An intervention is a process during which a professional interventionist works with a family and/or friends to confront the addicted individual with their behavior, make it clear they will no longer enable the addiction and help them accept treatment. The best interventions are managed by a licensed or credentialed individual with a strong intervention background who understands the powerful psychological elements of denial by the addict and those impacted by the addict’s addiction. The Johnson Intervention is the most common type of intervention.
The interventionist interviews family members and those close to the addict. Pre-intervention work gives the interventionist a clear picture of the addict’s relationships and helps him prepare for any “surprises” during the actual intervention. Next, the intervention date is set and the professional both sets the ground rules and guides the process. The interventionist knows if a family member may be vulnerable to manipulation and is prepared to handle that type of behavior. It is important that family members agree and work together so the addict knows he no longer can divide and conquer. If the intervention is done by someone with strong experience who has done thorough pre-intervention work, in most cases the addict capitulates to the new rules: the family will no longer support the addiction, and will only support attempts at recovery.
Less commonly used is the Invitational Intervention, where the addict is invited to meet with the family. Most addicts avoid having family/friends get together because they are used to using them, capitalizing on weaknesses and knowing who will buckle to pleas or fall for promises to quit. With shared information, the addict’s manipulative behavior and denial is less likely to work. An alcohol or drug intervention can be a highly effective way of getting a resistant person to accept treatment. The interventionist helps the family to choose an appropriate drug rehab facility, and if the family chooses, will follow the addict’s treatment and make aftercare recommendations.