Intervention FAQs and Concerns

Everyone has questions about interventions. Our experience helps us provide reliable answers.

They will hate me!

Almost all people who do interventions say that. It’s worth remembering that, statistically, 85 percent of people who have well-planned interventions do go to treatment. A person’s perspective about the intervention generally shifts during treatment.

Unless the person wants help, treatment won’t work.

As long as the person is breathing there is hope for him or her to change. But often people wait to intervene as a last resort. We don’t have to wait to intervene. We have developed intervention methods that can be matched with the severity of the problem.

They won’t go.

Part of a well-planned intervention service is to identify the problem, understand its severity, and select the most appropriate course of action for the situation. If after the intervention they don’t initially go to treatment, we can try again when deemed appropriate.

The Tip of the Iceberg

A good intervention exposes what’s not visible from the surface. Remember that the pain an addict and his/her family feel is like an iceberg — the biggest and worst part is hidden. We believe that in order to successfully intervene, each individual involved must be willing to look beneath the surface.

I’ve had it. They are beyond hope!

Intervention should be seen as a process. Getting someone into treatment is just the beginning. Everyone must learn how to be part of the recovery process. Sometimes the addicted individual doesn’t get help right away — but because people around them are getting help and begin to stop enabling him or her, the substance use disordered individual must change. A successful intervention changes the system supporting the addicted behavior. The message becomes “There is nothing we won’t do to help you get better” and also, “We won’t help you use any longer.”

I’m not sure that their use is the problem.

A formal intervention should be done when someone you are concerned about is in denial, losing control, or a possible danger to themselves or others. Trust the professionals to determine the appropriate treatment options. Keep in mind that addiction is a progressive, often fatal disease

The Intervention Process

The strength of the intervention process is such that it is frequently helpful regardless of the particular circumstances of a given addiction. Regardless of whether a person is using alcohol, pot, cocaine, heroin, abusing prescription pills or has an active eating disorder, is addicted to gambling, working, shopping, sex, etc., or has mental health concerns, hope for recovery is real.

I don’t know who should be or is willing to be part of the intervention.

Interventions are most successful when the influential people in the addict’s life are included. Part of intervention planning is to consider who should be involved in the process. This is another reason to have someone help you. Trained professionals can help others see how to make the process effective and alleviate their fears about being involved. You want to involve those who are most affected by the addict’s use; together they are most likely to have a positive impact on the addict’s decision to enter treatment. The power of a formal intervention is enhanced when influential people get together to give the same message to the addicted individual. Addicts survive by engaging the influential people separately. It’s amazing how much comes to light when participants together share the knowledge they have about the addicted person’s behaviors. The optimal number of intervention participants is five to eight people.

I am afraid to utilize an interventionist because it will make matters worse.

The most important reason to bring in an outside person is their ability to remain objective. Interventions can be very complex and delicate. A trained professional in a carefully planned intervention increases the likelihood of success, and helps maintain the relationships at stake. About 90 percent of our formal interventions are successful. The rate is even higher when the family follows through on changing the enabling system.

Take the Next Step

To learn more about our Intervention Services, please see our contact page.

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