Watching a loved one suffer and self-destruct from the disease of addiction can be devastating. One may feel a plethora of emotions ranging from anger to fear to helplessness. They may try ultimatums, enabling, bribes, anything and everything to get them to stop; however, nothing can get an addict to stop until they themselves consciously realize that they have a problem that is ruining their life and make a decision to take action to change. This is actually a difficult feat for an addict in active addiction. While addiction is raging in their mind, they are blind to their problems; they cannot realize the harm they are producing in their lives and in the lives those closest to them. When this is the case, a method of help called an intervention may be the remedy to help to get them into the necessary drug and alcohol treatment program they need. Hiring a professional certified interventionist counselor to facilitate and perform the intervention is essential to raise the chances of a successful intervention.
What does an intervention entail?
The first initial step, and perhaps the most important step, is the planning. Enlist members of the addict’s life including family, close friends who are not involved in the addictive behaviors, and parishioners of the family church. The interventionist can help to determine the best place for the intervention. The ideal place would be a destination that the addict would go to easily without becoming suspicious.
Many treatment facilities offer intervention services, and they will pre-register the addict into the program, thus, making the transition from the intervention into treatment so much easier. This is why doing research into both the interventionist and the treatment facility is critical. It is crucial for all of those who wish to be involved in the intervention to meet and rehearse at least twice prior in order to prepare for the day of. An important part of rehearsing the intervention is role playing, which will prepare everyone involved for the various scenarios that can arise.
An essential part of the intervention is to have letters pre-written to read to the addict during the intervention that describe their behaviors, how they have been affecting their lives negatively, using “I” statements to state factual pieces of evidence such as instances that have occurred as a result of their addiction. A key part of this process is for at least one intervention team member to comprise a list of actions that will not longer be tolerated, enabled, or otherwise financed, should the addict resist to enter rehabilitation. One example of a common consequence is no longer allowing them to live in the house if they do not enter treatment. All of the participants read the letters to the addict, then, at the end of the intervention, they make their decision to enter rehabilitation or endure the subsequent losses. All of this preparation and planning must be done carefully, thoughtfully, and without the addict’s knowledge.
The Actual Day of The Intervention
There are benefits to employing a professional and certified interventionist, rather than one trying to facilitate it on their own. With the help of a professional, the intervention will be thoroughly planned and have a much higher chance at achieving adequate results. It should be known that the intervention will be highly stressful, and may cause feelings of anger, betrayal, resentment, and other uncomfortable emotional pain. All interventionist team members should not expect it to be an easy task, and should instead be prepared for a battle and intense resistance from the addict. It is the interventionist’s job to facilitate and be a mediator; they are trained in knowing how to successfully keep an intervention under control and on track.
Once the day of the intervention comes, the entire intervention team will be well-rehearsed, and everyone who is not conducive to the process will be eliminated. Next, the addict is summoned to the designated location where the intervention is to take place. Once the intervention is completed, it is vital that the consequences that were set for not going to treatment are kept.
Should the addict decide to comply and enter treatment, all of the intervention team members should serve as a support system during the treatment process. It is essential for the family to attend the family groups and family therapy sessions that most treatment facilities provide. This gives addicts and their families the opportunity to heal from the addiction together.