Planning an Intervention When Someone You Know Has a Drug or Alcohol Problem


There are a lot of ways that an addiction to drugs or alcohol can be approached. One of the most common in recent times is that friends, partners, and family members who have begun to notice a problem developing in a loved one will stage what is known as an ‘intervention’. This is an occasion where people who care about the abuser or potential abuser come together and confront them about their issues, and why they want them to seek help.

It can result in the person being asked to go into professional rehab or drug or alcohol addiction treatment such as the kind offered by specialist rehabilitation clinics like Beachway Therapy, but can also involve simply asking someone to try and give up a habit like drinking alcohol or using an illegal substance of their own volition, without the help of therapists or other professionals. But how do interventions work and how do you arrange one?

Brave, But Caring

The point of having an intervention is not to berate the person you are addressing or make them feel guilty or ashamed of their behavior. This will not do well for an addict, who is most likely already a bit ashamed of their own actions, and who has probably been trying to conceal them from you. It can take a big degree of bravery, also, to go up against someone that you love but who is in the grip of an addiction – you may worry that you will alienate them or make their problems worse by seeming uncaring. An intervention, then, has to be handled in a sensitive way, but with the bravery to say what needs to be said.

Let Everybody Speak

One of the main reasons why using interventions as a way to get people to seek help or stop negative habits is that it allows all of the close people in that person’s life to have a say. This can include all kinds of family members, even children, and also friends, coworkers and anybody else. It is important that everybody gets to speak and say why they want the person whose intervention it is to change their behavior, however this should not be done in a way that makes them feel they are being ‘ganged up’ on. Let everyone talk, but do let the person you are delivering the intervention to have a chance to respond.

Choose the Right Group

When you are planning your intervention, only invite people who are really involved, and perhaps a professional to manage the discussion. Don’t let random people who are vaguely involved with the subject of the intervention get in on it just for something to do or to be nosey – only people who really care or are affected should be there.

Interventions can be a good way to help someone see that they are having problems they may be in denial about, but they do have to be well planned and managed to create the desired effect.

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