Drug and alcohol addiction adversely affects everyone that cares about the person using. There comes a time when there is nothing left to be done but stage an intervention. The good news is that most people, when confronted do actually choose to get help. Still, there are things that can be done and things that should never be done when planning to intervene.
Before you involve the family and friends of the one abusing drugs or alcohol, it’s wise to first speak one on one with him, in most cases this has been done many times only to have the addict deny what he has a problem over and over. However sometimes that is all that is needed. Overwhelming him with a group intervention when it isn’t warranted may have the reverse effect you desire.
The following are some basic dos and don’ts of intervention.
Do know for a certainty that your loved one is actually suffering from addiction. A few usual signs to look for are verbal and physical abuse of loved ones, not accepting responsibility for his actions and keeping his distance from family and friends.
Do use a professional interventionist. Unexpected reactions of violence and even suicide can result from this confrontation and you need a third party trained to handle and calm the situation. The addict will also see how serious you are about seeking treatment when a professional is on board.
Do include a variety of people —work mates, family, friends, classmates and so forth. All can communicate the changes they have seen in the addict from using drugs. The immediate family should all be present if possible. If someone important is missing the addict may think that person disagrees with the intervention and may decide he doesn’t need help. If an important family member cannot be present for the intervention they should prepare a letter ahead of time showing their support of the intervention and have it read to the addict during the intervention.
Do take the time to prep thoroughly. Know your feelings and be prepared to share them.
Do not let the addict know in advance there will be a serious meeting. Invite him to a family event for example, instead of showing up like a mob at his door, but make sure everyone involved in the intervention knows they cannot tell the addict about it.
Do express yourself with loving concern and not anger and confrontation. Programs such as CRAFT and ARISE have been successful as well as the the Johnson Institute Method because they appeal to the addict’s emotions instead of making accusations.
Do have a plan of action ready. Make sure you already have a treatment center on alert with an available bed and don’t take no for an answer from the addict. Most people aren’t highly motivated to seek treatment. Having a program in place will make it easier and be more successful. Sixty to ninety day cognitive behavioral treatment programs boast the highest rate of recovery.
To find help with an intervention and to find a treatment center that will work with the interventionist please call
1-877-744-3536 a professional drug and alcohol abuse counselor will help you find what is needed.
More information on Intervention