As an addiction consultant and interventionist, it's no surprise that I am a big fan of interventions. I have seen drug, alcohol, and behavioral interventions work miracles and restore hope and healing to the lives of hundreds of families who feared they would never see the other side of drug addiction or alcoholism. There is one approach in particular with which I have seen and experienced the most success - the Invitational Intervention. Here is what is an Invitational Intervention and why it is my preference.
What is an Invitational Intervention?
An Invitational Intervention is a type of Intervention process where a group of concerned family, and possibly close friends, openly invite an addicted loved one to an intervention meeting. During the intervention meeting, the family and friends discuss their concerns as a group and ask the addicted person to accept 'help'. It is important to note that while he/she is invited, the meeting occurs whether the addicted loved one chooses to attend or not.
The length of time between the invitation and the actual intervention meeting may vary, depending on individual circumstances. For example, if the family fears that the chemically dependent loved one will leave the area, or is at risk of doing something dangerous after learning about the intervention meeting, then I will likely suggest shortening the time period between the invitation and meeting.
Why do I prefer this approach?
When I entered the addictions field I gravitated toward this approach because it was less confrontational, the efficacy rates were higher, and it empowered an addicted person to begin their recovery process. My experience has since confirmed that a transparent and compassionate Invitational Intervention can be the most advantageous approach for most addicted loved ones and their entire family.
In my experience, inviting an addicted person - especially young adults - gives them a choice and a platform to be heard, thereby empowering them. Most addicted individuals feel miserable and many will be looking for a confrontation. To avoid the pitfalls of managing confrontation during such a highly complex and heated process, my suggestion for any family considering an intervention is to always engage a competent professional.
Interventions can be the first step toward a lifetime of healing from addiction for the entire family. Eliminating secrecy, treating an addicted loved one with respect, and understanding that an intervention is a process, are important to creating a successful outcome.