The truth is that there is no single correct way to do an intervention on someone who is addicted to alcohol or other drugs. There are some common methods that are used, some of which we will discuss here, but there are infinite variations of these given the circumstances of each individual.
We can’t stress enough two points here that should be the overarching themes of any intervention: love and accountability. People do interventions because they care about their loved ones and don’t want them to keep destroying their lives and hurting others as well. They also have to know that their friends or family members with substance use disorders do have to be held accountable for their actions, but that it is not a form of punishment.
What Not to do in an Intervention
Sometimes it can more helpful to eliminate things that should be excluded in interventions, that way you can help avoid even more difficult situation when going through one:
– Refrain from using punishment or blame – it builds up more walls and creates a more resistance.
– Don’t allow someone to be present who is not in agreement with the addict going to treatment. This is usually a primary enabler or sympathizer whose actions are causing more harm than good.
– Be sure not to allow the person who needs help to start to point fingers at everyone else’s problems to justify his or her actions and try to make other people feel guilty. Stay on track for the reason you’re all there.
The Intervention Process
While this may be helpful for friends and families looking to perform their own interventions, they usually are much more successful with the help of an intervention specialist. Prior to the day of the actual event, the interventionist will meet with key family and friends who will be present and walk them through what to expect and how to act. In most cases he or she will also have these people write letters to the addict that are used, if needed, to deliver succinct communications regarding their reason for wanting them to get help and what the consequences are if they refuse help.
On the day of the intervention, it is important that everyone stays on the same page and acts as a team to help their loved one. Their combined efforts and unanimous decisions are very powerful.
It is vital to have already chosen a treatment facility before the intervention occurs, and to have the center be aware of how things wind up. Since the overwhelming majority of interventions are successful, travel plans should already be made, including any flights and other transportation issues. Be sure to keep the rehab program informed of arrival time so that their intake personnel can be ready.
There are many intricate details and strategies in between all of this where a trained interventionist will be able to create a plan based on each unique situation. These may include who else will attend, where to hold it, who else will be the leader on behalf of the family, etc.
Contact us today to find out more information about how to do an intervention and how to go about having an intervention specialist guide your family through this difficult time.