How To Do a Family Intervention

The term “intervention” is defined as when any situation arise requiring someone or a small group of concerned people to intervene on another person’s behalf. It is most commonly used when a family member is abusing drugs and or alcohol in an attempt to get them to agree to go into rehab.

It can be overwhelming to know how to help an alcoholic and or addict. It can become a big family problem. All too often, the afflicted person can’t see the severity of the problem and is resistant to seeking help. A direct intervention is to help them begin the life-saving recovery process.

  • Denial is an excellent term to describe the state of mind of the person abusing drugs and alcohol.
  • They are a proven process that has helped thousands of families. It breaks the barrier of denial.
  • They deny themselves and others having a problem. Interventions break the barrier of denial.

An intervention is a proven process that has helped thousands of families and friends break the “Barrier of Denial” surrounding a person concealing or denying their drug or alcohol abuse.

Interventions are a well-orchestrated, small group encounter with a family member who refuses to get help. They get the affected person into a rehab program immediately. If a family needs help planning and executing an intervention, they can hire a professional interventionist.

  • Plan – Studies show that family interventions do help but only if they are proper. Poor planning may worsen the situation if the loved one feels attacked. Interventions are usually volatile situations. There is a possibility of potential resentment, anger, and the victim may feel betrayed.
  • Coordination – The groups set a location and date for the intervention. They work together to present a rehearsed and consistent message. Keep the discussion focused on solutions and not on the strong emotional responses. It helps to have a non-family member present. The loved one should not know ahead of time.
  • Consequences – If the loved one does not accept treatment, the team should decide how to proceed. Results include cutting off finances, taking away contact with children, divorce, or separation.
  • Script – Each participating member describes an incident that has caused problems. They should tell the toll the loved one’s behavior has caused them but also express care.
  • Staging – Without being told, the loved one comes to the site. It then takes time to express feelings. They present a treatment option to the loved one.

Consider hiring a professional interventionist. It is the ideal method. Professionals know exactly what to do and how to do it. If you can’t afford to hire a professional, many have been done successfully without one.

Round up a small but very dedicated group of family members and or close friends. The quality of participants is more important than quantity. Five or less is ideally the correct number of people to participate. Make sure each understands their role.

Make the necessary arrangements for having the person admitted to the chosen treatment program. It is mandatory to have a treatment center prepared to accept the person immediately after the intervention.

Plan the place and time to do the intervention – The person with the drug or alcohol problem cannot know about it. It is like a secret from them. So the people participating have to arrive well ahead of time.

Discuss and then script what each participating person will say during the intervention – Each person should have a good idea of what they are going to say as you go around the room.

  1. Outline what consequences will apply against the concerned person should they refuse to agree to go to rehab.
  2. Give specific examples of the addict’s destructive behavior and how they impact the addict and the family at large.
  3. Provide a prearranged treatment program outlining clear steps, guidelines, and goals.
  4. Spell out what each family member is ready to do if the loved one refuses treatment.

The consequences are the key. If the person still refuses to go to rehab, then there have to be consequences. For example, a spouse must be willing to say they will divorce their spouse unless they agree to get help. Other outcomes can include friends and family saying they will have nothing to do with the person unless they go to rehab today.

Follow-up is critical to help the loved one, not relapse. It includes family members offering to participate in counseling and knowing what they should do if a relapse occurs.

A family intervention can prevent someone from suffering the inevitable consequences of their behaviors by confronting the person with the realities of the situation in a loving way. By planning and doing one, you can break through and get them the desperately needed help. If it is a caring, non-confrontational fashion, it is more likely to succeed.

An intervention is the best way to help someone see the impact their drug or alcohol use has on themselves and the people around them.

  • When a family member is drug and or alcohol dependent, it negatively impacts everyone.
  • Family interventions use the power of concern and love to break through denial and get the loved one to start treatment.
  • A family intervention gets the whole family to work together and solve this debilitating problem.