A Family is Not Supposed to Know How to Do an Intervention

When you think about the role of a family in someone’s life, how to do an intervention is not at the top of the list. That’s because no family anticipates having to deal with addiction issues when a person comes into the fold, either through birth, adoption or marriage. The idea is a completely foreign one.


Unfortunately, addiction is a problem that happens to all kinds of families. It is not limited to a certain class or economic group. The “nicer” your family is, the harder its members may work to hide the fact that someone has a problem with drugs or alcohol. It’s a disease that needs treatment. Trying to pretend that it doesn’t exist or making excuses for the addict’s behavior doesn’t encourage him or her to get help. It only gives the disease more time to take root.

Turn to a Counselor for Help

In addict uses drugs or alcohol as a way to cope with emotional pain, stress, boredom or for some other reason. The substance is a symptom of the problem. During the addiction intervention, a professional counselor works with the addict to get him or her to accept help and agree to go to a treatment center. Part of this process involves a shift in attitude to get the addict to accept responsibility for his or her actions instead of blaming others for the addictive behaviors.

This is not something that the family members can successfully manage on their own. It would be unrealistic to expect them to take charge of this type of situation. Their job is to love and care for their members, not to run interventions. Even a professional interventionist would not be able to remain focused on the point of the exercise.

It’s not realistic to expect that a family can put together all the pieces necessary for a successful intervention on its own. They can work with a counselor to get on the same page to agree that they stop the behaviors that have been enabling the addiction to exist, and that they will set boundaries so the addict will be able to accept the help offered.


Why Does This Treatment Approach Work?

This model works because it has a framework and a direction that the family has not been able to follow on its own. Simply talking to the addict is not enough to get him or her to change. If a family leaves the decision about when to seek treatment up to the person who is sick, they may never make that choice. With the right guidance and support, a family can make the addict uncomfortable enough to see that getting better is the only choice that makes sense.



Mike Loverde

As a Certified Intervention Professional (CIP), member of NAATP, NAADAC, and accredited by the Pennsylvania Certification Board, Mike Loverde knows first-hand what it’s like to live life with addiction. By overcoming it, he had a calling to work with others who struggle with drug and alcohol addictions—the people who use and the families who feel helpless watching them decay.

With thousands of interventions across the United States done and many more to come, Loverde continues to own the intervention space, since 2005, by working with medical doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists and others who need expert assistance for their patients who need intervention. To further his impact on behavioral health and maximize intervention effectiveness, Loverde is near completion of a Masters in Addiction Studies (MHS) accreditation, as well as a Licensed Independent Substance Abuse Counselor (LISAC), and is committed to attaining the designation of a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC).

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