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A characteristic of drug addiction, a complex illness, is that the addict will experience intense drug cravings. At times, it can be uncontrollable compulsive drug seeking and its use that will continue to persist even if the consequences are devastating.The path to getting addicted to drugs generally begins with voluntary use by an individual, but over time he/she loses the ability to decide not to use drugs.Some addicts recognize the problems that stem from drug abuse, while for some others who are either reluctant or unable to realize the fact that drugs are responsible for their health, work and relationship problems, a formal intervention may become necessary. This is because most people who are struggling with addiction will often be in a denial mode when it comes to their situation and will not be willing to seek treatment.

Intervention What Is It

It is a process that is carefully planned and involves family members, friends, colleagues and others who are concerned about the well-being of the person struggling with his/her addiction.During the process, all these people come together, confer with the addict and impress upon him/her the consequences of the addiction problem and encourage the patient to seek treatment. The process involves providing the addict with specific examples and highlighting the impact of destructive behavior on him as well as his/her loved ones and offering a treatment plan with clear guidelines and goals. It also involves spelling out clearly as to what each person would do if the addict refuses treatment.

An intervention is never a confrontation. It presents the addict with an opportunity to accept help and take the first step towards the addiction treatment process. Often, an interventionist serves as an educator and guide during as well as before and after intervention.

Intervention How Does It Work

The steps involved in an intervention process are as follows:

#1: Planning

Typically, a friend or a family member proposes an intervention. He/she then creates a planning group. Generally, the group consults with a professional interventionist, counselor or social worker during the planning process. An intervention can be a highly charged situation as it can potentially cause feelings of resentment, anger and a sense of betrayal in the addict.The planning group must seek the help of the interventionist, if there are concerns about violent behavior on the part of the addict.

#2: Information Gathering

The members of the planning group assess the extent of the addict's problem and research the treatment options available. On the basis of the assessment, the group may arrange a specific treatment program for their loved ones suffering from the addiction.

#3: Formation of the Intervention Team

The planning group then forms an intervention team to participate in the addict's recovery process. Team members decide on a location and date to present a rehearsed message and a structured plan to the addict. The team members make sure that the addict gets to know as to what they are doing only on the day of intervention.

#4: Decision on Specific Consequences

In the event of the person with addiction to drugs refusing to accept treatment, the members of the intervention team need to have a clear idea as to what they will do.

#5: Written Message

Each one of the intervention team members must detail out specific incidents that have happened because of the drug addiction problem of the loved one. It could be emotional or financial issues,but team members have to present them in an empathetic manner, expressing hope that he/she would be able to change for good.

#6: Intervention Meeting

The person with the addiction problem should be asked to come to the intervention site without revealing the purpose. The intervention team members can take turns and express their feelings and concerns. In the meeting, the proposed treatment plan can be explained and the addict may be encouraged to accept the same on the spot.

#7: Follow Up

It is important to involve a family member,spouse or any other person in the addiction treatment of the loved one and to prevent a relapse. The follow up process may, therefore, include changing the patterns of everyday living so that the addict does not resort to destructive behavior. The person who works with the addict should accompany him/her for counseling sessions, seek a therapist, provide recovery support and learn what to do in the event of a relapse.

Summarizing,it important to plan the intervention carefully so as to make it work as intended. This is because an intervention that is poorly planned only serves to worsen the situation for the addict.