What Is an Intervention?

An intervention is an orchestrated attempt by family and friends to get a family member, friend, or loved one to seek help for an addiction or other similar problems. When one has tried everything possible to inspire or convince their loved one that they need help, but they will not admit into a program, an addiction intervention program is a successful tool in helping you help your loved one escape from the grips of denial, rationalization and projection.

By approaching them from a place of love and compassion, with help facilitated by a addiction interventionist, you will be helping them understand the problem that they have and that a treatment program is needed. Using a professional interventionist will not only ensure that you have taken the appropriate approach, but will also give you peace of mind knowing that you have expressed your love and concern in a professional, impacting, and very effective manner.

Addiction intervention process

An intervention is a very strategic process that must be facilitated and properly executed by a addiction intervention specialist to ensure desired results. In order to effectively perform a substance intervention, an intervention team will be established and then thoroughly prepared with the information required for attaining success. All parties involved will understand the purpose, process and techniques of the intervention.

There is no guarantee that the intervention process will cause the individual to accept treatment. However, using a professional interventionist will ensure that process is explained properly, approached effciently and executed strategically. When performing the intervention properly, chances will drastically increase that the individual will immediately commit to going to a treatment center. If they do not immediately go into treatment your interventionist will work with you and the family until they enter a program, the family is released from being in the direct path of the disease and how to stop the enabling process bringing the bottom up to them.

  • Every intervention is a success — whether it be a success for the family or the addicted individual.

The intervention process has four phases:

  1. Assessement
  2. Group Preparation
  3. Intervention
  4. Post-Intervention

Assessment phase

  • Awareness of the availability for treatment
  • Discussing methods of treatment needed
  • Pre-meeting arrangement and expectations
  • Establishing the date and time of the intervention
  • Gathering information about the addicted individual
  • Establishing the best approach for the individual
  • Developing a powerful and productive intervention team
  • Understanding the risks involved

Group preparation phase

  • Development of self-pledge (boundaries and consequences)
  • Discussing risks and objections
  • Preparation of environment in which the intervention will be held
  • Educating the team about addiction
  • Understanding the effects of substanceism
  • Understanding the intervention process
  • Understanding intervention techniques
  • Roles that will be played by each team member
  • Evaluation of three part letters
  • All questions will be thoroughly answered

Intervention phase

  • Approaching them with love and compassion
  • Reading personal letters
  • Overcoming objections
  • Sharing detailed examples of erratic/bizarre behavior
  • Offering treatment to them

Post-intervention phase

  • Transportation of your loved one to a treatment facility
  • Follow-up with family members
  • Developing an after-care plan for family
  • Debriefing of the intervention process
  • Questions and concerns thoroughly discussed

Any two interventions are never the same, however, the processes show great similarities. Every intervention is successful for the addicted individual, the family and/or friends.

When the family has made their final attempt towards getting their loved one and themselves help from the disease of addiction, the healing process begins. Family counseling, Al-Anon meetings, and a briefing of the emotional process of the intervention will be discussed and what actions the team needs to do in order to heal the emotional, spiritual, mental and financial damage that has transpired over the course of their loved ones usage.

Models of intervening

There are a couple types of proven addiction intervention models used to help with your loved one who is in denial of their addiction. Beginning with the first phone call, each individual is carefully assessed through a series of questions. Your intervention specialist will then design a custom intervention that best fits for helping your loved one.

Invitational intervention or systemic intervention

An Invitational Intervention or Systemic Intervention is the best model to use when your loved one realizes that they have a problem, but they have become stagnant with their attempt to get help regarding their addiction. They will be expressing that they need help and they understand that they have a problem, but they are not taking the next step. Every other attempt has been made to get them to actually go into treatment. An invitational intervention works well with single adults, for friends who have already established themselves into isolation. Also, family healing is a target and recommended throughout this model, which is discussed and developed by the interventionist.

Surprise intervention or Johnson model intervention

When leverage and direct consequences are readily available, a “surprise intervention” or the Johnson Model would be appropriate. This model works best with adolescents, college students, young adults living at home and spouses.

If your loved one continues to live their lifestyle with addiction and denies any help, it is time for the family to set their boundaries and self pledge in order to free themselves from the tight hold the addiction has on them. The addict is no longer enabled by others to continue his/her abuse with their substance such that it effects the family member and those closest to them. Also, family healing is a target and recommended throughout this model, which is discussed and developed by the interventionist.

