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Interventions Require Many Approaches For Success

Sep 6, 2008
It can be difficult to understand why a person does not seek out assistance when caught in the steely grips of addiction. Since drugs and alcohol affect nearly every part of the brain, judgment is clouded to the point that the person cannot see reality anymore.

Interventions present an objective reality to the individual and a path to recovery. The intervention plan offers a "Do or Die" scenario, with possible consequences that effectively prompts the substance abuser to confront his or her situation.

To begin planning an intervention, family members and friends will assemble a persuasive team of people who are committed to seeing the troubled individual succeed. The group should consist of people who are capable of communicating in a non-accusatory, sensitive, honest and loving manner, who won't explode angrily or thwart the group's overall objective.

The group members must be willing to voice their concerns, look the addict in the eye and say "You have a problem." Commonly, interventions require each member of the group to read a paragraph expressing their feelings, so the team members must be prepared to do this.

If the individual refuses abuse treatment, then the team members must be prepared to issue a decree stating the consequences and all people involved must remain firm. Sometimes this means refusing money, shelter or other enabling behaviors. Change is often prompted by the inability to make any other choice.

Many abusers, when confronted with the gravity of the situation will turn around, although most teary interventions are successful because the individual finally realizes the pain he or she has caused family and friends, or feels overwhelmed by the amount of support that has come together on his or her behalf.

Interventions include many different approaches to success, from individual therapy to group counseling and skill assessments to job placements. Resources may include helping a recovering addict or alcoholic attend college classes, find housing in assisted living and learn new coping skills.

The aim of any long-term intervention strategies should be not only uncovering the negative consequences of addiction and overcoming denial, but also revealing hidden talents and presenting a positive mental framework. Deep down, the individuals in need of the intervention often suffers tremendous pain of some sort and the alcohol or substance abuse is just a vain attempt to mitigate that pain. The astute interventionist has the professional knowledge to help the individual move beyond the past and into the future, fully equipped and confident.

The good news is that you do not have to plan interventions on your own. There are many community resources that are just a phone call away. A professional interventionist will discuss intervention programs and treatment options with you, help devise a successful intervention plan and arrange a meeting with the substance abuser.

Sure, there is always the risk that the afflicted person will refuse the intervention, but the alternatives are far worse. Could you live with yourself knowing that you did not do all that you could do?
About the Author
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