How Interventions Work: A Guide For You

how interventions work

Having a loved one with an addiction is not easy, but it’s important to know that you’re not alone. According to a study conducted by the Closing the Addiction Treatment Gap (CATG) initiative, more than 23 million Americans are currently suffering from an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. To put things in perspective, that’s around one in every 10 Americans above the age of 12. But this doesn’t mean you have to live with the problem and let it continue to wreak havoc on daily life. 

You’ve probably heard of interventions, and when done right, they can be highly effective. Especially if you’ve already tried talking to your loved one about their drug abuse and failed to see any change, an intervention can be the key to helping them finally seek treatment. And with a professional overseeing things, you can make sure your intervention has the best possible outcome. Allow this to be your guide:

How Interventions Work

Each intervention is going to go a bit differently because they are very personal affairs, and every addict’s situation may be different. That said, most interventions will consist of three main components:

  • A gathering of friends and/or family members, each of whom will have an opportunity to express how their loved one’s addiction has been affecting them. They will also use this time to ask the addicted loved one to seek help and say what actions will be taken should they refuse.
  • An intervention leader, who will run the gathering and ensure everyone gets the chance to speak. They will also have a plan of action or treatment options ready for the addicted loved one. A professional intervention leader can be the smoothest way to get things done.
  • An opportunity for the addicted loved one to speak, upon which they will also be encouraged to seek help.

Before you do anything, you will need to start by talking with other people who care about your loved one and may have been affected by their drug abuse. Once you have others who agree to participate in the intervention, you will need to select a time and place. Do not tell your addicted loved one what you are planning, because they may refuse to show up if they know what is in store. Instead, it is usually best to make sure someone else can transport them to and from the event. 

Now, the amount of time interventions take can vary greatly. This is why they should be scheduled for days when everyone is available and is willing to set aside the day to help. Gatherings with more people speaking will naturally take longer, but they can also be more effective. Additionally, some people may initially refuse to seek addiction treatment. Because of this, everyone involved should be prepared to be upfront with their loved one and take certain actions if they refuse treatment (like saying they will cut relationship ties). This can be difficult, but your loved one needs to know what is at stake if they do not start making changes. 

Ensuring an Effective Intervention 

Getting a solid group of family members and friends to participate in the intervention is the best method for effectiveness. However, there are a lot of additional things you can do to help an intervention achieve the best possible outcome (which will be your loved one getting addiction treatment):

  • Speak calmly. Don’t hold back your feelings, but do not get angry or start yelling. If your loved one feels attacked, they will be put on the defensive and will be less receptive to addiction treatment. Speak from a place of love and care, and make it clear you only want what is best for them.
  • Use real-life examples and evidence. It will be most helpful to your loved one if you can help them see how their addiction has specifically affected others.
  • Stay positive and keep hope in sight. Never lose sight of the end goal, which is encouraging your loved one to choose addiction treatment. You are there to show them that they can still save their relationships and change things around
  • Get rid of distractions. Keep the intervention straightforward. It is not like any other gathering, so don’t include things like food and beverages, TV or music, etc. Young children should not be present (the situation may be inappropriate for them anyway), and make sure everyone has their cell phones on silent. 

What Happens After an Intervention?

Interventions should not be left open-ended. Your loved one should have the opportunity at the end to go straight into an addiction treatment program or at the very least be able to choose from pre-selected options already available. Consult with a professional ahead of time to learn more about your loved one’s options and what kind of drug abuse treatment program will be open to them immediately. 

Now, if your loved one decides not to enter addiction treatment, you (and everyone else involved) must stay strong and follow through on your actions as promised (even if this means cutting them off emotionally or financially). In many cases, people eventually come around to the idea of treatment once they realize just how serious their loved ones are. 

