An intervention is any organized effort from family members or friends of an individual struggling with some form of addiction, often to a substance such as alcohol or an illegal drug. Interventions come in many forms, and vary greatly based on the severity of the individual’s addiction and her willingness to seek professional help. Interventions can be pivotal moments in a person’s addiction, so they must be handled with care and precision. They should also always be guided by a healthcare professional qualified to lead interventions.


Types of Interventions

The first step to having an intervention is to decide which type of intervention best fits the needs of the individual receiving the intervention. Generally, interventions fall into four main categories, as the University of Bedfordshire explains. Each category is based on the severity of the individual’s addiction as well as the level of treatment involved:

  • The most basic type of intervention happens when any type of healthcare provider with appropriate drug rehabilitation qualifications works with the individual to develop a flexible treatment plan that is carried out in the individual’s spare time. This intervention is not specialized for a specific type of substance addiction, but it can be used to address many types of addiction.
  • The next type of intervention involves a professional healthcare provider or interventionist pointing a person towards a flexible, out-patient treatment program. This intervention encourages the individual to attend a treatment program that fits into the individual’s daily schedule.
  • The third type of intervention points the individual towards a more structured treatment plan. It can include going through a detoxification program, enrolling in out-patient day treatment centers, and working directly with a health care provider through the recovery process.
  • The fourth and most rigorous form of intervention has the individual enroll in a residential recovery program. In this form of intervention, the individual goes through a detoxification and rehabilitation program as a patient in a treatment center, and can also receive the center’s aftercare services.


What Happens After Choosing the Type of Intervention?

Once the individual’s family and friends work with the professional interventionist to decide which type of intervention will best suit the individual’s recovery needs, they can then gather the group of people who will be directly involved in the intervention. They will also decide on the location, date and time of the intervention, and should create and practice a script for the meeting. This script will help the intervention members stay on track during the meeting and remind them of its focus and goals. It should contain the following information, as suggested by the Mayo Clinic:

  • Clear consequences for the individual if she doesn’t accept treatment
  • A list of specific instances when the individual’s addiction physically, emotionally or psychologically injured herself or another person
  • The benefits the individual will experience from seeking addiction treatment and beginning recovery

Each person present at the intervention should have access to this script, and should have a solid understanding of all of the major points of the meeting.

After the intervention team organizes all of the specific details of the intervention, they can then invite the individual to the scheduled meeting. In some models of intervention, the individual is not aware that the meeting is going to take place; in other models, the person is invited to join the meeting and is aware that an intervention is happening. The team should interact with the individual in a loving but firm manner, and should follow through with the aforementioned consequences if the individual decides not to get professional addiction help. They should also work with the individual through the entire rehabilitation and recovery process, offering support and encouragement as the individual works to meet her recovery goals.

If you believe a loved one might need an intervention, please call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline today. Our admissions coordinators can help you find a quality interventionist who can help your loved one begin the path to recovery. They can also help your loved one find an individualized and comprehensive treatment plan that will provide for your loved one’s specific physical, mental, emotional and spiritual needs. Call us now.