Intervention

clasping hands

Intervention

What is a Drug Intervention?

An “intervention” is “action taken to improve a situation, especially a medical disorder.” In the case of a drug intervention, this is exactly what happens. An intervention is a process where an addict’s family and friends, with the help of a professional interventionist, can show the addict his/her destructive behavior with immediate plans for treatment following the intervention.

Male Counsellor with young woman

How an Intervention
Works

The first step is for the family/loved ones to realize that the individual is spiraling out of control and needs the family’s help and support to get better. The most important factor in an intervention is proper preparation. Most of what happens and how the intervention is going to work is decided before the addict is involved.

The intent is to engage in a structured conversation with the addict in a non-confrontational manner. The immediate objective of any intervention is for the addict to listen to what their family and friends have to say and to ultimately accept the treatment that is set up. In general, an intervention is a last-ditch effort for an addict who has consistently refused treatment. However, when addicts have strong family/social support, they are more likely to get better. The intervention can serve as a rallying point for a family dedicated to helping a love one achieve sobriety.

Male Counsellor with young woman
Intervention session

When Is an Intervention Necessary?

There are three accepted criteria to be able to judge whether an intervention is necessary:

  1. The individual in question must be recognized as an addict. Know the signs of addiction.
  2. The individual has been to treatment repeatedly without success. Many times, the addicted individual needs boundaries to be set in place, and the loved ones of an addict need guidance from a professional. In this setting, an intervention can definitely be beneficial.
  3. If family/friends of the addict have no experience in dealing with addiction, call in a professional. This is not only beneficial to the family, but if it gets the individual to treatment, can be the difference between life and death.

Intervention Letters

Intervention letters are crucial because they provide a structured way for you to organize your thoughts and present them to your loved one during the intervention. This letter will allow you to take the time needed to ensure you say what you mean and cover all your points, which can be difficult at times. Your interventionist will work with you through the writing of your letter. It’s crucial to remember that it should come from the heart. Your loved one needs to understand and feel that you are trying to save their life. Writing an intervention letter isn’t easy. It will be an emotional process and it takes time. If you are struggling to write it, be sure to consult your professional interventionist who can further help you. At GateHouse, our interventionists are trained to help family and friends create effective intervention letters. Here is a general guideline:

Paragraph 1: Start with positives. The individual will almost certainly be in a defensive mode. You want to reassure them of your love and put them at ease.

Paragraph 2: Acknowledge that addiction is a disease and include specific examples to prove your loved one is suffering from addiction.

Paragraph 3: Discuss the consequences of their addiction without being confrontational. This can include broken relationships, a loss of trust, and hurt feelings.

Paragraph 4: Set your boundaries. This will allow the individual to see that their behaviors will no longer be tolerated.

Paragraph 5: End the letter with more positive and encouraging words. Remind them again of your love and your desire for them to get healthy. Be optimistic about their future. You want them to be happy and healthy, with many happy and healthy years ahead of them.

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