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Starting A Drug Intervention



When you are worried about someone in your life because he or she is going down a destructive path of drugs, alcohol, or a behavior addiction like gambling, an intervention is a great approach to communicating your concern and encouraging appropriate treatment.

Seeking help to stage an intervention is important to its success. Addicts tend to react negatively to confrontation, especially when the reason for the confrontation is their drug or alcohol abuse. You can help this person take a step in the right direction, away from a life of substance abuse, but there are good ways to go about helping and intervening. A trained, professional interventionist can help advise you, and even on facilitating a drug abuse intervention for you or with you.

Assistance From An Interventionist

With the assistance of an intervention specialist, you can plan a strategy. Since an addict may be angered during the process, it is helpful to have a plan for it that happens. Who, in the groupthink will be present for the drug abuse intervention, will get up and follow the addict if he or she gets up and walks out of the room? Use your already established family, and friend, dynamics to make the best decision for everyone involved. Who will calm the addict down a bit? Who is the addict most likely to listen to in an uncomfortable situation?

With that said, it is also helpful to give some thought to your intervention team. Who should be present when the addict, who you are trying to encourage to get help, is hearing all of this? Are there family members who have good intentions, but won’t be as productive in the room, from the add it’s perspective? The people you have in the room, who will communicate concern to your loved one who has been abusing drugs and alcohol, are fundamental in the effectiveness of the intervention.

Preparing For The Intervention

Once you decide the right team to be involved in the drug abundance intervention, the next step it to each person prepare, and write down, what he or she would like to say to the person you are trying to get to commit to treatment. What emotional impact has the addict’s behavior had on you? What have you wanted to say to the person you love who you have had to watch slowly destroy him or herself? This is the time to say it all, from a place of love.

Next, it’s time to implement the actual drug abuse intervention. Gather the team and the interventionist in a mutual place, and arrange for the addict to show up a while after everyone else. Get the team settled, and have the interventionist, if included in the process, do a rehearsal of sorts, to prepare the team for what is about to happen. Based on his or her experience, the interventionist can tell everyone what to expect, how to react or not react, and what to say or do if the addict reacts in certain ways.

A Common Goal

The common goal is to encourage the person you all love to stop using drugs and alcohol and to agree to participate in formal detoxification and treatment. Forcefulness is not helpful, but many families draw a line by setting terms for how life will look and what will change if the addict does not go to treatment.

Addiction is a family disease. The ripple effect created has impacted everyone involved, so a treatment program or therapy of some sort is recommended for everyone who is close to the addict. If you are each healthier and better equipped for a life in recovery, it only enhances the ability of the addict to start and sustain a life in recovery.