Staging an Intervention

Addiction is a powerful disease that can take complete control over someone’s life. Achieving sobriety is a lengthy and uncomfortable process which dissuades many from getting the help they need. When a loved one or family member will not willingly enter treatment for addiction or come to terms with their problem, it may be necessary to perform an intervention.

What is an Intervention?

An intervention is a structured meeting arranged to convince someone that they should seek help for an addiction. Interventions are not specific to any addiction and can be tailored to address a particular issue such as alcoholism or gambling. Participants will usually gather together at a prearranged location and create their statements before the subject of the intervention arrives. It is recommended that a licensed professional or counselor be present to facilitate the meeting objectively. They can lead conversation, intervene if the discussion is disrupted and recommend treatment options.

How To Prepare

Careful planning is needed to ensure that an intervention runs smoothly and achieves its goal. Here are some tips on how to stage an effective intervention:

Create a plan: When someone proposes holding an intervention, it is typically the result of the subject’s denial of their addiction. Forming the right group of people can be a difficult task. Family members, friends and coworkers who can provide thoughtful statements of concern.

Form thoughtful statements: In order to break their denial, participants must present convincing and specific evidence of the detrimental impact that addiction has had on the subject’s life. Statements should remain hopeful and sympathetic to avoid the subject feeling ambushed. Statements should also include emotional appeals to the subject offering support, encouragement and reassurance that seeking treatment will improve their life.

Determine Consequences: Interventions can easily become emotionally charged due to the very delicate subject matters. In these cases it is helpful to have an objective professional present to steer conversations and intervene if tensions arise or conversations get hostile. Participants must also prepare what they will say if the subject does not agree to seek treatment. Threatening a consequence if the subject refuses treatment is compelling.

Arranging the meeting: Choosing a time and a place for an intervention is important to its success. The location should be one where the subject is comfortable and feels safe to be vulnerable in. Interventions are secretive and should only be revealed to the subject at the time of the intervention.

Support the subject: Once the intervention has finished and a decision regarding treatment has been made, it is important to support the subject. Treatment for addiction can be a long and arduous process and the subject will not succeed if they do not have a reliable support system.

The Goals of an Intervention

Staging a successful intervention requires patience and careful planning. Everyone involved must do their part and be stern in their appeals and offer realistic consequences. Although it is difficult to determine what the outcome will be, bringing awareness and offering support to loved ones who are suffering from addiction is the goal of an intervention.

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Chris Carberg is the Founder of Addiction HelpWritten by:

Founder & CEO,

Chris Carberg is the Founder and CEO of Addiction Help. Chris battled a serious addiction to prescription drugs (opioids and sedatives) and alcohol, getting clean and sober in 2005. Chris has been a founder in several health-driven internet startups but Addiction Help represents his life's work. He has dedicated his life to helping addicts like himself reach recovery and see their lives and dreams restored.