Intervention services are designed to develop strategies to increasingly move the addict closer to the acceptance of his/her addiction while identifying options to address that problem. The main purpose of an intervention is to encourage those with serious dependence avoid the negative consequences of jail, prison, or death.
Consultation with a professional interventionist is recommended. Such a consultation is designed to facilitate the healthy and effective interactions of family and other significantly affected individuals with the chemically dependent person. Typically the entire process involves three meetings, the first two of which focus on preparation for the intervention itself:
Meeting 1 – Plan and Prepare for the Intervention
- The initial meeting is to discuss the pattern of the chemically dependent person: his/her drug of choice; enablers; previous treatment experiences; strengths, weaknesses, vulnerabilities, preferences, etc.
- Determine who is involved in the intervention. Not everyone is appropriate to be involved. If hostility exists with a particular family member or friend, that person may not be appropriate to be a part of the intervention. However, common feelings such as guilt or anger loved ones may be experiencing will be addressed identifying ways these emotions can effectively elicit healthier behavior for everyone involved.
- Identify a plan for anticipating and responding to objections from the addict e.g. financial obligations, employment, child care, other health concerns, etc.
- Determine and coach each person about the content of what they will say to the addict.
Often it is best for participants to write and then read what is to be communicated as this helps maintain the desired focus without interruption. Content of communication with the addict should focus on:
- how the addict’s behavior has affected the speaker
- an expression of their love and concern
- what their hope is for the addict (obviously a desire to stop self-defeating behaviors but also point out positive outcomes consistent with non-use behavior)
- their own commitment to the future of the addict. . .healthy support for recovery and withdrawal of support for self-defeating behaviors
Meeting 2 – Rehearse the Intervention
- Rehearse the intervention. Each person reads aloud their spiel and receives feedback from the interventionist. This form of help must be presented in a nonjudgmental and supportive manner. One of two common mistakes often result when families try to do interventions without a third party present: either rehab is seemingly forced as punishment on the addict or alcoholic or too much leniency is given. An experienced interventionist can help keep family emotion out of it as much as possible and steer the addict toward realizing that everyone is really only there to help him or her and that they just want them to have a happy, drug-free life.
- Identify specifics of plan for admission into treatment . . .making sure everyone is aware of objections identified in earlier meeting and how those will be addressed.
- Order of sequence of presenters is discussed and developed.
- How to get the chemically dependent person to the chosen site of the intervention is solidified.
- Date of actual intervention is set.
Meeting 3 – Intervention with the Addict
- A family member may lead the intervention, it may be led by someone in recovery or the professional interventionist may take the lead. After all family members have expressed their concerns and hopes, the interventionist is often the one who can answer specific questions about treatment options, help avoid the typical attempt of the addict to persuade family that treatment is not possible for whatever reason or not necessary and facilitate the actual admission into the selected treatment program.
- Outcomes: The goal is for the person to admit there is a problem and agree to obtain treatment. One of the two following results should occur, both typically achieving the desired outcome:
- The loved one is immediately transported to detox with residential treatment to follow.
- The loved one experiences family/friends immediately withdrawing support for self-destructive behavior while encouraging and supporting only healthier choices. This united front may be frustrating to the addict and hurtful to the family. With consistency, this leverage will likely prompt the loved one to seek help.
Time expectations: Anticipate each meeting to be approximately 3-4 hours, depending upon the number of family members involved.
The Oasis Renewal Center will refund the fee for any individual who subsequent to the intervention, is admitted into treatment at that facility.