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Intervention Success Rate

When meeting with clients about a potential Intervention, a few questions are universally asked. One of these questions is, “What is the success rate for Intervention?” It is an honest question indeed. In this article, this important question will be answered.

What are Intervention Success Rates?

When asked about the success rate, I always advise clients that I will answer in two ways. These answers frame success along two complimentary tracks.

First Definition of Intervention Success

The first is obvious – success being defined as the loved one with drug or alcohol addiction going to treatment.

Those who watch television programs about Intervention frequently question the success rate largely due to the fact that the individual nearly always goes to treatment on these television programs. “What about the real world?” “If you knew my addicted family member, you would know that he or she would never go to treatment based on a roomful of family members and friends asking. We have been trying that for years!”

Illustration of an how Interventions Work with People Who Write Letters to The Addicted Individual | AIS

Does an Actual Intervention Mean Someone Seeking Treatment goes to an Addiction Treatment Program?

Intervention is not another attempt using the same old methods. In the Recovery Community, one will frequently hear that insanity is doing the same thing over and again while expecting different results. Intervention is not doing that same thing, but rather something completely different!

Interventions Work 80 -90% of the Time

In reality, most Interventionists will state that their success rate, as defined above, is in the 80-90 percent range. Our records bear this out. Well over eight in ten individuals choose to go to addiction treatment when family members and friends present this life saving gift.

The fifteen to twenty percent who choose not to engage in any sort of treatment for their substance abuse the day of the Intervention, about half do choose to seek treatment within a week or two. These individuals feel the need to test the resolve of the Intervention team members and need a little more time to prove to themselves that getting help is the only real option.

Odds are in Favor of an Intervention

Unfortunately, there does remain a small percentage of men and women who will need to experience physical illness, mental health issues, an automobile accident, the loss of a job or family, incarceration or even death to break the destructive cycle of addiction. Clearly the odds are in favor of Intervention. This success rate demonstrates the incredible power of the process.

Illustration of a Substance User and an Addicted Individual in Front Of a Professional Interventionist | AIS

Second Definition of an Intervention Success

The second definition for Intervention success deserves our attention as well. Intervention Specialists can define a successful Intervention by addressing the chaos and explaining addiction recovery can begin within the family even if the identified person struggling with mental health and substance abuse refuses to undergo treatment or seek professional help.

Addiction breeds chaos, families are divided and destroyed by this equal opportunity killer. Families often live in fear and dysfunction for years while the disease attacks not only the addict but also nearly everyone around him or her.

Intervention must address this chaos as well. Assisting the addict in making the choice to accept treatment is only one component of the Intervention process.

While preparing for the Intervention, it is not unusual to meet with many hurting friends and family members. The Interventionist is handed the opportunity to help those who are grieving. Education comes first. When meeting with the Team, we always spend considerable time answering questions about addiction and compulsive behaviors.

Intervention Specialists debunk the myths and stereotypes that have helped prevent families from addressing the problem. The elephant in the room looses its invisibility as each person is given the opportunity to share what they know about how the disease is attacking the addict as well as those around him or her.

Mental Health Services Administration AIS

A Crucial Component of the Intervention Process

Learning the essentials about addiction and treatment options is a crucial component of the Intervention process. It is common for us to spend eight to ten hours with Team members in preparation for the Intervention.

During this preparation time, Team members are provided instructions on healthy ways to address the addiction. Old methods of judgment, condemnation and criticism are abandoned, as they have had no impact against addiction.

In the place of unsuccessful techniques, Team members are given powerful new tools for dealing with the issue going forward. The days of division and manipulation are over. A united front in combating the substance use disorder that has overtaken and a solid plan of action is developed.

Team members unite in support of one another and new bonds of love and loyalty are established. Regardless of the choice of the addict to embrace or reject treatment, the Team members are given a new lease on life. Nothing will ever be the same again!

Interventions Work

By this definition, every Intervention is successful. Though families are often fearful that if they do intervene, their loved one may never talk to them again, the truth is if they do not take action, their loved one may not have the opportunity to speak to them again due to the inevitable outcome of the person’s addiction.

Intervention is truly the gift of life, and when done properly the success of the process is not defined exclusively by the choice of the addict.

Author: Dr. Jerry Law, D.Min., MDAAC, BRI-II, CIP

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