When you and other concerned family members and friends prepare for an intervention, you can help save the life of a loved one who is struggling with addiction yet refuses to accept treatment. An intervention is a strategic way of confronting the person who needs help and requesting that she receive treatment in order to recover.
According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, 90 percent of interventions performed in conjunction with a trained addiction specialist who helps you coordinate the process are successful in having the addicted person accept treatment.1
Before going forward with a confrontation of your loved one about their drug or alcohol abuse, seek out a professional who has experience conducting and planning addiction interventions. An intervention specialist will keep the lines of communication open and moving forward.
These professionals also have the tools necessary to know how to help people overcome their denial of addiction and realize they need help. A professional will guide the intervention group on how to prepare for an intervention, how to approach the patient and how to speak without blame or judgment in a way that will encourage the person to accept treatment.
A group consisting of three to six adults who hold a place of importance in the life of the person they are trying to help is a large enough gathering. The intervention specialist will help you determine who should be present at the intervention. Primarily those people can include immediate or close family members, intimate friends, possibly employers and coworkers and spiritual advisors.
The important people in your loved one’s life should be present at the intervention. These are the people who are most aware of the physical and emotional changes that are taking place in the person’s life.
An intervention professional can help you prepare for what, specifically, the group will say to the person during the intervention. Before deciding what will be said, each member of the intervention team needs to be educated as much as possible about the disease of addiction and the recovery process. This will provide everyone with the knowledge they’ll need to convince the patient to get help.
Everyone will plan in advance what they will say. These can be short stories describing how the addicted person has hurt them, information about addiction and how it changes brain chemistry and other speeches to give the person in need some clarity as to their present situation. Rehearsing these lines ahead of time can help make everyone comfortable and confident.
Although you can prepare for an intervention, you still can’t predict how the person will react when confronted. A professional will help you learn how to calm a disruptive environment that can get out of control. The main goal of an intervention is to have the person in need realize they are in denial and commit to getting treatment. A treatment plan should be prearranged with clear goals before the intervention so the person can immediately go forward with treatment.2