Seeking treatment at a professional rehabilitation facility can be an effective method of overcoming an addiction to drugs or alcohol, with carefully prescribed medications, around-the-clock care, and access to counselors trained in substance abuse recovery methods. When an addict leaves a chemical dependency program, the crisis stage of addiction may be over, but the addict is still vulnerable to depression, stress, outside triggers and peer pressure, all of which may contribute to a relapse. In some cases, a relapse may occur within hours after the addict leaves the treatment facility, which is why some believe in the benefits of staging an intervention after rehab.

In most cases, an intervention is organized by the friends and family members of individuals who are struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, or another behavioral health disorder, as the first step toward the long-term goal of keeping the individual accountable, motivated and supported on the road to recovery. An intervention is the process by which the addict’s loved ones and a counselor or professional interventionist help the addict see and understand how his or her behavior is destructive, in such a way that the addict chooses to seek treatment immediately. The goal of an intervention is not to ensure that the addict never engages in his or her destructive behaviors again. Rather, the individuals involved in an intervention seek to convince the addict to enter a treatment program or inpatient rehabilitation facility.

What You Need to Know About Staging an Intervention

There are two ways to stage an intervention: informally or formally. An informal intervention involves a conversation with the addict, asking questions face-to-face about his or her alcoholism or drug abuse and expressing concerns in a non-confrontational manner. A formal intervention involves the help of a professional interventionist who has experience with treating substance abuse disorders, with the conversation being led by this person. An addict may be in need of an intervention if he or she:

• Doesn’t recognize that an addiction problem exists
• Fails to understand how the addiction negatively affects relationships with friends or family
• Is uninformed about how the addiction can be detrimental to his or her overall health
• Feels that he or she is not capable of receiving successful treatment

In some cases, though, it becomes necessary to stage an intervention after rehab, if the addiction treatment program was unsuccessful, or if the addict needs a reminder that his or her behaviors are having an adverse effect on friends and loved ones. Addiction is something that affects not just the addict himself, but his friends, coworkers, relatives, children and spouse as well, and it’s important that, should an intervention occur, these are the people who are involved. Only when the addict hears his daughter say she misses her daddy, or his wife say she is scared every day that he won’t come home, will he truly understand how his addiction impacts his family.

Having an aftercare program in place for when the addict completes treatment is one of the best ways to improve the chances of an addict staying sober and ensuring that he or she doesn’t slip back into past addictive behaviors. This so-called “protective environment” gives the addict the opportunity to grow stronger and begin using the tools he or she learned in rehab in the outside world. Staging an intervention after rehab is one type of aftercare method that can help addicts see the problems their addiction has created at work, with their health, and in their relationships with loved ones. Other types of aftercare may include 12-Step meetings, ongoing individual counseling, group therapy, or a stay in a sober living facility, all of which may help the addict maintain lasting sobriety.