Intervention Planning
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Intervention Planning

One of the most difficult aspects of getting someone suffering from addiction help can simply be convincing them they even have a problem. Many individuals suffering from addiction may be in denial about their issues or embarrassed to admit they need help. Interventions can be a useful tool in reaching out to an addicted individual in order to help them process their addiction and realize the damage it is causing.

Interventions can vary in size, with some being small family gatherings and others being a larger gathering of friends, family, and even colleagues. It is important to make sure the intervention is an area of support for the addicted individual. It is not about pointing out their flaws or belittling them, it is about gathering to show them they need help and have the support to seek it.

What Is an Intervention?

An intervention is a supportive confrontation between someone suffering from a substance abuse disorder and their loved ones. The purpose of an intervention is to convince the addicted individual to seek help and enter recovery. Interventions are most often needed when a person is suffering from addiction but in denial or unwilling to seek help for it.

There are different types of interventions based on the number and group of people involved, as well as the methods used during the intervention. A simple intervention occurs between a single family member or friend and the addicted person. 

Due to the small and intimate nature of the intervention, it may be easier to make the addicted person feel at ease and not attacked. However, it may be difficult for a single person to control the conversation without help. Someone considering a simple intervention should reach out to an interventionist or medical professional for guidance before holding the intervention.

A classic intervention is held by a larger group of friends and family. An interventionist may be present at a classic intervention to provide or support guidance or consult beforehand by the group. With the larger group the person suffering from addiction is more likely to feel attacked or ganged up on, so it is important to be clear that the group is there for support.

A crisis intervention is an intervention held on the spot after a dangerous instance caused by a substance abuse disorder. Possible instances that could lead to a crisis intervention is an overdose on drugs, a car accident due to drunk driving, or engaging in other reckless behavior. A crisis intervention occurs when any individuals present after danger confront the addicted individual about their disease.

What Do Interventions Accomplish?

The overall goal of an intervention is to help an addicted individual admit they need and want help for their problem and to promote healthier behavior. A successful intervention may lead to someone with a substance abuse disorder immediately entering a recovery facility, or it may simply lead to them acknowledging their disorder for the first time. It is important to set goals during an intervention and to communicate them clearly as a group to the person at the center of it.

Not all interventions are equally effective. It is helpful to reach out to an interventionist or a medical professional before hosting an intervention for guidance on what tactics may be the most useful in their specific case. Some interventions may be designed as a surprise, especially when the addicted individual may otherwise attempt to avoid it. Others may be open and schedule the intervention in advance with the addicted person.

While the average person may think of interventions as dramatic meetings that attempt to shame or guilt someone into seeking help, these are often types of interventions least likely to succeed. The “confrontational” method, as these interventions are often called, the ” confrontational ” method makes the addicted individual feel attacked and defensive. Interventions are far more likely to succeed when focusing on love and supportive relationships.

The “tough love” method is a far more effective version of the confrontational approach. These interventions are based on a gathering of loved ones making it clear to the addicted individual that their addiction is not only hurting them but also those around them and that their behavior will no longer be enabled, while still making it clear that they are loved and that the group will be there to support them when they seek recovery.

The “love first” approach is an even softer method of intervention. The primary tool in the method is for the loved ones to all write letters to be read during the intervention. These letters often include how the person met the addicted individual, positive memories or experiences they shared, and how the addiction is negatively impacting their current relationship.

How Much Do Interventions Cost?

The cost of an intervention can vary depending dramatically depending on each individual case. Different people may need different methods of support during an intervention, and that can change what is required. The possible use and role of an interventionist will completely change the cost of an intervention depending on what the specific situation calls for. 

The substance being abused and the mindset of the addicted individual also play major roles in what is needed at each intervention. It is important to do research before holding an intervention to achieve the highest possibility of success.

How Do I Find an Interventionist?

Finding an interventionist that best fits your needs can be difficult. As with all aspects of recovery, what works for some individuals may not work for others. It is important in the planning of an intervention to make sure the needs of the individual suffering from a substance abuse disorder are fully met in order to find success.

At AM Health Care, we will help you find the best interventionist to fit your needs and provide support during this difficult time. If you or a loved one are considering holding an intervention for a person with a substance abuse disorder, please reach out to us at 818-383-1297 to learn more about potential options.

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Frequently Asked Questions

AM Health Care offers all levels of care for inpatient and outpatient mental health and substance treatment. We have six different facilities that each specialize in a different aspect of addiction and mental health recovery, ensuring that wherever we offer AM Health Care treatment, you or a loved one will be placed in the hands of an experienced professional.
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Siri Sat Khalsa, MD, Medical Director
Clinically Reviewed By
Siri Sat Khalsa, MD
Dr. Siri Sat Khalsa is a board certified Addictionologist with over a decade of experience as a specialist in detoxing and treating patients with alcohol and substance use disorders. As a graduate of USC medical school and Harbor UCLA residency, she spent 10 years a Family Practitioner before discovering her passion for caring for patients struggling with addictions. Her approach is to safely detox patients as comfortably as possible and to then focus on caring for the anxiety and depression and other mental health issues that typically accompany substance use disorders while simultaneously crafting plans to sustain long term sobriety.

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