When drug addicts are falling quickly, loved ones are often at a loss of what to do. They want to help, but can no longer enable the addict to continue his or her behavior. Interventions have become a popular way to give the addict a firm ultimatum. Some drug and alcohol interventions are performed with professional interventionists, while others are done without professional help.
Before the Intervention
Drug and alcohol interventions must be well-prepared in order to be effective. The group of concerned loved ones convenes and discusses what will occur during the intervention. A leader is chosen, who is usually someone who is stable, unreactive, and knows the addict well. The group discusses what they know for certain about the person’s drug abuse. They each develop a list or letter that usually includes how they have been effected by the person’s drug abuse, how they have seen the addict fall over time, that they want him or her to go to treatment, and what consequences there will be if they do not agree to go. They pick a time and place for the intervention, as well as a method to bring the addict to it.
How Drug and Alcohol Interventions Works
Interventions begin with finding a reason to have the addict in a certain place at a certain time. It is agreed upon by most interventionists that it is better that the addict is caught off-guard, as they are more likely to allow themselves to be vulnerable and honest. When the addict arrives and finds their family and/or friends all present in one room, they may become angry. Many addicts are familiar with interventions, and may know immediately what is happening.
The addict is asked to sit down by the leader and simply listen to what the people that love him or her have to say. Each member takes turns reading their letter, asking at the end that the addict attend a treatment center, and providing loving boundaries. These boundaries, such as cutting the person off financially, not providing shelter, or cutting off all communications, are not meant to be threats. They are intended to help the addict see the full scope of their problem and how heavily they have affected their loved ones.
The goal of the intervention is for the addict or alcoholic to agree to go to a treatment center. Sometimes the person is simply not ready, or not willing to take a look at their problem. If the person does not go to treatment, the concerned group follows through with their promises of consequences, and hopes that willingness will come soon. Hopefully, however, the person will agree to go to treatment, and just begin to see how much their actions have affected their family.