An intervention is a gathering of close friends and family who have come together to confront a loved one about their substance abuse problems and the resulting consequences. During the intervention, the family and friends attempt to sway their loved one to accept treatment for their addiction. Although the main purpose of an intervention is to urge the addict to seek help, interventions are also therapeutic for the addict’s family and friends.
Through uniting together to confront the addict about their substance abuse problems, this support system is able to express their deeply rooted feelings surrounding the individual’s addiction. An often challenging and emotionally exhausting task, hosting an intervention requires commitment and extensive planning. In addition, the intervention should be overseen by a medical professional or interventionist and only include very close family and friends. Participants provide specific examples of how the person’s substance abuse has had negative consequences that have affected their loved ones (the intervention’s hosts). It also needs to be explained to the person that there will be changes to relationships—sometimes termination—if they do not decide to seek treatment. Finally, there needs to be a prearranged treatment plan for the person so that they have a place to go to get help immediately following the intervention.
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The success of an intervention does not determine whether a person will be successful in rehab, according to Psychology Today. A person who agrees to treatment after an intervention but is not fully committed to getting well is at risk of relapsing. The more committed to getting better a person is, the more successful they will be in rehab. However, the mere act of the family and friends uniting together to set a boundary can be considered a success because this means a change in lifestyle and hopefully a push towards rehabilitation for the addict.
Family members and intervention participants should be educated on addiction, treatment and how it will affect their loved one and themselves. It can help families to seek counselling to better understand the addiction and support process. This support must also be continuous throughout the treatment process and beyond, not solely throughout the intervention.
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Overall, interventions are helpful because they not only offer the addict an opportunity to seek help and turn their life around, but they are also therapeutic for the family and friends. Through expressing their support and concern, these individuals are able to make known their own feelings surrounding the addiction—in hopes that their loved one will be on the road to recovery.
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