Answers to Frequently Asked Intervention Questions

Answers to Frequently Asked Intervention QuestionsPeople who have loved ones struggling with addiction often have many questions about the process, including the following:

  • Why should I consider staging an intervention for my loved one?

There are a number of reasons that friends and family members of those suffering from Xanax addiction may decide to hold an intervention. A primary reason is that people suffering from addiction are often unaware of their true situation because drugs and alcohol affect cognitive and decision-making functioning. A 2009 article published in Trends in Cognitive Sciences notes that a significant majority of people who need addiction treatment do not seek it and that this may be due to impairments in brain systems related to insight and self-awareness.

Another reason to stage an intervention is that addiction is progressive. Left unaddressed, it worsens. The risk of overdose and other serious physical, emotional, social, financial and legal consequences continues to rise.

  • Are interventions effective?

Interventions can be very effective. People often are afraid that interventions for Xanax addiction force people to do things they are not yet ready to do. Interventions, however, can help people see their situations in a different light and can increase their willingness to change. A degree of ambivalence in the beginning is normal, but abstinence can be its own reward, and change can motivate more change. The National Institute on Drug Abuse states that treatment does not need to be voluntary to be successful. They note that incentives and sanctions from family members, employers, or the legal system can significantly increase rates of treatment entry, retention and success.

  • Are there different kinds of interventions?

Yes, there are a number of intervention models. The traditional and most common model is the Johnson model. In the Johnson model the intervention is a surprise to the addicted individual. Other models which are invitational and do not utilize the element of surprise are Systemic Family Intervention (SFI) and ARISE. In SFI the intervention is held during a two-day family workshop. The ARISE model is a three-phase process which involves setting up an Intervention Network, holding meetings and implementing consequences if necessary.

  • Should I hire a professional interventionist?

Friends and family members of those suffering from Xanax addiction can hold interventions without hiring professional help. There are often many reasons, however, that hiring a professional interventionist is a good idea. Professionals should be called in situations in which addicted individuals have co-occurring mental health conditions, addiction to multiple substances, or a history of previous unsuccessful interventions, violence, or suicide attempts.

Generally if an intervention is held by a professional, the process is less likely to get derailed by strong emotions and the addicted individual is less likely to feel defensive. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration notes that substance abuse affects a family in significant ways and that even extended family members may experience feelings of anger, fear, guilt, embarrassment, or anxiety. These emotions are valid and should be addressed, but if they arise during a Xanax addiction intervention, it can be counterproductive. A professional interventionist has no interfering history with the addicted individual and has an emotional neutrality that is difficult for friends and family members to achieve.

  • What will an interventionist do?

Staging a successful intervention is a multi-step process, and an interventionist can help at every point. Interventionists generally help plan the logistics such as time, place and who will be invited to attend. They help participants prepare letters to be read during the intervention, and they hold a rehearsal. They select a treatment program and arrange for admission if the Xanax addicted individual agrees to treatment. They then host and direct the actual intervention gathering. Often they monitor the individual’s progress in treatment and help develop an aftercare plan.

  • What actually happens during an intervention?

The core of an intervention is the expression of love and concern and the request that the addicted individual enter a pre-arranged treatment program. Generally participants read letters that they have prepared in advance. Reading letters is preferable to speaking freely because emotions can be better managed, important points will not be forgotten and letters can be kept and re-read later.

The most effective letters are carefully worded avoiding accusatory “you” statements as much as possible as well as the words “always” and “never.”  Letters should be warm and compassionate in tone. They generally include positive memories, gratitude for past actions and ways in which letter writers are proud of their loved ones. They then transition into observations of behavior related to Xanax addiction, the effects of the addiction on both the addicted individual and themselves and their concerns for the future. The letters end with a request for the addicted individual to enter treatment. Many also include a discussion of consequences to be enforced if the addicted individual does not get help.

  • How can I find a good interventionist?

The field of addiction intervention is evolving, and regulations and requirements vary by state. Certification bodies include the Association of Intervention Specialist Certification Board  and the Illinois Certification Board, which certifies interventionists from across the country. Often an addiction treatment center can recommend an interventionist.

If you are looking for an interventionist or have other questions about addiction treatment, give us a call. Our helpline is toll-free, available 24 hours a day and staffed with caring phone counselors who understand your concerns. They can help you move from where you are to where you want to be. Why not call today?

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If you are ready to beat a Xanax addiction and start a new life in recovery then we can help. We have admission counselors standing by 24 hours a day to take your email, live chat request, or phone call to get you in the addiction treatment center that best fits your unique & specific needs.