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Is Holding an Intervention the Right Choice for My Loved One?The decision to hold an intervention for a loved one who is suffering from drug or alcohol addiction can be difficult to make. Intervention is often seen as a last resort for an individual whose addiction has caused serious problems in his or her life and the lives of others yet continues to resist or refuse treatment. Interventions involve risks, so friends or family must weigh the risks of failure against the odds of success and the risks of continued drug use against the benefits of treatment.

The Pros and Cons of Interventions

The potential benefits of a successful intervention involve the addicted person seeing the damage addiction is causing, agreeing to enter treatment and beginning a successful recovery. Despite these potential benefits there are risks involved with an intervention. A failed intervention can result in alienation of family members and a breakdown of communication. When conducted without professional direction an intervention can turn into a heated confrontation. Family members may be tempted to use the occasion to vent their anger and resentment for the problems caused by the addiction and to blame the addict for everything that is wrong in their lives. The addict is likely to feel cornered and isolated and may respond by withdrawing and closing down communication permanently. Addicts typically respond to concern about their drug use by becoming defensive and denying the severity or even the existence of a problem. Paranoia is a common side effect of drug use, and the feeling of being surrounded and attacked during an intervention can lead an addict to conclude that his or her paranoia is well-founded. The response is likely to be continued or increased denial, justification, resentment and withdrawal.

The Benefits of Hiring a Professional Interventionist

A professional interventionist will organize and direct the intervention according to one of several well-tested, successful models. He or she will have training and experience dealing with addicts and their families and will know what to expect. The interventionist will keep the proceedings from becoming heated and confrontational and will ensure that everyone, including the addict, is heard and respected. As a result the addict is much less likely to feel attacked or to become resentful and much more likely to listen to reason and to be open to hearing other family members’ points of view.

A professional interventionist also has a much greater chance of breaking through the wall of denial that is almost sure to be erected by the addict and of getting him or her to recognize and acknowledge the damage that is being done to the whole family by the addiction. A professional interventionist has a much greater chance of convincing the addict to enter treatment which is the goal of the intervention.

Questions about Interventions?

If you have questions about the intervention process, or if you would like help finding a professional interventionist, call us. Our helpline is toll free, and we are available 24 hours a day.