How Successful Are Addiction Interventions?

How Successful Are Interventions?

We all have heard of the term ‘intervention’ or have even seen the television show. They are ways for family members and other loved ones to express how they feel about a person’s drug or alcohol addiction and how is affecting everyone’s life negatively. If someone is not realizing how their addiction is ruining their life, their family and friends will probably schedule an intervention behind the person’s back to try and convince them to get help. But how successful are these interventions, and do they actually help to get the person treatment?

What Exactly Goes On at an Intervention?

Having an intervention is basically a form of positive peer pressure. Everyone is trying to get the person to admit that they need help and should seek it immediately. An example of what can be talked about is a spouse talking about the addiction ruining their marriage and potentially harming the children’s life. Some will also give ultimatums such as moving out if the person does not seek treatment.

People will use their emotions to trigger other emotions in the targeted person. “Rather than simply saying that the abuse is harmful, group members may itemize the specific types of suffering they’ve experienced in an attempt to help the addict see the profound effects of his behavior.”

Most interventions have a mental health professional present to make sure everything stays calm and goes according to plan. If the person doesn’t accept the treatment, they will have to suffer the consequences their loved ones will bring.

Do Interventions Work?

The effectiveness of interventions is a harder to define. There is more to, yes the person accepts treatment, or no they don’t. Not everyone that goes to treatment is from an intervention. But if a person accepts treatment from an intervention, it doesn’t mean they will put all their effort into living a sober life. They may be only accepting treatment to give in to peer pressure and silencing their family members.

Most of the times, an intervention is done in a last-ditch attempt. Family members probably have tried everything else and there is nothing left but to have an intervention, usually when the person is already strongly into the deep end of their addiction.

The stronger the social and emotional support is given to addicts, the more likely they will be to put effort into treatment and staying sober after. If a person knows they are loved, they don’t want to jeopardize it, in most cases. An intervention can also be a way of family members gathering to support the decision of a person getting help and achieve wellness.

Dangers of Interventions

Interventions won’t necessarily make the situation physically worse, but they can split people and relationships up. Addicts can respond to interventions with anger because they do not think anything is wrong with them. Other instances may be the person refuses the treatment and the family members have to actually go through with their threats, which may be hard. It will always be difficult seeing a family member ruining their life and relationships to people that mean the most to them.

Interventions depend on the person and the people doing the intervention. The more love and support that is put into them, the better success rate they will have.