How To Do An Intervention
Many families, when faced with a family member who is an alcohol or drug abuser or addict,
choose to have an intervention.
In a drug or alcohol intervention, problem drinkers or drug abusers are confronted by family members,
friends, and employers regarding their drinking or drug use and how their excessive and irresponsible drug or
alcohol abuse has affected virtually everyone around them.
Alcohol and drug interventions should be carefully planned and developed by substance abuse intervention
experts who are experienced in such procedures.
The most basic purpose of an alcohol or drug intervention is to get the drug or alcohol abuser or addict to
seek professional treatment. All of this information is obviously important, but the essential information that
many people need is how to do an intervention.
How To Do An Intervention: A Broad Overview
Scientific examination demonstrates that one way of coping with alcohol or drug problems is to conduct an
intervention. Having said this, a relevant question in this discussion is the following: exactly what is a drug or
Essentially, an alcohol or drug intervention can be viewed as a step in the treatment process in which the
problem drinker or drug abuser is confronted about his or her drinking and/or drug use and how his or her
irresponsible, hazardous, and damaging drinking or drug abuse has affected family members, friends, co-workers, and
Stated more precisely, an alcohol or drug intervention is a meeting involving the drinker or drug abuser, family
members, friends, and an employer, along with a substance abuse intervention specialist.
In this meeting, the family members, friends, and employer, under the supervision and guidance of the
intervention professional, articulate their concern about person's dangerous, excessive, and unhealthy drinking or
drug use and strongly "encourage" the person to get professional rehab.
Characteristically in a drug or alcohol intervention, family members, friends, and employers tell the drug
abuser or drinker in their own words how they are concerned about him or her and how his or her drinking or drug
use has created stress, fear, apprehension, and other problems and issues in their lives.
The objective of an alcohol or drug intervention centers on the problem drinker or substance abuser listening to
what has been expressed in the meeting and then accepting the fact that he or she needs immediate treatment.
It is imperative to state that alcohol and drug interventions are more often than not resorted to when all other
options have been exhausted in an attempt to help a person conquer a dangerous drug or drinking problem.
Alcohol and Drug Interventions Can Fail
Substance abuse research demonstrates the fact that a number of drug and alcohol rehab facilities have stopped
doing alcohol and drug interventions because they often fail.
Not only this, but when drug or alcohol intervention are not successful, a fact that has to be considered, the
family can actually be torn apart even further due to the explosive and troublesome feelings pertaining to the
It must be stressed that this is not an insignificant circumstance for a family that is already on the brink of
destruction due to the alcohol or drug abuse of a family member.
The chance for failure with reference to alcohol addiction interventions places a special emphasis on the need
to employ a substance abuse intervention professional who has a confirmed track record of success.
Why Do Drug and Alcohol Interventions Fail?
What are the major reasons that drug and alcohol interventions fail? First, the intervention may fail if the
drinker or drug user doesn't follow the rehabilitation protocol both during and after formal treatment.
Second, due to the fact that his or her reasoning and rational abilities and emotional stability may be reduced
due to chronic drug or alcohol abuse or addiction, the drug user or the problem drinker may simply leave the
What this generally means is that the well-intentioned family members will have to cope with the failed
intervention in addition to the rest of their difficulties that are related to the drinker or drug user.
The third reason that alcohol and drug interventions may prove to be unproductive is the fact that the drug user
or drinker may not be ready for treatment at this time.
Stated more precisely, some substance abuse therapists claim that alcohol and drug interventions often lack a
demonstrated and persistent track record due to the fact that many drug and alcohol abusers and addicts are not
capable of receiving treatment until they get to the point in their lives when they themselves can make this
In a word, according to this perspective, drug and alcohol abusers and addicts can't be helped until they seek
help on their own.
Ironically, even if the intervention helps alcohol and drug abusers decide that they need professional rehab,
the basic fact that the intervention has taken place may result in distrust, anger, and resentment down the
And fourth, alcohol and drug interventions can fail when a family either chooses to undertake an intervention
without the guidance and support of an intervention specialist or if the intervention professional is ineffective
When Do Drug and Alcohol Interventions Succeed?
Scientific exploration has proven that the most advantageous time for an alcohol or drug intervention is
following a significant event, such as an arrest for a DUI, an instance in which a problem drinker or drug abuser
has been caught stealing something of value, or when the drug user or drinker has been caught lying about something
In these situations, the drinker or drug user is more likely to be remorseful or to feel guilt---hopefully
resulting in a more receptive attitude regarding treatment.
Finally, even though this may seem explicit, it is important for the drinker or drug user to be alcohol or
drug-free at the time of the intervention.
It is interesting to underscore the fact, additionally, that according to the substance abuse research
literature, men are more likely to remain in alcohol or drug rehab if they are there due to "suggestions" or
threats from their employers.
This finding seems to show that interventions that include involvement by employers can be fruitful in some
In fact, according to one study, employees who were chronic alcohol abusers displayed substantial improvement in
their job performance and in their drinking behavior during the months immediately following an intervention that
was embarked upon to address their drinking behavior that was negatively affecting their work.
In short, it can be affirmed that some drug and alcohol interventions have been productive in the respect that
they have helped motivate problem drinkers and drug users accept treatment for their drinking or drug abuse.
And if done with watchful and thorough planning and with the supervision and leadership of an addiction
intervention expert, the chances of success are greatly enhanced.
Conclusion: How To Do An Intervention
Many people who have a family member who is a drug or alcohol abuser have heard about drug and alcohol
interventions without knowing how to do an intervention.
An alcohol or drug intervention is a form of confrontation in which a group of concerned people such as family
members, friends, and employers, along with a substance abuse intervention professional, has a meeting with a
problem drinker or drug abuser.
In this meeting, the family members, employer, and friends, under the leadership and support of the intervention
specialist, express their concern about the drinker or drug abuser, state their anxiety about the damaging,
unhealthy, and excessive drinking or drug use that has been taking place, and strongly "encourage" the problem
drinker or drug user to get professional treatment.
Although drug and alcohol interventions should be undertaken as a "last resort" and have been known to boomerang
and lead to stress, resentment, and possibly to hostility, if done with thoughtful planning and with the guidance
and supervision of an addiction intervention expert, the chances of a successful alcohol or drug intervention are