An intervention is a thoroughly planned process involving the family members and loved ones of the individual who is suffering from any form of addiction. The process may be carried out by the family members and friends of the person,in consultation with a mental health professional such as a psychologist. When it comes to alcoholism and drug addiction, the person who is suffering from the problem is mostly unable to acknowledge the damage that it has beencausing him and those around him. It is therefore usually very challenging to influence a person suffering from addiction to consider treatment through a direct one-on-one conversation. The process requires a more focused effort from the family and friends of the one who is affected by addiction. They need to join forces and confront the person about the consequences that addiction has brought with it and ask him to accept treatment. Through the intervention, specific instances of the addicted person’s destructive behaviors are narrated, along with the impact that it had on him and his loved ones. The primary objective of the processis to intervene in a self-destructive individual’s life in a non-threatening manner and convince him to accept help.
One of the most important aspects of the intervention process is selecting the intervention team who will work together to defeat the problem that the addicted individual is faced with. The selection process begins by drafting a list of all the significant people in the addict or alcoholics life. Theseinclude people that the addict loves, admires, respects, cares for or depends upon. The team may hence include the sufferer’s family members, relatives, close friends and even colleagues. Care has to be observed in ensuring that the intervention team does not include individuals who are disliked by the addict or who are reluctant to participate in the intervention because of the anger that they have towards the addicted individual. It is also counterproductive to involve individuals who are likely to inform the addict about the person before time.
All the people taking part in the intervention process have to be trained and prepared before the intervention. The most crucial part of the intervention process is writing and presenting the intervention letter. This document provides an in-depth description of the destructive behavior that the addicted individualwas engaged in during active drug or alcohol usage. In addition, it details the thoughts, feelings and expectations of the intervention team that includes the family and loved ones of the person involved in the problem. The intervention letter includes specific events involving the addict and his or her behaviors that were a source of considerable distress for the family. There are five basic parts of each event in the intervention that are explained ahead.
1) Describing the Behavior
In this part of the intervention letter, they let the addicted person know what he looks like when he is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The people involved in the intervention write undeniable facts regarding what the person does, how he sounds like and whom he endangers.
2) Describing Your Feelings
Concerned family members, relatives and friends describe the effects that the addict’s behavior has on them. How they were hurt, saddened, embarrassed, frightened and angered while he was under the influence of chemicals.
3) What Did You Do?
The intervention team write the behavior that they engaged in while dealing with the situation. They write what they did when the event took place and identify their enabling or provoking behavior.
4) What Actually You Should Have Done
The family members and the rest of the team write down the adaptive action they could have taken at the time rather than exhibiting reactive, enabling or provoking behavior.
5) Offer the Person Help for His Alcohol/Drug Problem
While concluding each event, the person with the problem has to be asked to accept the help that is being made available to him. This has to be done in a manner that conveys love and concern for him.
It is only after carefully rehearsing the intervention and making sure that no undue interruptions can affect the process, that the intervention itself is conducted. When an intervention is planned well, around 85% of people chose to accept the help that is being provided to them. A part of the preparation involves listing down the possible objections that the addict or alcoholic might raise during the process. Even if the person agrees to the treatment, the family has to be ready to deal with the objections that are raised during treatment. They have to consistently support the addicted person while he is in treatment and establish their own recovery system.