The Intervention Process
Sometimes the situation with an addict is a little more challenging than just asking if they want to go to treatment and their answer being yes please. In cases where the addict doesn’t see treatment as being the solution to their drug or alcohol addiction, an intervention may be necessary to help save their life.
Planning is the biggest key to a successful intervention. Enlist members of the addict’s life including family, close friends who are not involved in the addictive behaviors, and any role models or persons the addict has looked up to. The interventionist can help determine the best place for the intervention. An ideal place would be a destination that the addict would go to easily without becoming suspicious.
Lighthouse Treatment Center offers a wide selection of interventionist referrals. When an interventionist is used, we recommend you allow them to schedule the time of arrival for the addict to admit to treatment. This is part of the services interventionists provide, to help with reducing the stress on the family during this eventful time. It is crucial that everyone who is to be involved in the intervention meet prior and rehearse what they will do and say to the addict at least a couple times. This will prepare everyone for the day of. Role playing is also suggested when rehearsing, which will prepare everyone involved for the various scenarios that can arise.
After you choose an interventionist, it is essential that each participant writes the addict a letter before the day of, which he or she will read to the addict that describes their behaviors, how they have been affecting their lives negatively, using “I” statements to state factual pieces of evidence resulting from their addiction. A key process for this process is for at least one intervention team member to come up with a list of actions that will no longer be tolerated, enabled, or otherwise financed, should the addict resist to enter rehab. An example of a consequence is to no longer allow the addict to live in the house if they do not enter treatment.
All of the participants read their letters to the addict, then, at the end of the intervention, the addict makes their decision to enter rehab or to endure the subsequent losses on the members’ lists. Again, planning and preparation is key and must be done carefully, without the addict’s knowledge.
Can an Interventionist Really Help?
Using a professional interventionist in this time of crisis increases the probability that the addict will indeed choose the road to treatment. Interventions are always during a highly stressful and emotional time and can cause feelings of anger, betrayal, resentment, and other uncomfortable emotional pain. Be prepared for these feelings to surface, as well as an intense form of resistance from the addict. It is an interventionist’s job to facilitate and be the mediator, they are trained in knowing how to successfully keep an intervention under control and on track.