Let Us Help You

At Above It All, we understand that families are struggling enough when confronting a loved one’s drug addiction. That’s why we offer free addiction treatment placement services in California. Our caring team is available 24/7 and can assist you in your loved one in everything from finding the right treatment program to assisting with insurance verification and transportation. And because we are dedicated to seeing things through until the end, we also provide care management throughout your loved one’s time in treatment. The time to get help for them is now — we invite you to get in touch with us today to learn more about how we can be of service. 

How To Seek Treatment For Yourself

It can be extremely difficult to admit you have a problem with drug abuse or alcohol. Most people experience feelings of shame and embarrassment when it comes to admitting they have a problem, so if you’re reading this and feel that way, you aren’t alone. 

Above It All is here to let you know that no one is perfect and you shouldn’t be ashamed to look for help. It’s never too early or late to seek addiction treatment. Because addiction takes many shapes and forms, there are a ton of different treatment options out there available for you that you should be aware of. 

How to Find Addiction Treatment for Yourself

First and foremost, if you find yourself here, you should be very proud of yourself for taking the necessary steps to get better. It takes a tremendous amount of strength to not only admit you need help, but to actually do something about it.

When seeking addiction treatment, a good first step to take is educating yourself on the various types of treatment available. The main forms of addiction treatment are detoxification, inpatient/residential, intensive outpatient, partial hospitalization, and outpatient. The overall goal of each form of treatment is the same but the length and times of the programs will vary. The type of treatment you choose will be based on what you’re addicted to. For example, not all substance abuse disorders require detox. To start research you can perform a simple google search, use an addiction resource such as Above It All, call your primary care physician, or ask family and friends. 

Determining the Best Program for You

Now that you are ready to find the best addiction treatment program for you, be selfish. Put yourself first during this process and really think hard about what you think will make you happy during treatment. Maybe location is important for you. There are plenty of addiction facilities near the beach and immersed in nature. Maybe the structure of the facility is most important to you. Some facilities offer shared rooms and some have private only bedrooms. If you are big on mindfulness and meditation, you can choose a program that incorporates those things.

After you narrow down a location, you can start to think about what kind of addiction treatment you want to pursue:

Inpatient or residential programs: Inpatient and residential treatment programs on average last about 30-60 days (there are longer programs as well). During this kind of treatment you will live at the facility. Some programs have shared rooms and some have private ones. You will eat all of your meals here and attend individual and group therapy sessions. If you require detox, you will do this at the beginning of your stay under medical supervision. This is the safest way to detox off of a substance. These programs are beneficial because staff is always onsite to help you, should you need anything. You are also removing yourself from society for a period of time. A lot of people think of this program as a good break and can focus 100% on recovery. 

Intensive outpatient programs: Often shortened to an IOP, is a program that can be used as a transition step once you leave inpatient or an alternative to an inpatient facility. If you attend an IOP program, you will go onsite to the facility multiple times a week for about 4-6 hours at a time. You will participate in individual and group therapy, like you would in inpatient, but you eat and sleep at home.

Outpatient programs: These programs provide the most flexibility in terms of treatment. Outpatient can be a transition step once you leave an IOP or can be used as an alternative to inpatient or IOP. If you are a single parent or cannot afford to take off of work, this is a great treatment option for you. Clients attend outpatient a few times a week (less than IOP) and therapy sessions can last anywhere from 4-6 hours.There are lots of types of outpatient treatment, including support groups, and the goal is to keep you sober.

Things to Consider

There are a few things regarding your addiction to keep in mind when seeking treatment: 

  • How severe is my addiction? 
  • Do I need detox?
  • Do I have any mental health issues like depression or PTSD?
  • The type of insurance I have
  • How long do I think I should be in treatment? 
  • Will I need a referral to a program?

All of the above mentioned are factors that will help determine the best course of treatment for you. 

Don’t Wait to Get Help

At Above It All, we are a free addiction treatment placement service that provides those struggling with substance abuse assistance in finding the right treatment for them. We provide a 24/7 comprehensive treatment matching service. Our program includes admissions, insurance verification, transportation assistance, and care management from start to finish. If you are looking for help finding addiction treatment and rehab in California, please give us a call!