What is an Intervention?
An Intervention is a process by which the harmful, progressive, and destructive effects of chemical dependency are interrupted and the chemically dependent person is helped to stop using mood-altering chemicals and to develop new, healthier ways of coping with his or her needs and problems (Johnson, V. Intervention, pg. 61). A shorter, simpler way to define intervention is “presenting reality to a person, who is out of touch with it, in a receivable way.”
An addiction is a pathological relationship with a mood altering substance and/or behavior that renders one powerless and produces harmful consequences. Unless the chemically dependent person gets help, he or she will die prematurely. Chemical dependency is a disease that kills. It is also a disease from which people can and do recover. In 1956 the American Medical Association (AMA) proclaimed chemical dependency a disease by their medical standards. In 1990 researchers announced they had found the gene that causes severe forms of alcoholism. Today medical experts refer to is as a “brain disease.”
We know that chemical dependency is not caused by a lack of willpower, or weakness of character, or some flaw in a person’s moral structure. Nor is it the result of external influences – an unhappy marriage, problems at work, or peer pressure. This means that if someone you care about is chemically dependent, it is not your fault.
The chemically addicted person does not have to “hit bottom.” In no other disease is “hitting bottom” necessary for the person to receive the help they need and deserve. By gathering those who love and care about the chemically dependent person, an intervention can lovingly and honestly assist him or her in getting help.
The Basic Steps of an Intervention
- Initial information gathering session.
- Choosing the participants.
- Choosing the treatment facility.
- Educating and training the participants.
- Conducting the intervention and transporting the individual to treatment.
- Debriefing the participants following the intervention.
- Communication and follow-up with the treatment center and participants.
Lois Jordan, LCSW, LCDC
Lois began her work in the field of chemical dependency in 1985 as the Executive Director of the Chemical Awareness Council/Park Cities, Inc., which is now CARE Dallas. Lois turned her talents towards developing Solutions in 1995. She has appeared as a guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show in addition to other national and local TV and radio shows.
Lois Jordan has facilitated more than 300 interventions since receiving her initial intervention training in 1983 at the Johnson Institute in Minneapolis Minnesota.
From there she continued her training through various intervention seminars, including: Intervention: Breaking The Cycle of Addiction, Does Early Intervention Work? Systemic Family Intervention Training, and The Moment of Change: Intervention Approaches.
Lois has facilitated interventions which resulted in the chemically dependent person being admitted to Caron Treatment Centers, The Betty Ford Center, Sierra Tucson, The Meadows, Vista Taos, La Hacienda, COPAC, Wilderness Treatment Center, Starlite Hospital, Sundown Ranch, Willingway Hospital, Cottonwood, and others.
What Others Have Said
“Lois helped us intervene on my father on Father’s Day 1990. My father’s life was dramatically changed as well as the family. I got my father back!”
“Lois’ compassion and love touched me as she helped my family intervene on me. I was a mess, my children were a mess, and my life was a mess. I have been sober since, and I got my life back.”