216 thoughts on “What Is an Intervention?

  1. I need help for my niece she is out of control and I don’t know what to do. She is using drugs and I don’t know what kind but I do know she is using needles she was arrested tonight for a DUI and this is her second she was arrested in front of her 8 year old son. He is so panicked and I was called to go and be with him and his sister by their older sister who lives in another state and I have know that she was using before this but didn’t really want any part of what she was doing. Her mother was my sister and we lost her 3 years ago to cancer and it was at that time my niece stared using again she didn’t handle her mothers death very well. She went through all of the money that sister left in about 4 months with gambling and drugs. Please help because of the kids I really can’t do much as my husband wants no part of it and he doesn’t like her at all. He is furious that I am telling him that I won’t abandon the kids. PLEASE HELP US WE NEED TO INTERVENE SO THAT THE KIDS WILL HAVE THEIR MOTHER

  2. My son Harold and his girlfriend is in need of help my son overdose on heroin last Thur they gave him something to bring him back twice he refuses treatment I don’t know what to do

  3. My son Harold and his girlfriend is in need of help my son overdose on heroin last Thur they gave him something to bring him back twice he refuses treatment I don’t know what to do

  4. Hi. I have a brother who has been through a lot in his lifetime. He was kicked out at an early age and became homeless and is a convicted felon. These hardships made him turn to a very bad drug. Methamphetamine. The meth has caused him to become skitsofrenic. I told him how I felt about it, he got sober and moved In with my mom. He started getting a lot of sleep and ate the whole kitchen up and put on some weight. He has been struggling with his addiction for almost a year now. I miss the real him so much it hurts. He just recently relapsed the day before Easter and was up 2 nights and days straight and didn’t eat anything. He also smokes a lot of spice which is new.

  5. Hi my son needs help I myself was a user and I am on probation father z n prison and his girlfriend / wife they have 2 kids she z on probation 20 yrs n all of us done meth and got cleaned up he z on probation because of it in they have 2 kds I want to save him as a mom protecting her son his is 26

  6. I need help with my ex. He is such a good soul. He came to new orleans after Katrina to help others. He got lost and in return Los his self. He has no family here and I’m afraid he is bout to die. He wake up drinkn gin and drink until he is blacked out. Please somebody tell me how to help him

  7. My sister’s husband needs an intervention. She caught him using crack and they have a baby. He drinks alcoholicly as well. He doesn’t see a need to stop because he has a trust fund allocated for him for the rest of his life and can buy anything he wants. Unfortunately all he wants are drugs and alcohol. Help our family.

  8. My sister needs help her kids need help we need to help her we don’t know what to do she’s always drinking and we are afraid that now she’s doing some kind of drug

  9. Hi my name is LaVina and I need some help with my mo. She’s addicted to crystal method and a alcoholic and I don’t want to lose her she just lost her brother my uncle and I’m really worries about her how do I go abouts getting her help from a interventionist plz I’m scared that she don’t have much longer if she continues what she’s doing

  10. My name is Michelle and I have been trying to help my son stop doing herion and its been a struggle I have tryed to get him to go to rehab and to meeting and I have called every where to get him in rehab and I can’t afford it so I’m losed for help I guess if you’re rich you get to keep you’re children safe if you’re poor you are plain screwed. My son is dying and I have seen him go threw Detox’s twice and ever time I see it I see my son dying and as a mother I don’t want to lose a child ever night I cry praying that he won’t come home in a boxs he is so bad and I thought when he’s girlfriend over dose and passed on he would have open his eye to stop and it didn’t work I’m bagging for help amd there is none here in Shasta county Redding California

  11. My sister lives in Nebraska and we live in Ohio. Her husband has left with her two children to Ohio as well. She’s recently admitted to being on crack cocaine and c that she has struggled off and on with coke use. She’s in total denial. We’ve suspected drug use for years but just received confirmation. She also struggles with bipolar disorder as well as other mental health issues. We are terrified that she will not make it. My father is in his late 70’s and is a recovering heroine addict. Please help us intervene before she looses her children or worse. Her 9 month old child doesn’t even know who she is. How do we get assistance with helping my sister. She believes she can treat herself. She’s lost her job. Possibly her home. Please help.

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