Intervention Suggestions

Also see: Christ Centered intervention

Although a small percentage of people are able to recover from addiction without help, the majority of individuals need assistance. With treatment and support, many individuals are able to stop abusing drugs and rebuild their lives. Addiction Intervention Resources moves your family out of crisis and assists in addressing your loved one’s addiction.

The goal of intervention is for the addicted person to accept the reality of their addiction and to seek help. The process of conducting an intervention is a delicate matter. It is important that it is done correctly, otherwise the individual may feel cornered and become defensive. Advice from a trained professional is useful in determining the proper strategy and timing for your specific intervention.

Alcoholics and addicts are a danger to themselves and others. The addiction must be stopped. If you have tried telling your loved one that they need help with their addiction problem and they either deny the existance of the problem or try to minimize it, it may be time for an intervention. An intervention is a carefully planned process during which family members guide an addicted person to change his or her destructive behavior.

The intervention is accomplished by a group of caring friends and family members who confront an alcoholic or addict in order to help him see the danger in his abuse of alcohol and/or drugs and helps them to begin the process of recovery. Intervention has been shown to be the most effective way to convince an alcoholic/addict to seek help for his problem. It is a powerful motivator for the alcoholic to stop drinking if he or she knows that those who care about him are being hurt by their behavior.

1. Learn about the process.
Because alcoholism is a disease of excuses, you need to remove all possible reasons for the alcoholic in your life to refuse help.

2. Stop rescueing and enabling,
Family members often try to protect an abuser from the results of their behaviour by making excuses to others about their abuse problem and by getting them out of drug-related jams. It is important to stop all such rescue attempts immediately, so that the addict will fully experience the harmful effects of his use and as a result will become more motivated to stop.

4. Make a clear plan.
Gather information about local treatment options and find one that will fit the needs of your family member. When you call the treatment center, ask for the assistance of an intervention counselor, who can help you plan the intervention. Family interventions are delicate matters that must be done properly to minimize the negative effects on the family and the alcoholic. An experienced counselor can guide you on how to approach the addict. The better prepared you are, the more likely you are to have a successful intervention.

5. Make the confrontation.
Talk with the alcoholic about his addiction. Choose a time when he is sober. Choose a time when all of you are in a calm frame of mind and when you can speak privately. The intervention can be a surprise to the alcoholic or a planned meeting. It can take place at home, in the office or on neutral ground (restaurant, park, etc.).

6. Be firm and be specific.
Tell them you are concerned about his drug or alcohol abuse and want to be supportive in getting help. Back up your concern with examples of the ways in which their drug abuse has caused problems for you and others including any recent incidents. Make it clear how his addiction adversely affects you and their loved ones.

7. Demonstrate the severity and reality of the situation.
Let him know that others outside the family, such as associates and neighbors, have noticed and been affected by his drinking/drugging and have lost respect for him. Your loved one may become hostil and angery about your confrontation. Respond with firm, calm resolve. The best way to clearly show the alcoholic how you feel is to state in no uncertain terms that you care about him but will not tolerate his substance abuse any longer.

8. Ask others to help.
Choose one person to be the initial spokesperson. It will be much more effective for the others to simply be there nodding their heads, than it would be for everyone to talk at once and “gang up on him.” Tell them to be prepared to share specific examples of how the drinker has hurt them through his alcohol abuse. Each person should have an opportunity to offer his thoughts. Remember the idea is to make it safe for the addicted one to admit there is a problem and seek help.

9. Begin the discussion with the drinker when he is sober
and when you know the family members can remain calm and firm. Use the same approach you did in the personal intervention — specific examples of the negative effects of his drinking and the disappointment, anger and frustration all those around him feel because of it. Use statements that will show the drinker the truth of his behavior. Make it personal!

10. Don’t be afraid to say how you really feel.
Interventions will not succeed if you worry more about the alcoholic’s feelings than you do about getting him to seek help for his problem.

11. Get professional help.
If you still aren’t able to convince the family member to seek treatment with a family intervention, bring in an intervention counselor or pastor to assist you. A professional may be able to help you be more candid and direct in your comments about the alcoholic’s drinking and help the alcoholic to see the truth — that his problem is not his alone; he is causing his whole family to suffer.

12. Make Consequences Clear
Let the alcoholic know you mean business. Tell your addicted loved one that until he gets help, you will enforce consequences (not to punish the drug abuser, but to protect yourself from the harmful effects of their abuse). These may range from refusing to be with the person when they are under the influence, to having them move out of the house. DO NOT make any threats you are not prepared to carry out. The basic intention is to make the abuser’s life more uncomfortable if he continues using drugs than it would be for him to get help.

13. Offer hope.
Let them know there is a solution. Let the addicted person know you will be there as he begins the long road to recovery and that you’ll stand by him throughout the journy.

14. Listen.
If during your drug abuse intervention the abuser begins asking questions like; Where would I have to go? For how long? This is a sign that he is reaching for help. Do not directly answer these questions. Instead have him call in to talk to a professional. Support him. Don’t wait. Once you’ve gotten his agreement, get him admitted immediately. Therefore, you should have a bag packed for him, any travel arrangements made, and prior acceptance into a Drug Rehab program.

Also see: Christ Centered intervention