Conducting a Successful Alcohol or Drug Intervention

A drug or alcohol intervention takes place when a group of family members and friends come together to confront the person they believe needs to seek treatment. During an intervention, family and friends give their loved one an understanding of the consequences their addiction has had on others as well as the severity of their addiction.

When attempting to conduct a successful alcohol intervention or drug intervention, there are a number of steps that must be taken to ensure the person being confronted has less likelihood of rejecting the intervention, and the proper measures are in place for them seeking a recovery program after the intervention.

A drug or alcohol intervention can be an extremely stressful and sensitive event, so it is important that it be a well-researched and methodical undertaking. The below steps will help provide a set of guidelines for initial measures and actions that must be taken to conduct a successful alcohol or drug intervention.

Formulate a Plan

Every intervention begins differently, some with only a single family member or friend wanting to intervene, but each intervention must start with a plan. If it is only a single family member or friend who originally had the idea to stage an intervention, it is important to seek out other loved ones that would also like to participate in the intervention, and that will aid in the planning process. In addition to forming a group of family members and friends, it is vital that professional help is sought at this stage in the process.

Professional help may take many forms for an intervention, whether it be a qualified professional counselor, mental health professional, or psychologist. Casa Palmera offers a variety of professional resources to assist with interventions. However, no matter which route you choose, having professional guidance to help inform the process is necessary.

Intervention can bring to the surface anger, betrayal, resentment, and deeply seeded disappointment, so having an outsider that can be objective and rational is imperative.

Research and Document

The research and documentation phase lays the groundwork for a successful alcohol intervention or drug intervention by giving the severity of the situation the forethought it requires. An unsuccessful intervention can encourage an increase in addictive behaviors and disassociation from loved ones and friends. This is important to keep in mind, as this phase can be time-consuming and tedious at times.

Before beginning an intervention, loved ones must ascertain the severity of the person’s addiction and their situation so that the best possible recovery program can be selected. Whether it be an alcohol intervention or drug intervention, the steps will be the same. Once a complete understanding of the circumstances has been reached, it is time to select a recovery program for when the intervention is successful.

The recovery program that suits each person best varies depending on the type of addiction, the personality attributes of the person, and the circumstances which they are currently in. Take the time to research multiple recovery programs, visit them, and speak to their on-staff personnel to be sure that the level of care and environment will suit the person best.

Once a recovery program is selected, each loved one taking part in the intervention should take the time to document how this addiction had affected their life and the consequences it has had on their relationship. It is important to record these feelings beforehand so that the emotional charge is under control during the meeting.

It is important that the person does not feel attacked during the intervention or demeaned, so keeping the message consistent, heartfelt, and rational is critical. The family members and friends attending the intervention should meet beforehand to share what they have written with one another so that they can provide constructive criticism and create a cohesive message to get across. This message should show their loved one that they care, that their addiction is hurting themselves and the people they love, and that it is necessary to seek a recovery program to attain sobriety. Once this step is complete, it is time to establish consequences.

Establishing Consequences

When preparing for an intervention, it is necessary to develop a set of consequences that will occur if your loved one chooses to reject the intervention and not seek recovery. For the family and friends of someone struggling with addiction, their addictive behaviors may be destructive financially, emotionally, or physically.

For some people, it may be that they will no longer be able to have contact with their child if they are exposing them to dangerous and unstable circumstances. For others, it may be that they will need to find other housing if they are bringing illegal substances or dangerous behavior into the home.

These are just two examples, but for each member attending the intervention it is important to determine where these boundaries will be drawn should their loved one choose not to seek help so that they can be communicated and understood by their loved one during the decision-making process.

Decide on a Time and Place

The final step in the process is to decide on a time and place to hold the intervention. Be sure to consult the professional that was sought in the initial phases and schedule the intervention according to their availability to attend. Having someone who is qualified and outside the situation to mediate the intervention drastically increases the probability of a successful intervention, so take this scheduling step first.

Once their availability is determined, consult amongst the intervention attendees and plan a time that works for each person. Once this is done, select a place to hold the intervention that is calm, will be undisturbed, and will offer the privacy that a meeting this sensitive requires.

At this time, invite the loved one to the intervention without disclosing everyone that will be there or that the intervention will take place. It is important that the loved one not feel ambushed, so be conscientious when beginning the intervention to make sure that they are given ample time to adjust to what is happening and understand the situation.

At the culmination of these events, the intervention takes place. Laying the groundwork properly will bolster the chances of the intervention being successful and provide everyone involved with the best possible circumstances.