“…an intervention is about interrupting self-destructive behaviors with love.”
~Kathy L., The Intervention Book: Stories and Solutions from Addicts, Professionals, and Families
When someone you care about abuses alcohol or drugs, the best time to get help is ALWAYS right away. Left unchecked, addiction, nearly always gets worse, even to the point of disease, disability, or death.
One of the most useful tools to compel your addicted loved one into treatment is a professionally-supervised intervention.
What Is a Substance Abuse Intervention?
An intervention is a planned process where affected friends and family members confront the person with the substance use disorder about the negative impact of their behaviors, and then try to convince them to check into a rehab program.
The Typical Intervention
This firm-but-loving confrontation is a step-by-step process:
- Gather Information–Family members should learn about substance abuse disorders and research the rehab resources available locally.
- Use a Professional – Interventions are emotionally-charged and volatile, but giving in to anger or fear jeopardizes the true message – the need for rehab. A professional interventionist keeps the focus where it needs to be.
- Assemble the Participants –These are the family members and friends who have the most influence with the struggling substance abuser.
The intervention team should meet before the scheduled intervention to agree on a consistent message – not merely individual grievances. Set a specific date, time, and place.
Do not let the addict/alcoholic know what is going on.
- Setting Boundaries – Be prepared to enforce natural consequences if the addict refuses help:
- Stopping financial support
- Breaking off contact
- Ending child visitation
- Making them leave the home
- Write Everything Down– When emotions are high, it’s easy to forget what you plan to say. Write it down, in either notes or a letter that can be read aloud to the addict.
Focus on behaviors and be specific – “I felt hurt when you…”, for example.
- Conducting the Intervention –Everyone on the team– including the interventionist – needs to show up well before the substance dependent person is scheduled to arrive.
During the intervention, everyone in attendance is given an opportunity to speak directly to the person, being specific about actions that have consequences.
- Follow Up, No Matter What–One of two things will happen:
The addicted person agrees to go to rehab – This means they should go right away, without delay, before they can make excuses or change their mind.
But if they refuse help, then each person needs to follow through with their consequences, only relenting if and when the addicted person agrees to go to treatment.
If you have questions about what you can do to help an addicted loved one, contact Lasting Recovery outpatient drug and alcohol rehab in San Diego today.