What Are the Basics of an Intervention?

Posted by on February 15, 2017

If you are the loved one of someone who is suffering from an addiction of some kind, you probably understand how difficult it can be to reach out to them. A heart-to-heart is often met with denial or avoidance, and, in many cases, someone who is addicted really doesn’t understand how far the disease has

If you are the loved one of someone who is suffering from an addiction of some kind, you probably understand how difficult it can be to reach out to them. A heart-to-heart is often met with denial or avoidance, and, in many cases, someone who is addicted really doesn’t understand how far the disease has progressed. An organized intervention with a team of loved ones and perhaps even professionals might be just what it takes to help the person who is addicted admit the problem and take steps to get treatment.

Tips for Organizing an Intervention

In order for an intervention to be successful, you should really have a plan. It should be planned in consultation with a medical professional – this could be the individual’s doctor or psychiatrist or an interventionist. It’s important to recognize that interventions are very emotional and things could change in a hurry. Having a plan in place is the best way to weather these peaks and valleys. This will include doing research and learning about the disease as well as specific treatment programs.

Second, you will need to create your intervention team. This may or may not include an interventionist. Clergy members and other nonfamily members should be included too as they can ensure that the intervention sticks to the facts and emotions don’t get too high. You should agree on a specific time and place and rehearse beforehand to present a logical, cohesive argument. Everyone speaking should make notes of what they want to say to espouse their feelings as well as the consequences of what will happen if the person does not seek help.

After the intervention takes place, the person will either admit a problem and seek treatment or choose not to. It’s important to be ready to live up to the consequences you described during the intervention if he or she chooses not to. If he or she does seek treatment, you should follow up with others on the intervention team to facilitate the best environment for the person to stick with the program and not engage in destructive behaviors. Joseph Governara and other addiction advocates would also suggest that family members and friends attend Al-Anon or go to a therapist to maintain their own mental health and have a better understanding of what to do in various scenarios in the addiction treatment process.

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