What is an Intervention?

Interventions have become a popular topic recently, exploding into various television niches that are generating a great deal of interest.  However, like anything that is adulterated by television, the portrayal of what an intervention is and how it works is not always accurate.  Interventions were never meant to be exciting, glamorous or profitable.  A real intervention is the last-ditch effort of loved ones attempting to save the life of someone they care about.

No one wants to do an intervention.  And certainly no one wants to be the subject of one.  However, without this amazing tool of human compassion and tough love, many addicts and alcoholics would die every year, never to get the help that was within their grasp all along.

An intervention is when, out of concern for an individual’s safety as a result of drug abuse or alcohol addiction, a group of people join together to strategically force the individual to confront the true nature of the physical and emotional state that they are in.  Usually the group consists of the individual’s close friends and family members and occasionally relevant associates from work.  Often one unrelated individual will organize and manage the entire process, with the end result of amassing all of these important people and the individual in one place at a specific time and having a candid discussion about what the subject’s addiction is doing to everyone involved.

The mediator of an intervention usually makes all of the necessary arrangements.  Sometimes this can be complicated and might include pre-arranging with an employer for insurance to cover drug addiction treatment, and for the individual to be able to take the needed time off from work.  It could also involve making all arrangements at a professional detox center and drug rehab center.  It is also the job of the mediator to ensure that all parties to the intervention have a vested interest in positively impacting the individual in question.  Those people that would cause a disruption or be a negative influence are excluded from the intervention.

Once of all of the relevant people are gathered in one place, the situation will be arranged so that the individual will be brought to the group without knowing the intervention is going to occur.  This is critical for the success of the intervention, as many people in active addiction or alcoholism do not wish to be confronted under any circumstances.  People in the group will be permitted to say their own short “piece” to the individual under the careful guidance of the moderator.  At the conclusion, the group will present their proposed solutions to the individual.

Despite popular belief, the primary focus of an intervention is not to force a person to go to a drug rehab center.  Instead, the only thing that is forced is that the individual must confront how their drug addiction or alcoholism is destroying their own life and the lives of people around them.  Getting the person to understand that they have people that care about them and that help is available is critical to the success of an intervention – whatever that desired success might be.

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