalization programs (PHP) are a form of flexible day treatment that allows people to work, go to school, and live at home while seeking treatment and recovery.
  • Intensive outpatient programs (IOP) are another flexible program that is less intensive than PHP, allowing more freedom while still maintaining accountability and continued personalized treatment.
  • Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is a program that uses a combination of medications and counseling or behavioral therapies to provide people with a whole-person approach to treatment.

Effective treatment typically includes a combination of treatment programs, evidence-based modalities, and holistic or alternative practices. Understanding these options is vital if you plan to help a loved one pursue what's best for them. 

Many individuals struggling with addiction do not fully realize how much their struggle impacts their life or the lives of their loved ones. It is not uncommon for people to be completely unaware of their addiction. For that reason, you may consider hosting an intervention. A successful intervention may look different for everyone. However, they generally allow loved ones to express their concerns and provide treatment options for their loved ones to consider. The primary goal is to help someone seek treatment, and a successful intervention will also function as an educational opportunity for you and your loved one. To learn more about hosting a successful intervention, or to seek treatment, call (303) 558-6400.

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