If a family member or loved one is in a situation where his or her addiction is becoming overwhelmingly detrimental, a logical step would be setting up an intervention. Often times, this is very difficult for the family to setup emotionally and plausibly. What should we say? How should we approach this? Is it the right time? These are all questions that a family may be asking themselves when planning to setup an intervention. Here is a step-by step-guide on how to conduct an intervention in the best way possible.
Meet with everyone involved in the intervention to plan.
- This should be a smaller group of people, 4 or 5, that are most closely related to the person at risk.
- Everyone in the group should communicate by taking their own notes about what their loved one has been doing to harm themselves.
- It would then be important to gather, and compare facts about the person which need to be absolutely confidential to the group.
- Know what you will say during the intervention in a specific order. Begin to setup a sequence of who will speak during the intervention, making sure that no one repeats the same negative experience or statement.
- Do a practice run with the group and focus on how the addict will react to each person’s statement.
- Research a proper facility of treatment for when the intervention is over.
- Meet with a professional to discuss the best course of action for this.
- Make prior arrangements once everyone agrees on the best facility for rehabilitation.
Create Lists for the intervention
- The first list should consist of actions and patterns of behavior that will not be accepted from the addict anymore, and accountability for if/when it does happen.
- The second list should consist of losses and probable losses from you. This would be a list of things the family has lost due to the addicts behavior, and can be focused on anything from jobs to material possessions to personal relationships.
- List three will focus on consequences. This will be ultimatum-based. It should focus on what will happen if the addict continues the same behavior.
Confronting the drug user
- Confront the addict in a private room with the small group listed above.
- Create a comfortable and calm atmosphere with no disruptions.
- Gently explain that everyone in the room is there for the support of him or her.
Define the problem
- Choose a spokesperson to begin by saying that there is a problem and use the support of the group in the room.
- DO NOT label the person in question as a negative term such as “alcoholic” or “addict”
- Always start with “I”. Discuss how you feel first.
- DO NOT begin any attacking tone. Saying things like “You have created all of this stress” is negative and will often lead the intervention down a path where the person in question is feeling the need to defend themselves.
During the intervention
- Based on the lists made on Step 2, these should be explained one at a time, and in order like discussed prior.
- Be prepared that he or she may not agree with these lists and steps.
- This can be very hurtful for the group, but must remain strong and stick to exactly what is being proposed in the list.
- The person in question may be in denial or become upset at this stage, so it’s important for everyone in the room to remain calm.
- Supply the addict with your plan of rehabilitation and facility of choice.
Doing an intervention isn’t something that is always easy. It is rare that it is going to be a pleasant experience. Nonetheless it is something that has to be faced in order to get a drug user help.