Understanding Intervention for Substance Addiction

Drug or alcohol addiction can be one of the most devastating things in Dana Point, Orange County of California. It often leads to many complications for the addict and their loved ones. Indeed it is common for people struggling with addiction to go through life threatening experiences. They may also become less productive when it comes to professional or academic life.

Additionally, those close to an addict may end up going through different forms of complications including financial difficulty, loss of self-esteem and strained relationships. And while the problem of addiction may seem bleak, the truth is that there is always help if you look in the right place.

But before looking at the importance of intervention when it comes to substance addiction help and recovery, it is prudent to have a closer look at what really happens when an individual falls into the trap of addiction.

Substance Addiction: What is it Really?

Substance addiction refers to a condition that affects an individual physically and psychologically. In essence the individual becomes so used to a particular drug or alcohol that quitting use can lead to various physical and psychological effects.

When an addict tries to quit the use of a substance, they often get an immense craving that becomes unbearable to them. Such an individual’s mind is often occupied with thoughts of how and when they are going to get their next fix.

This psychological state usually prevents them from focusing on any other issues that may be important in life. It is also worth noting that such individuals may experience physical effects such as tremors, chills, headaches, abdominal and muscle pain.

As you watch your brother, sister, mother or a friend continue using substance and becoming addicted, you may end up despising or hating them. What you do not understand is that these individuals may genuinely want to quit substance use but lack the necessary psychological and medical help to do so.

It is with that in mind that you should consider getting help through a rehab care provider. Such a provider can lead you in staging an intervention that may not only save your relationship with the addict but also ensure a better life for them and their loved ones.

Intervention Explained

An intervention is one of the most important events when it comes to helping an addict to recover. This is because in most cases, the individual may not even be aware of the unbearable pain and suffering he or she may be inflicting on family and friends. The addict may also be oblivious to the health problems they may already be experiencing or risk suffering from.

An intervention is a carefully thought out process that is meant to let any person struggling with addiction know that his or her actions are causing harm to self and loved ones. Interventions often involve family members and friends. They are usually supervised by a qualified intervention specialist, social worker or doctor.

When to Stage an Intervention

There is no particular time that can be singled out as being appropriate. Basically if you believe that a friend or family member is going down the path of addiction, you should immediately reach out for help. Remember that the sooner you seek help the better the chances of preventing negative consequences for the patient and their loved ones.

It is worth pointing out that while friends and loved ones may mean well, they do not always know what to say or how to act during an intervention. Additionally, the patient may be in denial regarding their substance addiction. And that is why it is important to seek the help of a specialist first.

If you observe the following signs from a loved one, it may be time for you to seek intervention help. That is because such signs may indicate the individual is struggling with addiction.

  • Problems at work or school
  • Health issues related to substance use
  • Deterioration in physical appearance or dressing
  • Lack of energy or motivation
  • Constant borrowing of money
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Frequent intoxication
  • Secretive behavior
  • Depression
  • Eating and sleeping disorders

How to Stage an Intervention

To ensure that the intervention process moves on with exceptional success, you should keep the following in mind.

An Intervention specialist

The first thing you should do is seek the help of an intervention specialist. Such a person has the skill and training to know exactly how to act in different situations. The professional knows what to expect and prepares you and your family for the most likely outcomes.

Going into an intervention without such a professional can actually aggravate the situation. That is because some people who struggle with addiction do not even realize it. They think they are fine and can quit at any time they want to. If you therefore approach such people, they may only end up becoming aggressive or may delve deeper into substance abuse.

If you are in Orange County, California, you can easily find a professional interventionist by contacting us for more guidance.

Build your intervention team

The next step is to determine who will form part of the intervention team. This is another area where you may need the help of a professional interventionist. Remember you cannot just include anyone in the team because some moments may get intense and heartbreaking.

There is always the potential for the person struggling with addiction to lash out. And that can cause distress to certain people. While it is fine to include the individual’s children and even elderly people, they should always be prepared beforehand.

