An intervention is a combination of programs or strategies designed to produce behavior changes or improve health status among individuals or an entire population.
Interventions that incorporate multiple types of strategies typically produce the best, lasting results.
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What Are Interventions?
In simple terms, an intervention is a strategy that family and friends use, to help a loved one overcome addiction, illness or trauma. It’s a carefully orchestrated process that is often run with the aid and oversight of a professional interventionist.
During an intervention, the loved one will be confronted — the consequences of their addiction will be raised. They will be asked and encouraged to seek help and treatment.
Specifically, here are some things that might get raised during the intervention.
- Specific incidents or examples of destructive behavior will be brought up
- Family members and friends will talk about how these destructive behaviors affect them
- A treatment plan will be offered to the loved one
- The treatment plan will have clear steps as well as expectations/objectives
- Family members and friends will explain the consequences if treatment is refused
An intervention is a powerful strategy you can use to help your loved ones fight addiction. Whether it’s alcohol or drug-related, or something else – It doesn’t matter — interventions are effective for all forms of addiction.
How Do Interventions Work?
Interventions will generally follow the same steps. Obviously not all of them are the same — some are spontaneous with no time to plan. Others are done by a single person. There are a variety of different types of interventions — we’ll cover this shortly.
Most typical interventions will go like this:
Types of Interventions
In general, there are 4 main types of interventions.
A simple intervention is when a single individual — usually a family member or friend — confronts the loved one. They will tell them to address their addiction, and to stop it by getting treatment. Sometimes a professional interventionist will be present for a simple intervention.
This can be a very effective form of intervention, simply due to its personal nature.
The classical intervention will start with a “planning session,” which involves everyone but the addicted loved one. During this planning session, all involved family members, friends and participants will be educated on how the intervention works.
A professional interventionist or counselor will prepare each individual, detailing them on all potential scenarios and outcomes.
The classical intervention follows the Johnson Model of intervention, which encourages treatment, via the influence of family and friends. It’s about offering support to both the addicted individual, as well as the important people in their life.
Family System Intervention
The family system intervention is designed for instances where there are multiple addicts in a family. It can also be when individuals of a family are helping contribute to a loved one’s addiction.
The purpose of this type of intervention is to encourage treatment, as well as address issues of co-dependence. If successful, the addiction will be treated, and family bonds will grow stronger.
Because of the complexity of a family system intervention, it is advised that a professional interventionist be involved. They will provide help with the organizing and planning of the intervention.
Extreme / Crisis Intervention
This is a spontaneous style of intervention that responds to a crisis in an individual’s life. This can be a variety of things that puts them in immediate danger to themselves. During the intervention, the priority and goal is to stabilize and ensure their safety. After that, treatment can potentially be addressed.
Due to the nature of a crisis, this type of intervention cannot be planned for. A professional interventionist could potentially be involved, if they are contacted immediately, on short notice.
Specific Types of Interventions
In general, there are 4 main types of interventions.
Interventions are extremely personal — it has to be performed by those close to the individual. It will not be nearly as effective if it’s done by strangers, or those with superficial connections to the individual.
An effective intervention is usually performed by family members, spouses and close friends. Essentially the most important people in the individual’s life.
Obviously an intervention can be done by one person, or many. It really depends on what type of intervention you are performing. A simple intervention for example, would be run by one person. Most other types, like classical or family system, will involve an intervention team.
If you really want to prioritize your loved one’s well being, consulting a professional interventionist is key. They can help organize the intervention, based on your loved one’s specific addiction. They have the experience and know what are the best approaches and treatments.
They can also be a big help during the actual intervention. It’s important it stays on track — a professional interventionist can act as a moderator. They’ll also know what to do if they react violently.
It’s advised that the professional interventionist be present if your loved one has a history of:
- Mental illness
- Suicidal behavior
- Drug abuse
Consulting a Professional Interventionist
Evan "Bullet" James
Extreme’ Alcohol And Drug Intervention Specialist Founder, CEO
The last thing you’d want to do is to stage an intervention spontaneously. You should be planning for it, several weeks in advance. As they say, “failing to plan, is planning to fail.”
At the same time however, don’t make things too complicated. You want to make sure that everybody involved knows how the intervention works, and what their role is.
Your loved one’s addiction might interfere with the effectiveness of your intervention. If they are intoxicated, or on drugs, all your planned, hard work might be for nothing.
You need to ensure you pick a time for the intervention, that is when they are sober and responsive.
You must ensure you have all the facts before you stage an intervention. You need to know exactly what it is their addiction is, and what the toxic behaviors associated with it are.
You should appoint someone to be the liaison of the intervention. This person will be the central point of contact, the individual all involved members communicate with. This will ensure you stay organized.
You need to make sure that everyone involved in the intervention knows everything. Every little detail matters, and everyone must be on the same page. The liaison can help with this.
All the involved parties should come together and do a rehearsal of the actual intervention. You should cover all the details, like sitting arrangements, and when to speak. How smoothly the intervention runs is crucial to its success.
Be prepared and ready for any and all responses that your loved one might have. Ensure that you and everyone else have relaxed, controlled and rational responses at all times. Frame things in ways that encourage cooperation and support.
For example, you might offer to go with counseling groups with them.
The last thing you want to do is to be too confrontational. Try to provide your loved one with support, show concern and love. Be as honest as you can, but avoid hostile acts that make them feel attacked.
You’ve carefully planned out every detail of your intervention, so you should stay on track. The smoother it runs, the greater chance it has of being successful. The liaison of the intervention should act as a moderator of sorts.
If you have involved a professional interventionist, they can help with this.
It’s really important that you get their response to the intervention immediately. They might ask for “a few days” to think about it. Don’t let them do this, demand an answer during the intervention.
When you allow them to go away and “make a decision” you are allowing them to ignore the situation. They might even start ignoring you, or the others involved in the intervention.
No, you don’t have to wait, in fact, you shouldn’t wait. It’s essential to take control of the situation in order to successfully and safely bring your loved one back from a dangerous or unhealthy situation.
In order for us to quote a price, we will need to evaluate your families circumstances first. Give us a call today so we can assess the situation and create a plan that works for you: 855-202-1278
With 25+ years of experience and zero failed interventions, we are confident if our ability to help you through the process successfully.