16 Mar Staging an Intervention

Drug or alcohol abuse is a problem that gradually leads a person down a path of destruction. An addict may not even realize they have a problem or, if they do, they might feel like they aren’t hurting anyone else, so it’s okay for them to continue on in this way. Substance abuse clouds a person’s judgement and will make it difficult for them to recognize when it’s time for a change.

In some cases, it may be necessary for the loved ones of an addict to stage an intervention. An intervention is when a group of those closest to the addict get together to confront the addict about their problem and to offer support and possible solutions. In order for the intervention to have the greatest impact, it’s best to make sure everything is well thought out and calmly executed.

Meet Before the Meeting: Being prepared for the intervention is key, so it’s best if those attending meet ahead of time without the addict present to discuss what they’re going to say. Only those closest to the addict should be invited to attend and the group should be kept as small as possible so it won’t be as overwhelming. People who are important to the addict should be invited to attend even if the rest of the group doesn’t approve of them. Everyone should put their differences aside and be willing to focus on helping their loved one.

Invite a Mediator: There are professionals available to help stage an intervention. Having a counselor present to direct the discussion and help the group stay focused can keep things calm and productive. They may be able to reason with an addict better than their loved ones can because they have no history together and no strong feelings in the way. This can be very helpful in avoiding conflict.

Research Treatment Options: Members of the group need to be ready to immediately follow through with decisions made during the intervention. They should research treatment facilities and rehab options ahead of time. If the addict agrees to go into rehab, their family or friends should be ready to help them pack a bag and leave immediately, before they have a chance to change their mind. If the addict refuses to make changes, members of the group need to be prepared to follow through with ultimatums. Withdrawing support may be the only thing that can convince an addict that they need help.

Monitor Tone: It’s tempting to turn an intervention into an opportunity to air grievances and vent anger, but this is neither the right time nor place to bring up unrelated issues. The tone of the conversation should be kept loving and positive. Members of the group should express their concern for their loved one and their willingness to help them change. They should maintain high hopes for the future and express their faith that the addict can get better.

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