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Elizabeth Hartney, PhD

Thinking of Staging an Intervention?

By January 9, 2011

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The holidays are often a family time, and also a time when problems in the family can surface. With all the drinking and partying that happens around the holidays, sometimes one person in the family can seem to have an alcohol problem, or issues with another addictive behavior. If you've tried to talk about the problem with your relative in the past, and you've been met with denial, you might be considering staging a family intervention.

We hear a lot about interventions, but many people don't know what an intervention involves. Here is a definition:

There are some important differences between interventions for adults and interventions for teens. An adult always has the option of walking away from an intervention and refusing to participate, whereas a child who is still under the guardianship of their family can be literally forced into treatment against their will. Also, a teenager's problems with alcohol, drugs, sex, or other addictive behaviors, are likely to be relatively recent developments, and may not have even reached the stage of addiction. In contrast, when a family considers an intervention for an adult, their problems are likely to be more established, and may have grown over a number of years.

As is discussed in the following articles, great care should be taken when staging an intervention, as a poorly conducted intervention can easily backfire, alienating the addict from their family to an even greater extent, and causing them, and their family, even greater problems.

And if you have already participated in an intervention, please share your experiences with other readers.

January 10, 2011 at 10:04 am
(1) do electronic cigarettes says:

I enjoyed to find this article. I like your point of view. Thanks a lot. Cheers

November 9, 2011 at 12:26 pm
(2) nintendo-3DS says:

I love addictions.about.com !!!

March 29, 2012 at 8:17 am
(3) Motorolaxoom says:
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