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When someone addicted to drugs or alcohol refuses to get help time and time again, loved ones sometimes employ a professional intervention to try to affect real change. A professional intervention includes family, friends, and others who are involved in the life of someone struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction. They unite in an attempt to back the person they love who has a substance use disorder into a corner so that they finally choose to get help.

What is an Intervention?

A professional intervention is a common tactic used when a family has exhausted all other options for convincing a loved one to seek help for their addiction. An intervention is designed to confront a person with a substance use disorder in an effort to show them they need to enter treatment. Family members, spouses and romantic partners, and close friends who have a vested interest in seeing the person get better may attend the intervention.

How Do I Know if I Need a Professional Intervention?

A professional intervention typically comes into play when the family and friends of someone suffering from addiction have reached the end of their collective rope. They have already asked, bartered, and begged for their loved ones to seek help for their substance use disorder. Either the person has refused to get help or they entered some form of treatment, only to leave it early or relapse and not address their relapse.

Loved ones seeking a professional intervention for someone usually have reached a point where they need to offer an ultimatum to their family member or friend. The loved ones have incurred their own pain, frustration, and damaged relationships due to the addiction, and they need to address it once and for all. An intervention provides the opportunity for a group of people to come together as a united front and lay the responsibility of finally getting help at the feet of their loved ones. 

In some cases, a family may have already attempted their own intervention but it didn’t result in the loved one getting help and entering long-term recovery. When this happens, the missing key may be that a professional intervention has yet to be incorporated. Bringing in an expert who knows how to organize an intervention and optimize the chances that the person with an addiction will get help can provide the results everyone needs.

What is an Intervention Specialist?

An intervention specialist is trained to perform an intervention for someone addicted to drugs or alcohol. The fact that they have no personal ties to the family allows them to be objective in their approach. They understand how to gather any needed information on the individual being targeted and prepare the family for the intervention. 

An intervention specialist has similar qualities to a therapist, in that they understand how to handle volatile situations akin to family therapy. They know how to keep everyone focused on the goal and not allow the intervention to derail into an unproductive situation. The specialist will likely be able to provide advance help in choosing treatment program options to offer during the intervention.

Do Interventions Really Work?

Interventions often result in a loved one finally admitting they need help and getting treatment. For many families, it is an act of last resort. When a loved one is confronted by the reality of how far they have pushed their loved ones, and that they will no longer tolerate the addiction, it often pushes them to get help. Sometimes the targeted individual may initially decline help offered during an intervention. However, once they live with the consequences for a short while, they often reconsider and agree to seek help.  

How to Stage a Professional Intervention

A family may decide they want to perform an intervention on a loved one lost to their addiction but aren’t sure where to start. Bringing in a counselor experienced in performing professional interventions can make a huge difference. These counselors understand how to plan and execute an intervention and come at it from a neutral standpoint rather than being emotionally entangled in the process. 

If the person with the addiction has a therapist, this professional may be able to offer their services in leading the intervention. If not, a treatment facility can provide someone skilled at leading an intervention or offer advice on how to perform one. 

One of the main questions that comes up when planning an intervention is whether or not to tell the person with the addiction about it ahead of time. The advantage of a surprise intervention is that it prevents the loved one from refusing to go or planning ways to try to talk their way out of the event. 

Deciding where to perform the intervention proves important. It should take place in a private location, such as the home of the person being confronted or one of their loved one’s homes. Everyone invited should be told when to arrive and what will be expected of them. If a professional will be leading the intervention, the loved ones can be told to look to that person to lead the process. 

What Happens During an Intervention?

An intervention begins with the loved one being in the same room as everyone who will participate in the event. One person, preferably a professional, will lead the process. 

During the intervention, each person present provides clear examples of how the loved one’s behavior has had a negative impact on them and their relationships. Afterward, the leader will ask the addicted person to begin treatment immediately. They will offer a concrete option for a treatment plan with clear actions to take, reasons for the actions, and the goals of treatment. Specific consequences that will occur if the loved one refuses treatment are laid out. These may include things like cutting the person off financially, withholding familial contact, or the end of a romantic relationship or marriage.

Each person at the professional intervention lists how they will contribute to the recovery process if the addicted person accepts treatment. An offer of transportation to an appropriate facility will be extended if treatment outside of town is preferable to the family and client. 

By the end of the intervention, everyone in attendance will have had a chance to express their thoughts. The person with the addiction will be faced with proof that their condition has spiraled out of control, and getting immediate treatment is of paramount importance. A treatment plan will be presented to them; should they decline to get help, they will know what consequences will then happen.

What if Those Who are Addicted Refuse Help?

During an intervention, the loved one being confronted will be told about consequences that will happen if they don’t get immediate help for their addiction. If they refuse help, it’s imperative that everyone follows through on these consequences. They may include reducing or cutting off contact, no longer offering housing or financial help, and other life-changing actions. Once the person lives with these results, they often reconsider their decision and enter treatment. 

If the initial intervention conducted was not organized and led by an intervention specialist, try again using one. Poorly run interventions led by frustrated loved ones often devolve into arguments and tears. Putting a professional in charge who knows how to get results can make the second intervention a successful one.

How to Find an Interventionist

Physicians and therapists can help provide an intervention specialist for families searching for one. Many addiction treatment facilities work with interventionists both in their local area and nationally and offer valuable resources to loved ones. Contacting these types of professionals can put a family in touch with an interventionist who can help them.

Common Questions About the Detox Process

Detox is the first step in treatment for addiction. Once someone enters detox, they often have questions about the treatment plan itself and what their family will be doing during this time. Common questions include:

If we have a treatment plan for the detoxification and aftercare, can we modify it as we go?

You and your treatment team can work together on an ongoing basis to change and modify your plans as needed. For example, some of our clients find that 12-step recovery is not for them. The MD Home Detox team uses a holistic approach to help these clients find other support for their long and short-term goals.

Does detoxing at home provide extra privacy?

Detoxing at home with MD Home Detox is beneficial for someone who is concerned with confidentiality and wants to be supervised by a medical team in the safety of his or her home.

What will my family do while I’m detoxing?

Our assessment and screening process includes determining how to best support your detox at home. Some home environments are conducive to having the family stay in the home. Some families prefer to stay with family, friends, or at a nearby hotel while their family member is detoxing at home.

Should my family go to therapy or Al-Anon while I detox?

We recommend that families get support while a family member is detoxing at 12-step groups such as Alanon. Our treatment team includes Marriage and Family Therapists who can work with your family and connect them with community support if needed.

Professional Interventions in Beverly Hills 

If you need to arrange for a professional intervention for a loved one who is lost in the world of addiction to drugs or alcohol, we can help. MD Home Detox in Beverly Hills can help you prepare for an intervention that can change the life of someone you care about. We help plan every detail of the intervention in order to provide a setting that will encourage your loved one to seek help for their addiction. Contact us now and we will be happy to answer any questions you have about this life-changing event.

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