In the world of substance use disorders and addiction, an intervention is a plan developed by an addiction specialist to help get people into addiction treatment. In the past, popular wisdom argued that the only way to get a person to consider treatment for substance abuse was to let them hit “rock bottom.” However, by the time rock bottom occurs, the consequences of substance use on the person’s family, finances, career, and health have often already set in.
To try preventing the pain of rock bottom, the concept of planned intervention is now frequently used. Interventions involve a meeting where the family, friends, and community of an individual in the throes of addiction sit down to talk about how the addiction is causing hurt. During the intervention, the group explains to the substance user the reasons treatment must happen immediately. They discuss the person’s risk of losing everything and everyone they love. Because these conversations are profoundly emotional and produce immediate and urgent responses, the supervision of an addiction specialist is always required.
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