A drug addiction intervention is typically thought of as a structured confrontation involving a group of family members and friends who come together to facilitate the recovery of a loved one. According to the Mayo Clinic, the ideal number of individuals on the intervention team is 4-6 individuals plus a professional facilitator. The goal is to help the addicted individual find his or her way to a rehab center and embark on a course of treatment. The team cites specific consequences if the individual refuses to enter treatment, and members of the team may go on to seek treatment for themselves through programs that address codependency.
On the other hand, one of the most common ways to help an individual reach treatment is through one-on-one interventions, in which a family member, close friend or co-worker sits down with an addicted individual and asks him or her to stop abusing drugs or alcohol. This form of intervention has both its benefits and its challenges.
Benefits and Drawbacks of a Personal Intervention
A drug addiction intervention that occurs between an addicted individual and a close friend or family member is usually impromptu and doesn’t allow time for planning. If someone says “yes” to treatment and there are no suggestions for where to go or what beds might are immediately available, the moment may be lost and the individual may shut down completely to the idea of rehab. In addition, without planning, it’s easy to say the wrong thing out of anger or with other emotional tones that could place a wall between the individual who needs treatment and the treatment he or she might need. Even if there is a planned script and ideas about treatment centers in a one-on-one intervention, one person alone may not hold enough weight to convince someone to enter rehab.
Nevertheless, a drug intervention between the addicted individual and one person can work. Team interventions typically put someone in the awkward position of having to admit the problem and make a decision for or against treatment on the spot, whereas in a one-on-one intervention, an addicted individual may feel more comfortable responding to someone’s concern and even asking for help. It’s also easier for one person to maintain his or her calm while trying to intervene. Emotions can run high in a group intervention, and it may be hard to reign them in.
For best intervention results, it’s best to consult with a professional before attempting a one-on-one intervention, in order to determine appropriate language and course of action.
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