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What is an Intervention & How Does it Work

Alcohol and drug addictions can take a considerable toll on the addict as well as the people in the addict’s life. By its very nature, addiction sets a person up to deny its existence as a problem, so loved ones are already at a disadvantage when trying to help an addict change his or her ways.

So, what is an intervention? An intervention creates an “opportunity” for the addict to plainly see the effects of his or her behaviors and the problem addiction has become.

“What is an intervention” has as much to do with confronting the addict as it does helping him or her move from denial to taking positive steps towards a drug-free life. A certain amount of planning goes into setting up an intervention before the actual meeting takes place. Ideally, an outcome where the addict agrees to enter treatment best defines “what is an intervention” in terms of loved ones intervening on the addict’s behalf.

What is an Intervention?

The effects of drugs on the mind cloud a person’s sense of judgment and reasoning to the point where getting and using drugs becomes his or her primary motivation in life. Under these circumstances, a planned, coordinated effort is required to get any kind of “don’t do drugs” message across.

An intervention meeting brings together all the people in the addict’s life in order to help him or her see the severity of the problem. Ultimately, the answer to “what is an intervention” involves affecting some degree of change in the addict’s daily routine, whether that means entering treatment or accepting the consequences as laid out by the meeting participants.

As there’s no guarantee the addict will agree to get needed treatment help, a big part of the intervention requires each participant to assign consequences for continued drug use in the event the addict refuses to get help.

How Does it Work?

intervention for substance abuse

An intervention is a meeting where loved ones express their concern for a person’s substance abuse.

A drug intervention entails confronting the addict about the effects of his or her behavior in a caring and loving manner. With this in mind, asking, “what is an intervention” throughout the preparation process can go a long way towards helping to keep the overall goal of the meeting in mind.

In effect, the question “what is an intervention” implies a single event, when it’s actually a process in which planning plays a pivotal role in the overall outcome. According to the Mayo Clinic, planning should include –

  • Determining who should be present at the intervention meeting
  • Devising a script for each participant that outlines the issues each person will address
  • Rehearsing what each participant will say
  • Make arrangements with a drug treatment facility in the event the addict chooses to get help

Since there’s no guarantee the addict will agree to get help, each participant must also be prepared to state and assign consequences for the ongoing drug-use in the event the addict refuses treatment, according to the Indiana Prevention Resource Center.

As interventions can easily bring out the worst in people when done haphazardly, a considerable amount of planning should be done before the actual meeting takes place. When all is said and done, the real-life answer to “what is an intervention” has to do with affecting some degree of productive change in the addict’s lifestyle, be it through consequences or drug treatment.

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