Having to watch a loved one struggle with a substance use disorder is a tough experience to face as a family. It is important to know when to step in and intervene to make sure they get the help they need.
Sometimes, the best way to begin an early intervention is through a face-to-face conversation with the substance user.
This meeting is known as a drug intervention.
What Is a Drug Intervention?
Interventions typically include everyone important to your loved one.. Every kind of substance use disorder benefits from drug intervention. Alcohol use disorder and opioid use disorder are just a few of the substance use disorders which can be addressed during a drug intervention. It’s a great way to kick off a potential treatment plan.
Interventions can be tricky for everyone, but it can also be very rewarding. Interventions are a great way to have a conversation about drug use with a substance user. Drug interventions can allow you and your family to approach your loved one in a controlled environment. You can also have a professional at the intervention, such as an intervention specialist.
Potential professionals include:
- A professional interventionist
- Social worker
- Case managers
- People your loved one respects
Or anyone else you think may be helpful and is interested in helping your loved one find an effective treatment for substance use. A drug detox center is often a great resource to turn to.
When is a Drug Intervention Needed?
An intervention may be needed when someone is struggling with substance use disorder. This individual may be confronted by family members and friends. The goal of an intervention is to motivate your loved one to get help for their substance use.
Through communication, you can show them why they need to go for substance use disorder treatment. This should be done in a non-threatening manner and include all key individuals.
The Different Types of Drug Intervention
Interventions are broken down into different types. These types of drug interventions all vary depending on how many people are present in the intervention. The type of people involved with the intervention may alter the type as well.
A Simple Drug Intervention
This form of intervention usually involves two people. The person struggling with substance use disorder meets with a close family member or friend. Since you may be by yourself for this portion, it might be best to seek professional assistance. This could help your loved one in the long term to help ensure that your loved one agrees with the plan moving forward.
A Classic Drug Intervention
This is a form of intervention you might see most in the media. It involves a group of people who are closest to the individual struggling with a substance use disorder. These individuals come together in a non-threatening way to confront their loved ones about their substance use.
The classic intervention usually begins with the family members meeting beforehand and discussing their talking points. This includes the team planning the event, specifically how they are going to handle different reactions from the loved one who is struggling with substance use. A professional interventionist is usually always present in this form of intervention.
Family Systems Drug Intervention
The family systems intervention involves the whole family. This can include family members who may be enabling their loved one’s disorder or other family members who are also engaged in substance abuse. The main focus is similar to the classic and simple intervention, but it involves trying to convince the entire family to seek a treatment program for substance abuse.
This can occur through group therapy, individual therapy, or everyone going to a drug treatment center. Unlike the others, this intervention all but requires a professional intervention specialist to help in the planning stages. This form of drug intervention is highly complex.
Crisis Drug Intervention
A crisis intervention typically takes place right then and there if there has been a dangerous situation. Usually, the situation demands someone needs go to drug treatment immediately. This one is a bit different because it is situational and does not allow for advanced planning.
Types of Intervention Strategies
Just as there are different forms of interventions, there are also different ways that you can approach your loved one during the intervention itself. Reviewing each of these approaches can help you determine which route is the best to take for you and your family.
The Confrontational Approach To Drug Intervention
This approach is most commonly portrayed in the media. It is more aggressive than the others. The confrontational approach usually involves demands being made and the discussion of the consequences of not choosing treatment.
A Tough Love Approach to Drug Intervention
This approach is usually present in the classic intervention and involves the family members expressing their love and concern for the individual. Similar to the confrontational approach, some consequences are discussed if the person chooses to reject treatment.
The reason why consequences are discussed is for a power shift, to switch the power from the loved one with the substance use disorder to the family members. Usually, the consequences include cutting off financial or emotional support.
Love First Approach to Drug Intervention
As the title suggests, this approach is all about sharing the love you have for the individual. This is the main focus of why you want them to receive treatment. The love first approach usually involves each family member or friend writing their loved one a letter that will be read aloud discussing these points.
