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Addiction Intervention


Many families, both in Montana and across the nation, deal with the problem of substance abuse on a daily basis. An intervention is often necessary to help an addicted loved one recover from a drug or alcohol abuse problem. However, intervention is also a delicate problem, and many families that attempt to convince a loved one to seek help for addiction end up driving the subject of the intervention even further into a state of withdrawal and addiction. Fortunately, skilled intervention specialists in Montana are available to help your family plan a successful addiction intervention.

What is an Intervention?

When an addiction develops as a result of prolonged drug or alcohol abuse, the substance abuser often develops a physical dependency. If he attempts to quit using drugs or alcohol at this point, he will likely suffer from painful and potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms that may include vomiting, nausea, muscle pain, insomnia, tremors, and severe cravings for drugs. For this reason, it is very difficult, if not impossible, for most drug or alcohol abusers to admit to their substance abuse habits and to successfully quit independently. Many addicts instead rationalize away their addictions by reasoning that they need drugs or alcohol to cope with stress. Even legal problems that are related to drug or alcohol abuse, such as a DUI or a charge for possession, may be waved away as a one-time occurrence.

If you know someone who exhibits any of the above signs, an intervention on his or her behalf may be necessary. The intervention is designed to help the addict face the truth of his substance abuse problem and to convince him of the necessity of seeking professional help in the form of drug or alcohol counseling through a rehab program. The subject of the intervention is generally approached by trusted relatives and friends who must show support and empathy and convince him of the need to pursue rehabilitation.

The Steps of Intervention

Before conducting an intervention, planning is necessary. The concerned relatives and friends should first contact and consult with an intervention specialist. Interventionists are skilled in the area of addiction and understand the psychology of the drug and alcohol abuser. A professional interventionist should be able to help the family decide upon the participants in the intervention and what they will say to the subject to convince him to recognize his problem and to seek counseling.

Once the planning stage is complete, the intervention can begin. The subject should be approached when he is sober, and the intervention itself should involve a small number of people in order to maintain a casual atmosphere and to avoid the possibility that the subject will feel intimidated. Family members who are on bad terms with the subject should be kept away from the intervention. If the intervention involves bare insults and accusations leveled at the subject, he will likely respond with anger or with emotional withdrawal, and the increased strain that this failed intervention places on his relationship with his family will make it very difficult to carry out a successful intervention on his behalf in the future. However, while an empathetic and supportive tone is necessary to maintain, the subject must also be told of the practical consequences of his continued drug use, such as the breaking of family relationships, which may motivate them to admit to their problem and seek counseling.

Finally, the participating relatives and friends of the addicted person should be prepared to help him enroll in a rehab program immediately following the intervention. If the subject of an intervention does not immediately begin counseling of some form, he will likely return to his previous patterns of drug or alcohol abuse, and the intervention will have been a failure.

If you know someone with a drug or alcohol abuse problem who may need an intervention, contact a Montana intervention expert to learn more about intervention techniques and treatment options.