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Do Drug Interventions Work?

Drug overdose Source: Apartment in New York Author: Sam Metsfan

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.


  1. TransmissionFrame February 22, 2020

    Do not take any advice from this writing. A person suffering will warm up best to another simply empathizing with what it is they lost. mImagine ba lady loosing her child, you dont run up to her, instead you realize it is a deep subject and it will take trust, time, and a support group. Hence where we suffer large losses such as what has been our lives has constantly hurt us so we drink to not think about it. Trust is the key here ands you will loose all trust if you run towards the person demanding they let you help them. Furthermore it is taught that we do. not know what it is like what they are going through, hence assessment and the realization that it often takes many years for things to get so bad, and often many people in a family and community to k\let things get this fa (hence asking family and neighbors who are toxic to do an intervention is absurd). Trust me I know what I am talking about.
    It is important to understand what addiction really is. It is time travel. Simply they do not like how their life has been going, often tried many things to try to make it better. So the only way to solve this is to make the day go by faster so we dont feel the pain. But it is not always with chemicals, people do this also with distractions such as watching tv, always on the internet, on the phone. Or simply using denial in big doses. Some even wash things a bunch, always cleaning. They try to have the rest of their life in order hence overcompensating and this results usually in those trying to control others lives instead of looking in the mirror about their own. I ask the next time you offer suggestions for help you first know what it is you are talking about. The best sollution to time travel is confront the people who are casing the problems, and confront the enablers. IT is usually a family that is bout of whack, and trying to get a whole family to not do what they have v]=been doping is hard. Furthermore they are in denial and here you may have the intervention you are looking for but it is not aimed at the victim of those people time traveling. As said before, people will only respond after building trust and this includes confronting the ones responsible for the pain of the time traveler.

  2. TransmissionFrame February 22, 2020

    In other words, confront the causative factors which later create a person always distracting oneself; there is a list as long as my arm. So many distractions we have to choose from, and none of them are healthy. What is healthy is dealing with your problems instead of avoiding them. Confront the trial problem, then the sym[potoms all you are working about in this article will soon be elevated because there will. o longer be a need for a distraction, as you only mention here drinking and drugs but the list as I said is quite long when including all the distractions humans so commonly do. But known that there its a reason and place for denial, our a distraction. When the loss is so large it is desirable to avoid the problem at first, in fact the first steps of denial process “is” denial and distractions. So it is okay to drink or what ever the v very first part of your loss so you don t go into shock, or freeze yourself. But what is wrong is people use this as a crutch, as to not quickly enough begin. dealing g with the initial problem. They even make it do on for years or thier whole life using the crutch of debonair or distraction. And that is not right, it show me that they have a very poor support group of peop[le who say they care about them; hence relationships often are superficial. Here is where out gets tricky, isn order to remove the problem often we have to remove ourselves from the group of p[eople crossest to us as to have chance for things getting better. I hospitals this is their biggest fear is to release a patient then all the hard work goes down the toilet because they are released into the same unhealthy environment, an environment which brought there here in. the first place. This is why they teach you not to get too close to patients due to how difficult all this is to take in. Therefore be careful of the Metical community, they are helpful, but also not as helpful as you might think. It is best to take time out and thin k about your situation alone away from others. Then surround yourself with a variety of people and activities which will further foster help if anything in giving one a good attitude, direction, and ideas from friends. Sometimes it is having g a friend take up for you but often when family causes problems like this which turns into others they hurt begin too dry nk; then the trout le maker usually will n to give into pressure from. confrontation of having a friend help speak up for you. That is why sometimes es to is best to just remove yourself from the toxic people, and start in a new invorimen t which by the way is b=very hard starting g over and alone e. That is why you try to surround yourself with a good group of people offering an variety of backgrounds.


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