Drug Intervention: The Three Stages of Drug Intervention

Intervention occurs when the friend or loved one of an addict becomes involved to the point of intervening in hopes of gaining treatment for the addiction. Contrary to what some people may think, the idea is to stay positive and nurturing for the addict but not enable or coddle them. Intervention normally does result in the addict getting treatment but it may take all three stages before that happens. The addiction does not let the loved one see what they are doing to their lives and to the lives of those they love. It is part of the disease. Denial also plays a big part in it.

Loved ones and friends often overlook or enable the addict to continue on their destructive journey because they figure some day they will realize what they are doing. That doesn’t always happen, which is why intervention is a reality. It is an outdated notion that the abuser must be willing to admit they need help first in order for treatment to work. Intervention is very successful and 92% of those who have loved ones intervene seek treatment within a week. It is best to seek counsel from a professional when planning an intervention. This increases the chances of success. There are basically three widely used stages to intervention.

1. Motivational telephone intervention: Those who are intervening must stay positive and approach it from the standpoint that the abuser’s life can only get better from here. The intervention team is gathered and taught what must be done to help the addict seek treatment.

2. Face to face interventions become necessary when the addict refuses to accept that they need treatment. These sessions can be done with or without the addict being present. They reinforce the motivation of the team to stay strong and positive. If the addict does agree to be present, this is the time for talking to them about their addictions and how they affect everyone. If they are not present, it is a time to rally the team to continue the effort to seek treatment for the loved one.

3. Stage three is the natural consequence for the addict and they do see it coming. It is in this stage that the limits are set and the addict is assured that the behaviors will no longer be tolerated. Again, it is important to stay positive but firm about setting limits for the addict. It is during this stage that the intervention team makes it known that they will no longer enable, cover up or take protective measures to hide the addiction. The responsibility shifts to the addict, where it belongs.

Most often, intervention fails because there is no professional backup and emotions run high. When this happens, the attitude becomes negative and all the intervention does is estrange the addict from those who care. The intervention team should stay positive. This positivity will come through to the addict. Staying strong, positive and on track is the only way to get an addict to realize they need help and to seek treatment.

Joe Gardner has years of experience working with Alcohol Interventions and Drug Inteventions. Visit his site to learn more.

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