Planning an intervention
- General: An intervention is a process that helps a drug addict recognize the seriousness of their problem. This technique is typically used when a patient does not realize the extent of his/her problem and has been unwilling to receive help up to this point. An intervention allows the individual to evaluate his/her own behavior through the eyes of others. During an intervention, friends and loved ones provide objective and non-judgmental feedback of the patient's behavior.
- A group of friends and family members who plan to organize and conduct an intervention should receive guidance and counseling from a professional who is experienced with interventions. Friends and family members can also hire a qualified interventionist to moderate the intervention. This helps ensure that the intervention is safe. The interventionist also serves as an unbiased third-party for the patient.
- Form a group: A group of the patient's closest friends and family members get together to plan an intervention. A leader should be chosen if an interventionist is not hired as a moderator. This person will serve as the moderator during the intervention.
- Research: Individuals involved in the intervention should do as much research as possible before the intervention to learn about addiction, potential treatment options, and rehabilitation programs.
- Make a plan: The group that plans to do the intervention usually meets several times before the intervention takes place. The members share what they plan to say to the patient. They also choose a date and safe and comfortable location (usually a friend or family member's home) for the intervention.
- Element of surprise: The element of surprise is essential for an intervention. If the individual knows that an intervention will take place he/she is unlikely to attend, especially if he/she does not believe he/she has a problem.
- How to approach the addict: Each person involved in the intervention has a chance to speak with the addict. It is generally recommended that each person starts off by telling the addict how much he/she is cared for, followed by how his/her actions have affected the lives of others. Next, state the consequences. Experts recommend telling the addict that unless he/she gets help, there will be consequences to face. These consequences are not to punish the addict, but to protect the friend or family member from the harmful behavior of the abuser. For instance, a friend may say they will no longer give the addict any money unless they agree to receive help.
- Listen: After each person talks, the addict should have an opportunity to speak. The addict may have questions about treatment options. It is important that the interventionist, friends, and family members are prepared to provide the addict with information about professionals to contact for help.
- If the person is still unwilling to accept help after the intervention, friends and family members should follow through with the consequences they discussed earlier. The person has to want help in order to be effectively treated.
Copyright © 2011 Natural Standard (www.naturalstandard.com)
The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.