Unfortunately, the disease of addiction affects the mind and body in such a way that it keeps a person using substances against their will and better judgment. An intervention can be the perspective they need to break the cycle and get help. For those suffering from substance abuse disorder, who either cannot stop using or are in a dangerous place, an intervention can be the best option to quickly and effectively get them to see the truth of their situation.

What is an intervention?

An intervention is an orchestrated attempt by one or many people, usually consisting of family and friends, to motivate someone to seek professional help. The term intervention is used because it is grounded in the idea of intervening in someone’s addiction in an attempt to hopefully break the cycle of the substance abuse disorder.

There are many different types of interventions usually facilitated when a family member, close relative, or even friend decides they want to go ahead and intervene in their loved one's addiction or alcoholism.

  • Direct Intervention: A direct intervention is an intervention process in which the addict or alcoholic is not involved in the deciding process. The family and friends get together with an intervention specialist to decide amongst themselves how they want to handle the situation and usually initiate the intervention with the addict in such a way that they don’t know it is coming.
  • Indirect Intervention: An indirect intervention involves work with a co-dependent family that may be enabling the addict or alcoholic so that they may be able to begin doing things to help themselves and no longer motivate the person with an addiction or alcoholism to continue their use. An indirect intervention helps the family to take steps towards being more effective in helping the individual suffering from drug and alcohol abuse.
  • Family Intervention:  The family is one of the most important and emotionally persuasive tools when it comes to intervening in an addict or alcoholic’s use. During a family intervention, a certified interventionist will mediate but will also allow the family to play a large role in emotionally moving the addict or alcoholic to get help. While addicts and alcoholics may not get help based on their own knowledge of their drug use, they may get help after hearing how they have affected not only themselves but also their family members and close loved ones. In some instances, it may be necessary for the family members to offer an ultimatum or consequences if the sick loved one doesn’t get help.
  • Crisis Intervention Crisis interventions are often employed when time is of the essence. Hence, why it is called a crisis intervention. In dire situations where a loved one may be a danger to themselves or others, a certified interventionist can help to persuade a loved one to get help. In certain scenarios, if the sick loved one absolutely refuses to get help, a certified interventionist during a crisis intervention may think it is best to utilize legal services. These legal services can require the addict or alcoholic to be assessed and put into an institutionalized setting involuntarily until the crisis is over.

Interventions have a high success rate in catalyzing an addict or alcoholic to seek help from a treatment facility. The disease of addiction and alcoholism affects more than just the substance abuser, and an intervention can help teach both the loved ones and their addicted loved one how to better handle their situation.