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The Intervention Process
An intervention is a crucial time when friends and family come together to help someone who they believe may be in a crisis due to drugs, alcohol, or behavioral addictions. Though it is confrontational in nature, as those staging the intervention aim to make the person look at their behaviors and the negative impacts, it is often done out of love, concern, and deep care. An intervention is an important time when an addict’s loved ones hope to make the person realize they must put an end to their destructive ways, accept they have a problem, and agree to treatment and a recovery plan. The confrontational aspect of the intervention is counteracted by the clear expression of how much the addict is loved.
An intervention is not about shaming a person into recovery but making them realize they have a condition that will not go away without treatment. Those staging an intervention must be aware of the possibility that the recipient will not openly accept or acknowledge their addiction and may respond with denial and hostility. A failed intervention may have dire consequences, such as the addict refusing communication with those in attendance. It is imperative that those planning an intervention have as many facts as possible regarding a person’s behavior, habits, and drug or alcohol use. Make certain a person truly is an addict before planning an intervention or you may damage a relationship permanently.
Many societal behaviors are accepted as normal, such as drinking after work or using medication to relieve pain, and it can be difficult to determine when an actual addiction is present. There are certain criteria, such as the CRAFFT screening tool and the DAST-10 questionnaire, that can help determine whether someone is in addiction. If you are concerned that someone is engaging in behavior beyond their control, you may find the best approach is to ask. Determine how frequently the person is engaging in the behavior, if they have lost or damaged relationships due to the behavior, and if there has been a noticeable degradation in the person’s character since engaging in the activity. Once you are certain that an addiction is present, begin planning an intervention. When successful, an intervention causes a person to realize that they are truly suffering and they are ready and willing to seek treatment. For many, an intervention means the difference between life and death.
Here are the steps of the intervention process: