Three Things You Need to Know about Addiction Intervention

  • Added:
    Jul 24, 2014
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Three Things You Need to Know about Addiction Intervention Photo by Colin Armstrong

Family members and friends living with addicts often find themselves at a loss as to what they can do to help. They certainly cannot force a drug or alcohol addict to get treatment, yet they also have to be very careful not to be an enabler of addictive behaviour. It can be a difficult balancing act at times.

One of the strategies recommended by organisations like is that of conducting an intervention. An intervention is a scenario in which a group of concerned family members and friends confront the addict about his problem. The idea is to motivate the individual to agree to treatment. An intervention can be conducted completely independently or under the direction of a professional counsellor.

Here are three things you need to know about the intervention if you are considering conducting one yourself:

1. Results Vary

An intervention is no different from the treatments offered in rehab centers in the sense that results will vary from one situation to the next. In other words, no one can force an individual to recover from addiction. That choice rests with the addict himself. Therefore, you may conduct an intervention only to find out that nothing changes. As good a motivational tool as intervention might be, sometimes you come up short. However, do not be discouraged. Wait a little while and try again. Sometimes it takes two or three interventions in order to get the addict's attention.

2. Different Approaches

Professional counsellors approach intervention from one of two angles. One group believes it is best to focus on the addict and the harm he is doing to himself. The idea is that making him aware of self-destruction will motivate change. The other group believes it is best to focus on family members and friends, and the harm the addict is causing them. They believe shifting the focus from the addict to those he is unintentionally harming is a better motivator. Neither approach is necessarily right or wrong; it is best to follow the advice of your counsellor.

3. Immediate Action

When an intervention is successful, family members and friends may have a small window of opportunity to act. That means they must be ready to admit their loved one to treatment right away. If they wait too long, he may change his mind. Getting information about available alcohol and drug rehab clinics ahead of time is a good idea.

Information about conducting an intervention is available from a number of online resources including counselling organisations, drug and alcohol charities, medical websites, and government portals. Individuals living with drug addicts or alcoholics should take advantage of the free information. It may turn out that conducting an intervention is the most helpful thing they can do for their loved one.

Author's Profile was established with a mission to assist those struggling with drugs and alcohol rehab through confidential counselling and referrals. They offer treatment for abuse and addiction issues by way of private rehab centers both in the UK and abroad.

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