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‘So many of the calls we receive at The Providence Project are from distraught family members who are not only watching their loved one self-destruct, but are also struggling to cope living with the nightmare of addiction or alcoholism.

As a friend or family member this can be both frustrating and terrifying. The combination of having to live with addiction and all the lies that go with it, added to the enormity of living with the fear that someone you love is ultimately going to die – is draining and unsustainable.

Most family members we speak to have tried everything from making threats, hiding bottles, restricting finance, trying to understand, shouting, guilt trips and much more. They have found that none of these methods have been successful. They have tried to encourage the person with the addiction to go to rehab or to seek help – but this has never been followed through.

If this sounds like your experience and your loved one is refusing to get help or you are doubtful they will go to drug rehab or alcohol rehab then Intervention may be for you.’  – Paul Spanjar, [CEO of the Providence Projects]

But what happens in an intervention? Here are some FAQ that can help you to understand more:

What is intervention?

A drug or alcohol intervention is a meeting between an addict and their family, friends or even colleagues that takes place in the presence of a medical professional and/or counsellor.

Why have an intervention?

Unfortunately, an addict is often in denial about the severity of their addiction. They may be frightened to deal with the problem or ‘face up to it’ – or perhaps they have convinced themselves that this is normality, even though it can have serious consequences to themselves and their loved ones.
Where simply talking to the person hasn’t worked, a group intervention (when the addict has to listen to the reality of their actions, supported by loved ones) is the next positive step.

What happens before the meeting?

The counsellor will meet with you to find out more about the addict a while before the intervention takes place. He/she would like to understand more about their circumstances, their history of addiction and anything about their personality that will help during the intervention.

They will gather notes on certain subjects. It would help for you to collate certain information for them:

• Information on each person that will attend the intervention
• Each attendees’ relationship with the addict
• The history of the addiction and the circumstances surrounding it
• The temperament of the addict and their typical reactions
• Any health concerns (both addiction and non-addiction related)
• The addict’s personal info: financial situation, any dependents, relationships, work, etc.

What happens at the meeting?

The counsellor will take charge of the meeting and control discussions between the addict and their friends and family. This ensures that while emotions run high, all parties are kept relatively calm.

Once everyone who is involved in the intervention knows his or her roles, the counsellor will get everyone to work together, which is important for making it successful.

For example, in some interventions, each attendee may be asked to write a letter/note to the addict, explaining how much the addict means to them, any negative experiences that were directly related to them and perhaps the impact that that particular experience, and the addiction as a whole has had on them. These will all be talked through over several sessions.

Does everyone have to speak?

Not if you don’t feel comfortable doing so, however, during the intervention process, everyone has the opportunity to voice their feelings. This is all focused in a positive way and negative feelings – such as guilt and blame – try to be avoided. The meetings should be a strictly supportive environment from the outset. This will also encourage the addict to change.

What is the goal for intervention?

The ultimate goal, via intervention, is to help the person struggling with addiction to move into drug or alcohol rehabilitation and addiction recovery. The intervention process helps to ensure that the addict fully understands the health risks that stem from his/her addiction, and that it is an illness – and that it affects those close to them.

Is intervention successful?

Professional intervention of this nature often means the addict will take the proceedings seriously from the start. Interventions are only successful when all family and friends take the proceedings seriously and are willing to come together – while moving forward together as directed. Although the percentage of individuals who enter treatment following intervention is high, the success rate of those who recover and remain sober depends on them and the participants of the intervention to follow directions and stick to them – during and after intervention.

How do I find out more about the intervention process?

If you would like to find out more about how intervention works please call our counselling team today at our private alcohol and drug rehab on 0800 955 0945 and ask for Paul Spanjar who can talk you through the intervention process.


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