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Intervention: When You Need an Intervention to Get a Loved One Into Drug and Alcohol Rehab

Many people have heard the term “intervention” as it relates to a person who has an addiction. People most commonly get involved in interventions for drug and alcohol addictions. Many types of addictions exist, however. The definition of addiction is the compulsive psychological need for something. An intervention is a procedure during which caring individuals ban together to encourage a major change in an addicted person’s life. The goal of an intervention is to convince the addicted person of his or her need for rehabilitation services. Services may include outpatient or inpatient treatment in a drug or alcohol recovery facility.

What Exactly Is an Intervention?

An intervention is an attempt to step in front of a person and keep him or her from destruction. The procedure involves people who are closest to the addicted person. The intervention party may consist of spouses, siblings, friends and bosses. Those people meet in a common area that the addicted person visits. When the addicted person arrives, the intervention members approach that person in a loving manner. They describe incidents that may have hurt them in the past, and they try to direct the person to a healthy recovery program. An intervention specialist acts as a coach who can help participants find the correct wording and the most effective strategies.

Signs of Drug or Alcohol Abuse

Family members and friends should be confident that their loved one has an addiction problem before they schedule an intervention. Such a procedure will not succeed if the problem does not exist. The best way to find out if a family member or friend has an addiction is to have a personal conversation with that person. The individual should assess the signs before having that personal conversation, however.

Drug and alcohol abuse has many signs. Some of the most common signs of substance abuse are as follows:

  • A drop in hygiene
  • Missed work or school
  • A sudden drop in grades or work performance
  • Abnormal sleeping hours
  • Mood swings
  • Excessive weight loss or weight gain
  • New friends
  • Criminal activities
  • Failing relationships
  • Lack of finances

Not all people who show the above-stated signs have a drug addiction. A person who has a drug addiction may not show all of the signs. However, a loved one can use the list of signs to determine whether to approach the person about a possible addiction.

Approaching a Loved One About Drugs and Alcohol

A loved one should never approach a person in a judgmental fashion as it will trigger defensiveness and resentment. Instead, the loved one should approach the person in an accepting and loving manner. Every person is vulnerable to developing an addiction. Lack of a family support system can make a person more vulnerable to addiction than other people are.

Expressing acceptance is important for getting an addicted person to open up. The person will want to feel that he or she can trust the family member or friend. Sometimes, telling a story about one’s shortcomings can help another person to lighten up about imperfection.

Does Your Loved One Need an Intervention?

Many people believe that their loved one has a drug addiction, but they are unclear as to whether that person needs an intervention. One of the most prevalent signs of a need for intervention is denial. A person will vehemently deny an addiction even if everything around that person is falling apart. An addicted person may lose his or her job, home, friends and more because of drugs or alcohol. Such a person will still deny that a problem exists.

Another sign of a need for intervention is failure to stop the cycle of addiction. An addicted person will continue to perform destructive acts and risk his or her health, finances and well being. A loved one needs an intervention if that person is headed for ruin. Interventions are strong pleas for change from the people who care for the affected person.

Taking a chance on an intervention is always advisable. The odds are high that the procedure will work. About 80 percent of people who have interventions admit themselves into a treatment facility within 24 hours, according to a study conducted by Dr. Jerry Law.

About Intervention Procedures

Each facility or specialist has a personal strategy for interventions. Typically, an intervention specialist meets with the family members and friends of the addicted person and gathers information about that person. The intervention specialist requests information about the addicted person’s childhood, friendship circles, recent activities, suspected addictions and the like. The specialist then assists the intervention members in helping the addicted person to see how the behaviors have affected the people around him or her. The group may have several rehearsals before they conduct the intervention.

Common Intervention Strategies

Intervention specialists can teach the participants to use a wide variety of strategies. The strategy that the specialist chooses will depend on the addicted person’s personality. The following are some of the top strategies that friends and family members may use:

  • Rehashing
  • Pleading
  • Threatening (tough love)

Rehashing is reminding the person of hurtful events that occurred because of the drug and alcohol addiction. Rehashing may help the person to see the dangers of continuing drug use. Pleading is a genuine emotional strategy that spouses or parents may use. They will try to touch the addicted person’s heartstrings to pull that person back to reality. Some persons need to experience tough love before they see how hurtful their behavior is. Parents may have to remove something from their adult children. Spouses may have to threaten to separate. Employers may have to place a person on probation. A family could use one of those strategies or a creative combination of all of them.

Ask for Help With an Intervention Today

Call someone who can help if you believe that your friend or family member needs an intervention. Specialists are on the phone 24 hours a day to help you bring your loved one back to the light.

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