A Poorly Planned Intervention can do More Harm than Good

A Poorly Planned Intervention can do More Harm than Good

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A Poorly Planned Intervention can do More Harm than Good.

Interventions

An intervention can be a highly effective tool for making feelings known to a loved one who is an addict. The intervention offers a clearly defined opportunity for the addict to see that people care and that rehabilitation is an option. An intervention requires planning and having the right people and plan in place. Unfortunately, a poorly planned intervention can do more harm than good when it comes to the addict in your family.

Do Interventions Work

Interventions for drugs and alcohol have become quite popular in the world of addiction. While interventions can be helpful and have been to help people seek and receive help, they can also create problems. Some interventions can undermine relationships with friends and loved ones so much that the addict becomes worse. A variety of factors play into the effectiveness of an intervention. There is no way to be certain an intervention will be effective. This is a risk you must take if staging an intervention. However, the risks can be somewhat metered if the intervention is well planned and focused.

Interventions Explained

Basically, an intervention uses peer pressure to encourage an addict to acknowledge a problem and seek treatment that is appropriate for their situation. Typically an inpatient rehabilitation facility. During the intervention, friends and family gather in a surprise gathering to confront the addict and encourage treatment. Each member of the group outlines the ways in which they have been harmed by the addiction. These interventions are typically highly emotionally charged as the members not only outline the harm done. But also the consequences for not seeking treatment.

The harms and consequences are supposed to be highly specific. Though interventions are popular, there is no real data that shows effectiveness. Though the addict is more likely to enter rehab, the effectiveness of treatment overall is not affected. It is thought that the easiest option is to enter rehab and if the person is not fully committed. They are less likely to get better. As interventions are often a last resort for those who have struggled with addiction long term, the person may struggle even with a successful intervention.

Poorly Planned Intervention

Though interventions may be positive for some, a poorly planned intervention may actually cause damage. It can take only a few mistakes for an intervention to go badly. Mistakes that need to be avoided are things such as lack of direction, asking too many questions, blaming, and limited follow through.

Addiction has already strained family ties and friendships. Adding to that strain can send the addict into a downward spiral from which they may not recover. This simply means that when discussing options with the addict, the topic needs to stay focused without asking lots of questions and without assigning blame. Your loved one is probably overwhelmed and looking for an excise to get out. By asking too many questions or blaming, the addict may feel attacked. Not supported in their decision to go into treatment. Additionally, escalating tensions and dwelling on the past should be avoided. The point is to stay calm and focus on the future addiction free. Offer the addict a single option, immediate treatment with clear consequences if no follow through occurs. Without this the addict may get overwhelmed or choose an option that the family was not willing to accept.

A Poorly Planned Intervention can do More Harm than Good

Though interventions can help guide an addict into treatment, a poorly planned intervention can force an addict to run and seek solace in drugs and other substances. If you are staging an intervention, seek professional help and be clear about your goals. The future for your loved one may depend on it.

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Anne -

Anne Lazarakis joined the DARA Rehab team from Sydney, Australia. She writes about addiction and mental health on a global, local and community level. She also relays personal accounts of substance abuse and recovery through the stories of our clients, their families and our own team members.

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