What is an Intervention?

Looking at the definition of intervention, you have to consider what is happening in the situation. You have a volatile situation in which you have an unhealthy family system sitting in the same room with the substance user who often feels it is everyone else in the room’s fault for their current situation. You may or may not have an alcoholic or addict who is in denial, and you almost always have a family in denial or that is completely unaware of how they have been affected and how their actions may have affected the situation. Furthermore, you have an alcoholic or addict who has not yet surrendered to treatment or successfully addressed their alcoholism, so we must look at why.

  • Addressing the family roles that have prevented the family from seeking help for themselves and for the alcoholic or addict.
  • Identifying behaviors that comfort and worsen the addiction.
  • Helping the family understand that their anger and frustration is not solely with the substance user, it is also with other family members.
  • Guiding families into their own recovery whether or not the alcoholic or addict enters recovery for themselves.
  • Providing families closure that regardless of the outcome, they feel they have done all they can to prevent further destruction and have offered their loved one help. 
  • Teaching the family how to effectively communicate with the alcoholic or addict and each other.
  • Addressing the family roles that have prevented the alcoholic or addict from seeking help.

The alcoholic or addict has a right to be a substance user and the family has the right to not help them be comfortable. How many times have you heard an alcoholic or addict say they are a certain age, and they have the right to do whatever they want? They would be correct in their statement and so would the family if they were to say and believe the same thing. Alcoholism and drug addiction is often referred to as a victimless crime in that it primarily affects only the substance user. If this were true, the family would not feel the way they feel, and the substance user would not seek to inflict pain on the family while trying to make the family believe it is all their fault for the way things are.  

An intervention, when performed professionally and correctly, is about addressing the family system, and offering the alcoholic or addict help. When you look at how alcoholism affects a family system, you will see that an intervention is much bigger than just getting the substance user into treatment. It is about starting the road to recovery for both them and their family.

Contact us for help.