An intervention goes well above and beyond the act of just trying to talk to your loved one about their addiction and to nudge them toward getting help. The most important thing to understand with an intervention is:

  • It’s not possible to be both the family member and the interventionist; you need to be one or the other.

Intervention is about changing the family, not just delivering a speech or airing complaints to the addict or alcoholic. Drug addicts and alcoholics are almost always comfortable in their active addiction because of certain people, places and things keeping them comfortable.

How is a speech going to fix that? No matter how hard we try, it seems most people are unable to grasp the concept or understand the science of an intervention.

Why Seek a Whole-Family Addiction Intervention?

How many times has a family called us and asked, “Why do I need you? Can’t we just talk to them ourselves?” Sure you can. However, you already tried that 1,000 times and have been unsuccessful, so what’s going to be different now?

What becomes even more difficult is when a family calls us and says they spoke to their loved one and that the loved one has agreed to go to rehab. Sure, that’s great they are going to treatment, but still nothing has changed within the family system. Soon after treatment, the loved one will return home to the exact unwell, manipulated family system they left and that kept them comfortable in the first place.

Now you know why the success rate of treatment is so low, and it’s because families try and do the intervention themselves or they never do an intervention nor seek codependency counseling to help repair the family system that was broken by the addict or the alcoholic.

The Need for a Professional Intervention

If in the video above, our Founder and CEO, Mike Loverde, states, “Families have taken the role of fixing the addiction themselves, and they just can’t.” He also explains that every addict or alcoholic will face at least one form of an intervention at some point, whether:

  • The family informally tries to do the intervention themselves,
  • A professional comes to facilitate the intervention, or
  • Society intervenes on its own terms.

Again, you can’t be both the loved one and the professional. The drug addict or the alcoholic in your family has trained your family system how to keep him or her comfortable at your expense; that’s what is broke and that’s what needs to be fixed.

Intervention Guidelines and Takeaways

Here are some things to consider on why you need a professional and how to do an intervention:

  • Talking your loved one into treatment is NOT an intervention.
  • You have to be the family or the interventionist; you can’t be both.
  • The family is almost always viewed by the addict or alcoholic as the problem.
  • You can never let them get to choose the treatment center or the level of care.
  • If your codependency and enabling do not change, neither does their addiction.
  • What are you going to do when they call you from treatment wanting to come home?
  • You do not have to wait for them to want help, and you don’t have to wait until they hit rock bottom.
  • Dad can’t fix this with rules and words.
  • Mom can’t fix this with hugs and kisses.

Family Members Must Get on the Same Page

Until a family system is united, gets on the same page and holds its loved one accountable, chances are high that the addict or alcoholic with either not accept help or will return to active substance use after treatment. Addiction is about self-medicating emotions and blaming loved ones for the addict’s problems. The addict or alcoholic goes to great lengths to manipulate a family into doing things that comfort him or her and make the addiction easier.

Professional Intervention and Why the Family Must Change

The only way to do a truly effective intervention is to hire a professional, because what needs to change first is the family. Until the behaviors that allowed the addiction to get out of control change, the addict or the alcoholic won’t.

Time and time again, we hear families tell us their loved one does not want help, and that is simply not true. They don’t have to get help because the family has provided them with enough comfort that they don’t have to stop and seek treatment.

See How a Professional Intervention Changed the Life of Our Founder and His Family

Mike Loverde’s Story

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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