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Alcohol and Drug Addiction Intervention Help

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Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
The editorial staff of American Addiction Centers is made up of credentialed clinical reviewers with hands-on experience in or expert knowledge of addiction treatment.

Intervention Help

When an individual is struggling with addiction, families also bear consequences of the disease. As a result, families may experience a poor quality of life in many ways – financially, psychologically, and spiritually and take on enabling and/or codependent behavior.

Interventions led by professionals are more successful. Period.

If you have a loved one in denial about the severity of his or her addiction and how it affects the family, call us today for intervention help. We will connect you to an experienced interventionist who will travel for an in-person intervention or who conduct an intervention via phone. Addiction is a disease that affects the entire family and may be related to traits passed down from generation to generation. The focus of a viable alcohol or drug intervention program should focus on how addiction has affected the entire family system and how to stop the cycle from repeating and being passed on to future family members.

“Without the help of American Addiction Centers and their skilled interventionist, I would never have been able to get my husband into treatment. They responded quickly and were very professional. Thank you AAC.”

How the Intervention Process Works

The purpose of interventions is to get your loved ones into treatment so they may achieve long-term recovery for the good of the entire family.

  1. When you call an interventionist, they will conduct an initial phone consultation/assessment to make sure they understand you or your loved one’s situation so they can find the right treatment.
  2. After the intervention is the pre-admission assessment when information is collected about the client’s addiction history and behavioral health issues. Once all the administrative details are processed the client can immediately proceed to treatment.
  3. A treatment center rep can quickly verify your insurance benefits and walk you through your co-pays and all of your payment options in order to match you with the facility that best fits your needs.
  4. The interventionist connects with you and your family and will walk you through the next steps and answer any questions about the intervention process.
  5. An interventionist is typically dispatched to the family within 24 hours.
  6. The interventionist meets with the family for an initial meeting to prepare them for the intervention. The client is not present.
  7. The interventionist meets with both the family and the addicted individual in order to build trust and rapport. Any objections to treatment are identified and worked through in order to get the individual to admit to the problem and agree to treatment.
  8. The interventionist partners with the client in the recovery journey and if the intervention is in person, will travel with your loved one to the treatment facility.

Frequently Asked Questions

For many families, an intervention is a last resort. If you have a loved one that is an alcoholic or drug addict and either can’t – or won’t – seek help on their own, an intervention is probably the only hope you have. The fact that you’re even considering an intervention shows just how desperate your situation has become. During this time you may find yourself having many unanswered questions about the entire process. The following is a list of frequently asked questions that can help provide you those answers.

  • What is an intervention?
  • How Do You Arrange For An Intervention?
  • How Do You Plan an Intervention?
  • What Happens On Intervention Day?
  • Will Intervention Be Enough?
  • When Is The Best Time To Do An Intervention?

What Is An Intervention?

Simply put, an intervention for alcohol and substance abuse is a gathering of a professional interventionist and concerned
family and friends who are committed to helping an individual whose addictive lifestyle is wreaking havoc on him and those
who love him. Addiction treatment experts recommend a
non-confrontational family systemic intervention approach that is highly effective in convincing your loved one
to accept help and enter treatment.

Family Systemic Intervention is the only evidenced-based intervention approach that examines factors contributing
to a client’s substance abuse behavior. To understand these factors, the interventionist considers various structural elements
of the family and how they contribute to the substance abuse disorder. These elements might include the power hierarchy,
roles, rules, alignments, and communication patterns within the family. Through Family Systemic Intervention, the interventionist
can help the family identify dysfunctional areas, adjust its hierarchy, change various roles that members play, change dysfunctional
rules, alter dysfunctional alignments between family members, and replace dysfunctional communications with clear, direct,
and effective communication. The
identified client (your loved one) is brought into this change and compelled to examine his role within the family
system, with the catalyst being acceptance of the need to change and enter treatment.

How Do You Arrange For An Intervention?

Once you have contacted an interventionist and answered
questions posed by the Treatment Consultant, a clinical assessment will be made whether or not an intervention is necessary.
If it seems that an intervention is necessary for your loved one to recognize the need for rehab, you will be connected
to an  interventionist who will handle the intervention. Since the goal is to get the addicted loved
one into treatment, during this call with the treatment consultant, all these arrangements can be made ahead of time, including
insurance, so that at the conclusion of the intervention, if your loved one is willing to accept treatment, he can be immediately
transported to the treatment facility.

How Do You Plan an Intervention?

