- A family member or friend agreeing to organise the intervention gets advice from an organisation like ours or connects with a private counsellor who will lead the process.
- The organiser then begins contacting family members and close friends who might be willing to participate.
- A neutral site is selected and the addict is invited to join the group for a frank discussion.
- During the meeting, participants address the addict one by one until all have had their say.
- The intervention concludes by giving the addict a choice. That choice comes with consequences both ways.
Some family members choose to conduct interventions by themselves after doing some research and getting sound advice. Others are not comfortable enough to handle it on their own, so they work with counsellors to make the intervention happen.
Two Schools of Thought
At this point, you might be wondering what approach to take when conducting an intervention. There isn’t necessarily a right or wrong approach, but there are two schools of thought embraced by experts in the field.
The first school of thought is to approach the addict from the angle of how his or her addiction is causing personal harm. One person may address how drugs or alcohol is harming the addict’s health while another may talk about the psychological and emotional trauma the addict is experiencing. Still another may talk about social isolation and other observations.
The point of this first approach is to try and help the addict to see how he or she is being harmed by addictive behaviour. The hope is that the addict will eventually realise that he or she is self-destructing. That knowledge may motivate the person to agree to treatment.
The second school of thought is to approach addiction from the angle of how it is affecting others. For example, a spouse might address an addicted partner to explain the financial, emotional and mental turmoil being caused by addiction. Children may also address a parent, if they are older, to explain how the addiction is affecting them. Close friends might explain how they no longer want to be around the addict because of his/her behaviour.
Those who subscribe to the second line of thought believe that it is far more effective to address the harm to family members and friends because the addict has already demonstrated he/she is not concerned about his/her own health and well-being. Whether or not that’s true doesn’t matter. What matters is that those conducting the intervention figure out whatever will best work in their situation.