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 an 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 efficiently 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 consists of 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 substancism
  • 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.

  • Addiction and Intervention OverviewAn 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 ... Read more
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142 Comments on "What Is an Intervention?"

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Ruby
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Ruby
Hi there I have a daughter that is on heroin she only 20 yrs old and is really in bad shape she has almost died on us we had to rush her to the hospital that was the most scariest day of my life. She is the youngest of 4 of my children, at this point we don’t know what to do, she has been done a detox and went to program and lasted almost 90 days, she was so happy the whole family was there for her, but she relapsed. She is doing so bad that we don’t know… Read more »
mary
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mary
Hi. My name is Melinda and we seriously need an intervention for my 52 yr old brother. He is a last stage alcoholic and I need help. He has been living off of my 75 yr old mothr and myself for about 10 yrs in and out of jail. I have four little girls. He drinks multiple bottles of listerine and vodka daily. He will steal lie or cheat to get it. He has robbed us numerous times and without us is homeless. He was a master electrician at one time and has not hi ing but the clothes I… Read more »
ashleezandueta
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ashleezandueta

aoprove

Subject: Re: New comment posted on Intervention

Annette Abreu
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Annette Abreu
Hello, my name is Annette and I am writing in concern with my baby brother Anthony, he has revealed to one of my sisters that he is abusing cocaine and to me he has confessed using heroin. He is 26 years old and has his whole life ahead of him and we all fear for him due to the fact that he has lost 2 really good jobs in the course of less than 5 months due to his addiction, he has alienated himself from the family and at times speaks very ignorantly of leaving and not speaking to any… Read more »
Evely Ibarra
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Evely Ibarra
Hola, nada en la vida sería más maravilloso que pudiesen ayudar a mi hermano, el es adicto al alcohol, toma desde los 12 años y ya tiene 46, ha estafo en anexos y no le han ayudado, ha sido suspendido del trabajo muchas veces, tiene 3 hijos y el mayor se droga y no ha podido hacer nada co su vida…el mediano toma y vive co. El…ahora haces esas cosas juntos….me da mucha tristeza ver como ha sido su vida y le pido adiós le de una oportunidad más, mi padres se están consumiendo por su causa….los pone mal verle… Read more »
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