Do Drug Interventions Work?
Drug interventions are pretty well known, most people have seen the A&E and have witnessed the extremely tense situation that it is. To the laymen, it may seem a little extreme but as someone who has been sober for 5 years, extreme measures are very necessary in order to convince an addict they need help. An intervention is a time for family and friends to get together, form a plan and basically bombard a loved one who is suffering with love and concern. Do they work?
First let’s look at the different types of interventions.
Simple intervention – This is basically a one on one intervention, not typically something people think about when thinking an intervention. This is sometimes the correct precaution to take for someone who is extremely shy or reclusive. If you think the addict will respond terribly to a room full of people, then it is up to one specific person to confront the person suffering. Obviously here the choice in person is very important. Find someone who is still close to the addict and who everyone thinks the addict will respond well to.
Classic Intervention – This is the conventional and most well known intervention. A group of friends and family carefully plan out a time, day and place to convince someone to go to inpatient treatment. This is something that can take a bit of time to plan. Everybody has to be on the exact same page and be aware that it is a time for care and concern, not a time for criticism and negative remarks. Another important facet of this type of intervention is everybody lays out clear boundaries in the future if the addict decides to not get help. This is what most families decide to do.
Family Systems Intervention – This is similar to a classic intervention except it focuses on more than one addict. Usually it is a couple that is getting high together. These are very difficult to navigate because along with couples using together is extreme co-dependency. Getting two people to go get help separately is the goal and it is not an easy goal to accomplish. Having an intervention like this usually requires hiring a professional interventionist. It is typically too complicated for regular people to do.
Crisis Intervention – This is an intervention that needs to be done right away. Classic interventions usually involve at least a week of preparation, sometimes there is absolutely no time to waste because of certain circumstances. A crisis intervention is like the hail mary of interventions, get whomever you can who is available and knows the loved one to try your best to convince them they need help ASAP. Obviously, this is a difficult form of intervention.
Confrontational Intervention – Sometimes you need to play dirty to get someone the help they need. There are certain circumstances, such as somebody having a warrant for their arrest, where you can hold that over the addicts head. Is this the best way to go about things? Of course not, but sometimes you need to take some truly radical actions to save someones life. The hope is, if someone is faced with having the cops called to execute a warrant or go to treatment, the person will choose the latter. Nothing is ever promised though of course.
Do Interventions Work?
So the real question becomes, do these interventions work? It is extremely difficult to get someone addicted to a substance to let go of their first love, drop everything and go get help somewhere. Of all the options to help someone get into treatment though, intervention seems like the best one. The one true and trusted statistic is one we have from A&E, based on their intervention TV show. They have stated the success rate of their show is 71%. This is something that can be trusted as their interventions are all televised and there are instances when the person doesn’t agree and the show ends.
According to professionals, people who have the correct plan with guidance, the right preparation and execute the intervention correctly, have a good chance at success. Usually the interventions don’t go well because somebody says something uncalled for and sets the addict off. Of course, there is always the possibility that the addict will say no to anything thrown at them. In those instances families and friends must do the hardest thing possible and cut that person completely out of their lives until they get help.
This may seem extreme but it is a theory called ‘elevating the bottom’. Meaning that, addicts will not get help until they are out of options and people who are going to help and enable then. Most addicts that is, some will go homeless the rest of their lives no matter who cuts them out but that is certainly the exception rather than the rule. Hitting bottom is essential to getting an addict to get help, as long as the addict has someone to help and enable them, they will not get any help.
If you personally are in need of getting a intervention set up, do your research and look into hiring a professional because an intervention will have a better chance of being successful if you execute it correctly. Nothing is guaranteed but interventions are found to be the greatest method to get someone in need of help the help they desperately need.