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 for alcohol or drugs is a process where an addict’s family members and close friends, with the help of a professional interventionist, can show the addict his/her destructive behavior with immediate plans for treatment following the drug intervention. Most addiction treatment centers can offer help with interventions.

How a Drug 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 a drug intervention is proper preparation. Most of what happens and how the drug 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 drug 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, a drug 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 drug intervention can serve as a rallying point for a family dedicated to helping a loved one achieve sobriety.

Drug Intervention
Drug Intervention

When Is a Drug Intervention Necessary?

There are three accepted criteria to be able to judge whether a drug 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 programs repeatedly without success. Many times, the addicted person needs boundaries to be set in place, and the loved ones of an addict need guidance from a professional. In this setting, the decision to stage an intervention can definitely be beneficial.
  3. If family/friends of the addict have no experience in dealing with addiction, call in a professional for the drug intervention. This is not only beneficial to the family but if it gets the individual to seek treatment, it can be the difference between life and death.

Drug Intervention Letters

Writing a letter is crucial to a drug intervention 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 intervention specialist will work with you to write a 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 a drug 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 intervention team members are trained to help family and friends create effective drug 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 examples of how their struggle with addiction has affected others, such as broken relationships, a loss of trust and hurt feelings.

Paragraph 4: Set your boundaries. This will allow the individual to see that their drug abuse and 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.

For more information, read our blog article, 7 Tips of a Successful Intervention.

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