How Does an Intervention Work for Addiction Treatment?

Watching a loved one struggle with addiction can be frustrating and heartbreaking. You want them to get better, but perhaps previous attempts to talk to them about treatment have been ineffective, or maybe they’re in denial about the severity of the problem. When nothing else seems to be working, families often hold an intervention to help their loved one see the seriousness of their addiction and agree to enter treatment.

But what is an intervention, and how does it work for addiction treatment?

Interventions are very structured and planned out meetings. They are not something that you throw together in a day. It often takes several days or weeks of coordinating to get everything in place. It can be very beneficial to work with an intervention specialist who is trained in leading these highly emotional and sensitive meetings. They can ensure that you’re taking the right approach and have the proper plans in place to make the intervention meeting as effective as possible. While there are no guarantees that an intervention will work, planning ahead can enhance your chances.

Keep the meeting small and intimate with 4-6 people. This can be family, close friends, or others that your loved one respects. Make sure that everyone is involved is committed to the process and can keep a calm, clear head and stick to the plan.

Everyone will determine ahead of time what they are going to say to the person in active addiction. Oftentimes this takes place through the writing of an intervention letter. This is where you have the opportunity to express your concern and how the person’s substance use has impacted you. Maybe when they go out drinking you’re scared they won’t come home, or that they won’t wake up after a blackout. Maybe you have financial concerns. Writing it down can help you present things in a clear, focused manner so you’re not trying to speak off the cuff when filled with emotion. You can say what you need to say.

An intervention creates a sense of seriousness and urgency regarding the situation and sets a clear path for getting treatment. Prior to starting, you’ll want to have researched some treatment options and checked to see if they have availability and work with your insurance. At the end of the meeting, you’ll ask your loved one if they’ll accept the offer for help, and you want to have a plan in place to get them into treatment as soon as possible.

If they do not accept the offer for treatment, you will have also laid out some consequences. Make sure that everyone is prepared to follow through so they don’t become idle threats. Once your loved one realizes you’re serious and begins to see the consequences occur, they may change their mind and be more willing to enter a treatment program.

Crossroads works with families and clients to create a treatment plan that meets their individual needs. From women’s residential programs to outpatient treatment for men and women to therapy groups for families, Crossroads meets clients where they’re at and supports them along each step of the way as they begin their recovery journey.

[cta]Are you looking for an accredited, gender-responsive addiction treatment program for your loved one? Contact Crossroads today.[/cta]