Interventions – A Delicate Balance for Success

April 4, 2014

Interventions have been popularized on television with several shows dedicated to showing the plight of the addict and how they are saved through an intervention. It does, after all, make for great TV. And while these shows bring the dangers of addiction to primetime, they ignore as much, if not more, than they tell. Rarely does the portrayal of an intervention on TV address the sensitivity of the situation and how an intervention gone wrong can actually push the addict further from treatment. This is probably the most significant consideration when a family is considering how to confront their loved one.

Remember, that every time you or a loved one communicate your concerns to the addict in your life, you are performing an intervention – it may not be formal or guided by science, but it is an intervention nonetheless.

It is also, most often, unsuccessful.

Unfortunately, not every intervention – even those directed by professionals – is successful. Even fewer interventions performed by family members alone proceed as intended. That’s why interventions should only be performed by clinicians with the knowledge and experience to execute them properly. Interventionists are keenly aware of the signs of the addict losing interest or turning hostile and can quickly change the tone of the intervention to maintain interest. Further, trained clinicians can size up the addict’s particular situation using a combination of information gleaned from the family and the conversation with the addict. Finally, interventionists are third parties who do not have an emotional attachment to the addict – unbridled emotions are a leading cause of unsuccessful interventions.

The first step toward sobriety for you or a loved one is a phone call to seek treatment. Doing so is a small, but significant move in treating addiction and all of the negative effects that go along with it.