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hungryhungryhortence's avatar

What do you think is the success rate for the people who are ambushed via "interventions"?

Asked by hungryhungryhortence (12148points) June 28th, 2009

I’ve watched a few episodes of a show called Intervention and it’s tested my empathy for people I see as mostly taking advantage of and abusing their friends and families.

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11 Answers

juwhite1's avatar

I think the long term success rate is pretty low when they voluntarily seek help. I don’t imagine the ambush approach adds to those odds, any. That said, I do think they can be helpful in getting someone into a program, if for no other purpose than to keep themselves from drinking or drugging themselves to death in the short run.

susanc's avatar

Interventions also act as opportunities for the intervenors to feel they’ve done all they can,
so that they can live with the pain of seeing a loved one “ruining their life”. Sounds mean, I know. Sorry.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

I’ve been lurking and waiting for real answers, so I could say without getting modded: Great question!

lillycoyote's avatar

@juwhite1 I agree, people need to want to help themselves before they are willing to accept help from others. An intervention won’t help a person who doesn’t want to be helped.

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

I’ve never really supported the thought of interventions. Nothing can be accomplished by an intervention that can’t be done by individually speaking with them in private and at appropriate times, and there isn’t the likely outcome that the person being intervened with will become hostile, feel attacked, and withdraw from whatever support structure they had left.

PupnTaco's avatar

Disagree. When people are wrapped up in addiction and self-destruction, they can’t think clearly. Discussions turn into a blame game and bs justifications. An intervention forces the issue and can get at the core person buried under all that shit.

cookieman's avatar

My family is littered with addiction (mostly alcoholics).

Having involved in a few interventions, I will say that @susanc is correct. In most cases, the effort ends up being for the family’s benefit.

The addict (usually) will not pursue help until they hit “rock bottom”. This means something different for everyone. And it’s certainly not for lack of trying as many will attempt rehab numerous times (albeit half-heartedly) on their way to the bottom.

The question is, how far down is their “bottom” and what will they lose along the way?

cwilbur's avatar

I think @susanc hit it right on the head.

People who are dealing with an addict (or someone with some other problem where they really need to seek external help, but won’t admit it—people with bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, depression) often get frustrated with the addict. It’s fairly well known that the desire for change and healing has to come from within the addict; and any therapist or counselor will tell you that you can’t change other people, because they have to want to change.

I think the intervention is the last gasp of hope; when it doesn’t work, the family and friends will have to admit that they can’t force the addict to change, and they will have to decide whether to become complicit in the addict’s behavior or whether to write the addict off. Neither choice is likely to make people happy.

susanc's avatar

I think @cwilbur has said it really well: it’s hellish loving someone who’s busy with addiction, because they can’t connect to the people they love, and because they appear to be hurting. We family members try and try and try to get through to the person behind or under or beside the addiction. But addiction is more powerful than love. Letting go is the bottom line for the people who love an addict. And letting go is hell.

A paradox here: sometimes a person is submerged in addiction because that they were never able to achieve autonomy. Sometimes such people can move forward when the loving family releases them from the oppression and control that “family” can come to mean.

@ABoyNamedBoobs: a good formal intervention is run in such a way that there isn’t
much room for the family to earn that hostility. Impulsive DIY interventions, however, do exactly that every single time. Well said.

susanc's avatar

edited by me/

susanc's avatar

I think @cwilbur has said it really well: it’s hellish loving someone who’s busy with addiction, because they can’t connect to the people they love, and because they appear to be hurting. We family members try and try and try to get through to the person behind or under or beside the addiction. But addiction is more powerful than love. Letting go is the bottom line for the people who love an addict. And letting go is hell.

A paradox here: sometimes a person is submerged in addiction because that they were never able to achieve autonomy. Sometimes such people can move forward when the loving family releases them from the oppression and control that “family” can come to mean.

@ABoyNamedBoobs03: a good formal intervention is run in such a way that there isn’t
much room for the family to earn that hostility. You really gotta hire an outside moderator for this stuff. Otherwise everyone just falls into their worst possible behavior, and all the anger is justified once again.

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