Drug intervention programs are events arranged by the loved ones of an addict as a way of nudging them towards treatment. Many people in rehab for substance abuse are there as a direct consequence of an intervention and not a personal choice. However, although a drug intervention program is a valuable tool for instigating substance abuse treatment, there’s no way of guaranteeing a good result.
What Is a Drug Abuse Intervention?
A drug abuse intervention is designed to jolt an addict into accepting the fact they need help. Interventions also go a step further by laying down the consequences if the addict does not follow through by entering a drug and alcohol rehab center. Essentially, interventions encourage their loved one to understand the hurt they are inflicting on others as a result of substance abuse.
The people involved in staging an intervention have been detrimentally affected by the addicted person and can be a family member, close friend or co-worker. Each member details the ways they have been harmed by the addict’s behavior, asks them to seek treatment, and then outlines the consequences if they choose not to. It is really important that drug intervention programs don’t become about mud-slinging and apportioning blame – so it is wise for all participants to write down what they want to say ahead of the event.
Many people use the services of a drug intervention specialist which is often invaluable in achieving a successful outcome. The process is understandably emotionally-charged and it is very easy to get derailed from the objectives when there’s a heated exchange underway. Having a qualified professional supervise a drug abuse intervention keeps the event on-track and limits the use of hurtful and unnecessary language.
Do Interventions Work?
An essential aspect of a successful drug intervention program is the follow-up. When people have gone to great length to outline how they’ve been impacted by an addict and what they will do if they don’t get help, they need to stick to their word. This is another reason it is a good idea to write everything down as it is easier to get a clear perspective before the event.
One of the main reasons interventions fail is down to lack of follow-up. The consequences should an addict fail to reach out for treatment should be sufficient enough to have some kind of negative impact on them. There needs to be a significant reason for the addict to pursue treatment and threats made during an intervention need to be carried out if they don’t.
There’s not very much research available on the effectiveness of interventions although this may be due to the fact that it is difficult to define. While addicts are more likely to seek treatment after an intervention, the outcome of a rehab program and whether they achieve long-term recovery is indeterminate. Some people entering a drug and alcohol rehab center after undergoing an intervention do so because they feel forced to by loved ones. These individuals often struggle to complete rehab as the motivation to overcome addiction was borne out of peer pressure.
Generally speaking, a drug intervention program is a last-ditch attempt to help an addicted loved one. One of the characteristics of addiction is that an individual will continue to abuse substances even though they may not want to or have made several attempts to quit. Nevertheless, they may still be in denial that they have a problem they can’t deal with alone. The more developed a person’s addiction is, the more likely they are to require pushing into a drug and alcohol rehab center.
Risks of Interventions
One of the biggest risks of staging an intervention is that a bigger wedge will be placed between the addict and their loved ones. It is not unusual for addicts to respond badly to being confronted by loved ones and they can get angry and aggressive or just walk out completely.
In other cases, an addict may sit and listen to everything others have to say to them and even make the right noises about getting treatment; and just not bother. This means loved ones will have to roll out the consequences they outlined in the intervention, which can be difficult for many to do. Relationships can be significantly damaged by interventions when they are not conducted with care and even then, the outcome is never guaranteed.
How to Make an Intervention More Effective
A drug intervention specialist can guide the event and make sure that tensions are defused to keep it on track. Professional guidance is also helpful in the organizing of interventions in terms of finding the right location and planning a strategy. Ultimately, an effective intervention requires careful planning and taking the following steps can help:
- Make sure that the intervention isn’t scheduled for a time when the addict is likely to be high or stressed. If they have to go to work, recently experienced a breakup or are otherwise distracted, an addict is unlikely to pay close attention during an intervention.
- Be careful not to shame or yell at the addict. When emotions kick-in, it is easy for interventions to spiral out of control. Interventions don’t represent an opportunity to guilt a person into a drug and alcohol rehab center and calls for compassion and understanding from loved ones.
- Be as detailed as possible when detailing the damage inflicted by the addict’s behavior, including how it has made people feel. It is very unusual for an addict to be aware of the damage they are doing others; such is the compulsive nature of substance abuse.
- Keep statements short and to the point without reverting to a long rambling rant. It is vital that the addict doesn’t feel overwhelmed in an intervention. Plan what is to be said in advance and try and keep it to no more than five minutes.
- Research an appropriate treatment plan and have a center in mind ahead of the intervention. Ideally, the addict should leave the even and make their way straight into treatment.
Interventions can be extremely exhausting emotionally for everyone involved. Nevertheless, it is often the only route left to loved ones with growing concerns over an individual’s substance abuse. It is highly recommended to enlist the services of a drug intervention specialist who can help to maximize the event’s effectiveness significantly.