Other people that can help you reach out to the individual include close family friends, spouses or partners, siblings, co-workers, personal doctor and spiritual leader. The key is to choose people who are genuinely concerned about the welfare of the individual struggling with addiction.

The learning process

Before you can stage a successful intervention, every member of the team is going to have to be equipped with some of the most important information regarding addiction and treatment. In such a case, the intervention specialist is likely to discuss and recommend strategies that the team can use to reach out to the person struggling with addiction.

Each member will be provided with personalized information to help them deal with anything that arises during the intervention process. It is worth pointing out that the team may also have to rehearse so that everyone knows exactly what to do without contradicting the other.

With that said, it is worth noting that an intervention is not meant to be robotic or removed from the realities of the situation. Everyone will be required to approach the situation with compassion and understanding for the patient. Nonetheless everyone must do everything naturally so that the patient can appreciate how everyone is genuine.

The place and time

Once everybody has become accustomed to their roles, it is time to determine the most appropriate date and time plus the meeting place for the intervention. Pick a day when everyone is free. It is also important for you to choose a time when the addicted person is likely to be sober.

That is because approaching an intoxicated person may be counterproductive. Most interventions take place between 30 to 90 minutes. That’s basically enough time for everyone to raise their points and let the person struggling with addiction think about everything

The meeting place should not be in an unfamiliar territory. Instead choose a venue that you know the person struggling with addiction is familiar with. This will help them feel more relaxed and willing to listen to what everyone has to say. In most situations, the meeting place is at home. But it can also be at a serene park or beach with enough privacy for people to talk.

Manage expectations

There is no way of predicting the outcome of any intervention. That is why you should always be prepared for any eventuality. Each member of the team must know that the person struggling with addiction has a free will and will ultimately have to make his or her personal decision.

Everyone should just give it their best and hope for a positive outcome. And even if the addicted person refuses to get help, do not despair. It may sometimes take a day or even a week before they fully appreciate what the team is trying to do.

Things to avoid during an intervention

Every intervention is unique depending on the people involved and the problems that arise. However, the following things should be avoided regardless of the situation.

Big groups

To avoid making the intervention unproductive, there are certain things that each member of the team must avoid. A particular thing to avoid is creating a team of too many people. That can easily make the addicted person feel intimidated and coerced into something they are not ready for. Instead, just pick a small group of people who are likely to make the most impact.


When tempers seem to flare up during interventions, some people may resort to name calling or giving the addicted person labels such as junkie, addict and alcoholic. That can only lead to more problems because such terms come across as derogatory or accusatory. Simply call the person by their name or use any other loving term you use for one another.

Intoxicated subject

The last thing you want is to stage an intervention when the individual in question is intoxicated. That is necase such a person is unlikely to take anything seriously and may even become aggressive or abusive toward some members of the team.

Outbursts of anger

Before committing to be part of an intervention team, you must be able to restrain yourself. That is because some interventions may become tense and even frustrating. With high levels of frustrations, there is a likelihood that some people may experience flare-ups of anger. Anger can only poison the atmosphere and may easily make the addicted person slip further into the habit.

Next Steps Forward

An intervention is not coercive, Meaning you should not force the addicted person to get treatment. Instead, it should be a genuine desire to let them know that you care about them and want them to get better. It should also make them aware that their behavior is causing tremendous pain to loved ones.

Once the individual knows that everything you are doing is based on love, honesty and support, you should also lay out a list of consequences should they fail to adhere to rules of treatment. These consequences are meant to guard children, the spouse and other loved ones from the pain that the individual causes rather than to punish them.

For instance, if the person refuses to get help, they should know that the custody of the children can and will be taken away from them. Refusing to live in the same house with the addicted person can also be another consequence.

The intervention team must be resolute in what they say and remain firm in enforcing these consequences. This will also motivate the individual to get help as soon as possible.

Don’t Let Your Loved One Suffer

Watching your friend, brother, sister or even parent struggling with addiction can cause tremendous hurt. But even worse, addiction can lead to deadly consequences including long-term illness and even death from overdose. Instead of standing by as your loved one suffers, reach out to our Dana Point addiction treatment center in California and let us help you through these trying times.