Whenever someone needs help but refuses to accept it, an intervention may be required. Two aspects common to all addictions are denial(s). Sufferers deny that their problem is as serious as it is. In order to crash through this wall of denial: family, friends, employers etc. are often necessary to lift the veil of delusion and point out exactly what they have observed regarding the subject’s drug & alcohol use.
Another delusion common to addicts / alcoholics is that their behaviour isn’t hurting anyone but them. An intervention can be useful to rectify this misconception. The subject’s addiction does not allow him to consider the damage s/he is causing to the various relationships: (son, brother, father, husband, friend, employee etc.). It is an opportunity for those close to him or her to vent their angers, fears, disappointments and wishes directly to the addict.
Intervention can be a very powerful and successful experience in getting people to accept help. It can be done with love and respect in a non-confrontational, non-judgmental way however guidance and preparation are critical. This includes identifying others who should be involved, exploring treatment options, and preparing what they are going to say. The goal is to move from a dysfunctional disorganized and chaotic state to one of cohesion and focus.
An intervention is usually quite stressful for everyone involved. No one can foresee exactly how someone will react. Acceptance, anger, relief, hope, confusion are all usually present to some degree, and sooner or later each will emerge. How these pent-up emotions manifest themselves prior to, during and after the intervention varies considerably.
Participants need to remember that intervention is only one part of the process. Intervention starts with the first appeal for help but lasts well beyond the intervention. Family and friends will hopefully continue to learn and change even after the intervention regardless of how it went. It is this continued growth that, in the long run, will not only help family and friends maintain perspective and resolve may also help the person to take the matter seriously and to focus on accepting help. Whatever happens, it will never be business as usual again for anyone.