The interventionist will contact you and other concerned family members, probably several times over the course of the next
few days leading up to the set date of the intervention and admission to the treatment facility. There will be discussion
of what you need to do, and a schedule prepared. You will need to arrange for the gathering of family, friends, possibly
clergy, even co-workers, to participate in the intervention itself. You need to be organized and you need to work with the
interventionist in developing a plan. The interventionist will normally arrive the day before and will schedule a pre-meeting
the evening prior to the intervention. Each participant in the intervention will be required to discuss how addiction has
impacted their lives. This is the evidence that will be presented during the intervention. The interventionist then discusses
the plan and what each participant needs to do and to expect during the intervention. Ulterior motives are squashed and
each participant commits to the process and change. It’s important that everyone acts as a team, firm in their commitment
to help the addict. The addict is then invited to sit down with the family for a family meeting. Evidence has shown that
confrontation should be only the last resort. Many times the addict is seeking answers and has made efforts to control the
addictive behavior. We do not want to discourage him from this introspection by ganging up on him

What Happens On Intervention Day?

According to the plan the interventionist will outline the nature of the issues and how the addictive behavior has impacted
the family. The addict may yell, scream, deny everything and argue vehemently. This is to be expected. After all, we are
challenging their addictive existence, and their survival imperative is trying to protect what has
become their only coping and adaptive skill. Any conflicts that arise, the interventionist will handle. That’s what
he is trained to do. You do need to be extremely patient. It isn’t the addict’s fault that they are reacting this way. While
they are under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, they are not able to think rationally. They don’t see the destruction
their way of life has wreaked on relationships with family and friends. They can’t. But the intervention is a way to break
through this wall of denial. In fact, the interventionist is trained to chip away at the addict’s resistance. The addict
accepts the need to embrace change and agrees to enter treatment, and the arrangements have already been made, the individual
is then escorted by the interventionist immediately to the treatment center. The interventionist reports to the treatment
center the results of the intervention. This gives the treatment facility a head-start on the patient’s personalized treatment

Will Intervention Be Enough?

Intervention, by itself, is only the first step in the recovery process. The substance abuser needs to come out of denial
and make a commitment to get help. The fact that you’ve arranged for an intervention for your loved one is a testament of
how much you care for him. Studies show an intervention success rate of 90 to 95 percent for drug and alcohol addiction
– but this is dependent on the interventionist and the commitment of family and friends to help the addict. Remember that
the addict isn’t the only one who’s affected. Even after the individual undergoes treatment, follow-up counseling and support
group meetings are required. In addition, family counseling, and continued support for the family through support groups
such as Al-Anon, even church-affiliated support groups, can help reinforce positive messages and alleviate stress along
the way.

When Is The Best Time To Do An Intervention?

The question about timing for an intervention is a common one. Should you wait until the addict has been arrested for a DUI
or is sick in the hospital from an overdose? Should you wait until the addict finishes college/loses their job/finalizes
their divorce/gets that raise…etc etc… The list can really go on and on, because pulling the trigger on an intervention
is a scary proposition. Most people procrastinate when it comes to confronting someone they love who has an addiction. From
the outside this can be baffling. Friends who are more detached from the situation may be whispering, “Why don’t they get
him some help?!” From the inside there are many reasons people delay treatment, not least of which is the fact that the
addict is an expert manipulator and has likely found ways to cow relatives into ignoring their addiction. The answer to
the question is, the best time to do an intervention is when you recognize an intervention is necessary. Otherwise, you
are sure to talk yourself out of it. You will make excuses for the addict. They aren’t that bad. If they get that new job
they will be happier and stop drinking so much. When that bad influence moves out of town they’ll stop using cocaine. When
they break up with that pothead girlfriend they’ll slow down and see the light. Forget all the reason you should postpone
the intervention, and focus on the reasons you should do it now. Here are some compelling reasons that NOW is the best time
to do an intervention:

  • Addiction gets worse, not better, over time. The addict might try to white-knuckle short periods of sobriety, but when
    they start up again, it’s usually much worse.
  • If you think the impact is bad now, wait a year or two or three. DUIs can start piling up; job losses; divorce; financial
    losses; and deterioration of physical health will all start to be more and more compelling. Why wait until more damage
    is done?
  • There is a point when the “bottom” may be too low, may even be death. Do you want to risk that one time they combine too
    many sleeping pills, anti-anxiety drugs, and pain killers with alcohol?
  • If you have children and the addict is the other parent, are you really doing your family any favors by putting off the
    inevitable? The negative impact on children of having an actively using addict as a parent is well-documented in the literature.

This can be a confusing time. Your loved one may be very intimidating when under the influence. You might feel like you just
can’t face them. This is why hiring a highly experienced interventionist can be the answer.

In addition to offering family therapy sessions and on-site intensive workshops, our family program is also offered online and via telephone conference. Developed by Wayne Raiter, MA, LICSW, our family program uses the Systemic Family Intervention Model.

Last Updated on January 27, 2020
Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
The editorial staff of American Addiction Centers is made up of credentialed clinical reviewers with hands-on experience in or expert knowledge of addiction treatment.
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