When discussing substance abuse treatments, an intervention usually refers to a meeting that’s designed to confront an individual about their drug and alcohol abuse. This therapeutic technique gained widespread recognition among the general public after it was highlighted by a reality television series, and it can be used to ‘kickstart’ an individual’s journey toward recovery.
If you’re considering holding an intervention for your loved one, it’s important to know that this technique should only be used under the direct supervision and guidance of an addictions specialist. A trained substance abuse counselor or therapist has the skills, knowledge and experience it takes to design an intervention that is safe and respectful, while also reducing the risk of a negative outcome for both the subject and the participants.
Who should participate in an intervention?
Start by considering who matters most to the addicted individual. This could be their immediate family members, their spouse or partner, close friends, teammates or co-workers.
Keep in mind that there are no set rules regarding who should, and should not, participate in an intervention. The key is to include the people who are closest to the individual who is struggling with substance abuse, and who are also committed to seeing their loved one achieve success in a substance abuse program.
In general, the intervention should consist of a relatively small group of supportive family members and friends who decide that it’s time to address their collective concerns. These people need to be in agreement that their loved one needs help, and intervention participants are expected to be a part of the planning of the intervention session.
Who should not participate in an intervention?
When thinking about who should be a part of an intervention, it’s also important to recognize that the presence of some people at an intervention could be counter-productive, or even harmful.
Substance abuse often impacts multiple family members, and those who are actively abusing drugs and alcohol usually should not participate in their loved ones’ intervention. This is because including family members who are currently using drugs and alcohol can create a toxic environment while detracting participants from the goals of the intervention.
If the person who the intervention is being held for has children, be sure to seek guidance from an addiction specialist before involving minors in an intervention. In some situations it may be appropriate to include older children and teens in an intervention, although it’s far more common for children to participate by writing their loved one a letter rather than attending the intervention in person.
Keep in mind that interventions aren’t always appropriate, safe or effective, so it’s critical to consult with an addiction specialist before planning to confront your loved one in a group setting. To speak with a professional addiction specialist about setting up an intervention, contact us here at Bayside Recovery Services.