Handling an Intervention

What Is the Right Way to Handle an Intervention?

Staging an intervention crosses into emotionally volatile territory, so preparation is vital. We always recommend working with an addiction interventionist to ensure proper care is provided.  However, if you can't afford that, first apply for a free intervention, but then follow these pointers.  Remember, this is your loved one. Though your relationship may be strained because of the addiction, he or she is still the same person you know and care about. Before confronting the person, do the following.

Gather Information

Determine the extent of the addict's problem and conduct some research so you understand the addiction. This will improve the way you talk about the addiction. Instead of relying on your feelings to drive the conversation, you will have facts to draw from and a sympathetic glimpse into what the person is going through.

You should also look into substance abuse programs in your area, so you can address treatment options during the intervention.

Make a Plan

It's a good idea to consult addiction treatment professionals who can help you prepare for the intervention and aid during the intervention. Chat with therapists, social workers or rehab specialists and get their input on how you should organize your intervention. They may have recommendations for treatment programs.

Decide which relatives and friends should attend the intervention. Also, someone like a pastor, counselor or n experienced interventionist will keep the discussion focused and help prevent explosive outbursts. It should go without saying that children should not be present.

Once everything has been outlined, schedule the intervention. Have one person come up with a plausible reason to meet and ask your loved one to show up at the arranged place and time.

Be Gentle but Firm

Approach the conversation with kindness but don't back down on your expectations. Writing down what you want to say beforehand will help tremendously.

Create consequences for not accepting the treatment plan. This could include asking the addict to move out or withholding contact with their children. Though this may seem harsh, it could serve as the wake up call the person needs to finally work toward sobriety.

Implement Changes

Everyone who's present during the intervention should support the addict during treatment and recovery. This could entail going to counseling with the person, confronting the person about destructive behavior and learning what to do if the person relapses.