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Intervention: What’s The Right Way To Do It?

Do you have a loved one, perhaps a friend or family member, struggling with compulsive eating, drugs and alcohol abuse, compulsive gambling, or any other type of addiction? Maybe it’s time to step in and do an intervention.

In many cases, those struggling with addiction are in denial about their status. This denial may stem from guilt, shame, or lack of self-awareness, and prevents them from seeking help.

Intervention is the best way to encourage an addict to seek help. However, the success of the intervention depends on how you stage and plan for it. Here is how you should go about it!

  • Seek help

Seeking help in most cases is the last thing we do, but when approaching your loved one who needs help, it should be the first. Dealing with an addict is not easy.

Consult an interventionist, a psychologist, or a qualified professional counselor before you begin the intervention. Their experience in dealing with many addicts can assist you to have a more positive outcome.

  • Choose your team wisely

An intervention requires more than one person to fully convince the addict that they need help. 

You should be careful with the people you choose to be on your intervention team. Only those who have a good relationship with the addict should be on the team. 

You can include close family members, co-workers, mentors and good friends. 

  • Have a plan

The plan should contain the location where you’re going to hold the talk as well as the time. You should choose a suitable location to conduct the intervention, perhaps an interventionist or therapist’s office.

Figure out the perfect time to hold the meeting, when the addict is in a sober mind, or something close to that – perhaps in the morning. It won’t do you any good to talk to the addict when they are high.

Again, the plan should outline what everyone will say and how the whole process will work.

  • Gather some information

You cannot provide or help provide a solution when you don’t know much about the problem. 

Before the meeting, take some time to learn more about the problem you’re dealing with – the addiction itself and the whole recovery process – this will help you convey your points well and also suggest viable solutions.

Having some knowledge about detox and rehabilitation programs will also be important.

  • Note down some impact statements

Everyone in your intervention group should say something about the addicted person and his or her struggles.

Such written statements will enable the person to realize the harm they are causing, to not only themselves but also to others. Despite these statements being personal, everyone should discuss it with the group before saying it to the addict.

The statements should express love and honesty to the addicted person – do not make it feel like you are pointing fingers at them.

  • Do some rehearsals

Emotions could run high which could make some of your team members lose their focus. This is why each member should commit some time to practice what will happen during the intervention.

Again dealing with an addict isn’t easy. Learn to deal with emotions and angry words from the addicted person – especially if you are family. The rehearsal should be done at least once prior to the intervention.

  • Have a follow-up plan

Suppose the addicted person accepts help, do you have a treatment plan for him/her? 

You should be ready to offer any help immediately if the person asks for it – don’t wait too long since the person could change their mind. Intervention is only the beginning of a solution. 

Final thoughts

Intervention is the best thing you can ever do to a person struggling with addiction. However, the success rate depends on how well you do the intervention. You must have a plan and enough information before going for it.

Author: Christopher G. Aiello

Mr. Aiello has a reputable 30+ year trajectory in law practice. Having been selected for multiple recognitions, and awards, he practices in the Superior Court of New Jersey in both the trial court section and the appellate divisions, the Workers’ Compensation Court, and Municipal Courts. He has appeared in dozens of televised, print and internet media. Now, he’s dedicated in full to his law firm Aiello, Harris, Marth, Tunnero & Schiffman P.C.

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