What Is an Intervention?

This article was written and published by RCA

Understanding an Intervention, from Our Addictions Recovery Center

Are you wondering, “What is intervention?” In short, an intervention is a planned interaction between an someone suffering from a substance use disorder (SUD) and the people who want to help. Interventions are a way for friends and family to express their love and concern for someone suffering from addiction.

At our addictions recovery center, we know addiction affects many more people than just our patients. Interventions also serve as a way to begin the healing process between SUD sufferers and the people they may have harmed. Every intervention is different, but the key goal that all interventions seek to achieve is the same: to convince SUD sufferers to seek help and treatment for their addiction.

Surprise and Invitational Interventions

What is surprise intervention? It’s exactly what it sounds like! Sometimes SUD sufferers are in denial about their addiction. They refuse to accept that anything is wrong in their lives, and they need to be confronted before any change can result. The surprise model of intervention uses the shock of a sudden confrontation to break down an SUD sufferer’s fortress of denial.

As you can imagine, surprise interventions can result in an embarrassing and harsh interaction with a SUD sufferer that may not prove productive. Some opt to invite the SUD sufferer to discuss their addiction and learn about treatment voluntarily. These types of interventions are called invitational.

So, Does It Have To Be A Surprise?

The short answer from our addictions recovery center is “no.” The jury is still out on the effectiveness of surprise interventions over invitational ones. A number of intersectional factors make it very difficult to obtain unbiased metrics. Addiction recovery is a long and hard journey. Intervention is just the first of many, many steps in the process.

Ultimately, one fact is indisputable: Interventions work. When friends, family, and loved ones express concern in a meaningful way, there are positive results. On average, around 80 percent of SUD sufferers seek treatment within 24 hours after an intervention.

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