Albany-Rochester Interventional Sequence for Engagement
This approach involves three levels. It starts with a family member reaching out to a professional to help assist in the intervention. The second level is the actual intervention taking place and this can happen throughout a few different meetings. The last level is the discussion of consequences if the person does not agree to treatment.
This last step is not necessary if the individual decides they will attend treatment in level two. It is usually a last resort to try and convince the loved one. You may not need this approach if alternative intervention methods work.
How to Do an Intervention
As we’ve shown, there are multiple types of drug intervention. For clarity’s sake, we’ll stick with a simpler plan for an intervention.
Your first step is to gather everyone who is close to the individual with the substance use disorder. This can be a mix of family, friends, and anyone else in their life who the substance user is close with and has respect for.
The group will then plan what they want to say to the individual. It’s important that everyone is on the same page and knows what they want to say about substance use.
Once everyone is prepared, you’ll sit down with the substance user and have a conversation about substance use. The goal is to get them to agree to treatment. It’s important to be respectful and avoid any judgmental language.
If the individual agrees to treatment, congratulations! You’ve helped organize a successful intervention. A successful intervention is an important step in getting your loved one the help they need. If they don’t agree to substance use treatment, don’t worry. You can try again another day.
How Can a Drug Detox Center Help Me Plan a Drug Intervention?
A drug detox center isn’t just the first stop on the journey to recovery from substance use. Detox centers are great resources for information about recovery, substance use disorder, early intervention, and every other subject related to addiction.
If you’re looking to plan a drug intervention, then a drug detox center can help you in a few ways:
- First, the staff at a drug detox center can provide you with information about substance use disorder and how to best approach your loved one about getting help.
- Second, a drug detox center can help you connect with other resources that can help you plan and carry out your intervention for the substance user. These may include addiction counselors, therapists, and intervention specialists.
- Third, a drug detox center can provide you with information about treatment options and what to expect after the intervention. This way, you can be prepared to help your loved one get the treatment they need to recover from substance use disorder.
The Best Ways to Support Your Loved One Struggling With Drug Addiction
It can be very hard to watch a loved one struggle with addiction. There are a few things you can do to support the substance user in your life during this time.
- Continue to show empathy through active listening
- Help them find a treatment program that is right for them
- Continue to spend quality time with them, and try not to shut them out
- Set boundaries with them
- Remember to take care of yourself as well
Remember, substance use disorder doesn’t just affect the substance user. It affects everyone around them, too. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to reach out to treatment services or another addiction treatment provider for help. They may be able to direct you to some useful services as well.
What Happens After the Drug Intervention?
If the individual agrees to treatment, you’ll want to help them find a drug detox center that can help them begin their journey to recovery. At the very least, you should get them an addiction assessment. This will help you and the addiction treatment professionals understand what kind of treatment program the substance user needs.
From there, you can begin to develop a treatment plan. This will likely include some form of detoxification, followed by rehabilitation.
If you’re not sure where to start, don’t worry. A drug detox center can help you figure out what the best next steps are for your loved one.
How to Find a Drug Detox Center
If you’re looking for a drug detox center, there are a few things you can do. You can start by asking your doctor or another healthcare professional if they have any recommendations. You can also search online for drug detox centers in your area. It’s always a good idea to call up a drug detox center and speak to them personally about your needs and concerns.
When you’re searching for a drug detox center, it’s important to keep in mind that not all detox centers are the same. Some detox centers may only offer one type of detox, while others may offer a variety of different detox programs.
It’s also important to make sure that the drug detox center you’re considering is accredited and has a good reputation. You can check with your local Better Business Bureau or do an online search to see if there have been any complaints about the center.
Finally, you’ll want to make sure that the drug detox center you choose is covered by your insurance. This will help ensure that you can afford the cost of treatment. PPO insurance is often welcomed at most drug detox centers.
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