Addicts do not tend to appreciate being called out on their addiction. It is typically a source of shame and deeply seeded self-loathing. But, many addicts are still capable of listening to reason over time and finding their way back from addiction or finding their way into a recovery program. There are some addicts, however, who are particularly stubborn in their addiction and reject anything their loved ones have to say to them about quitting. This type of person will continue to pursue their addiction even into failing health and total dysfunction. For this type of addict, there is intervention.
Intervention is highly stereotyped based on old conventions and media portrayals, but intervention is much more complex than simply a weepy get together. Intervention is a coming together for deliberate communication and a breaking of denial. It is warranted when a person is showing obvious signs of not being able to take care of themselves and putting themselves at risk. The traditional format of an intervention is where a mental health professional, typically a professional interventionist, leads group communication between an addict and their loved ones for the purpose of helping the addict understand how out of control their addiction has become. Denial is powerful and it can take a great deal of persuasion to bring it down.
Interventions have been found successful because the strength of multiple family members opinions leave little room for the addict’s denial to survive and tend to inspire a sense of accountability within the addict. The role of the interventionist is to mediate exchanges and facilitate good communication by making sure exchanges stay healthy and productive. They are an important part of the intervention because they keep things from descending into anarchy and out of control emotions. If you have an addict within your support system who is strongly resisting opinions that recommend quitting their addiction, it could be that an intervention is the appropriate next step. Do not attempt to arrange an intervention without the help of professionals. Interventions can become out of control and a mental health professional can mean the difference between success and failure.