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How To Plan An Intervention For Your Loved One

By Michael LoRe
Consulting professional assistance from a doctor, therapist, or interventionist is valuable when planning an intervention for someone you love.

If you're tired of seeing addiction destroy a loved one's life, you may decide it's time for an intervention. But, before you talk to your family member or friend, there are a few key elements that increase your chances of having a successful intervention.

Seek professional assistance.

Consulting professional assistance from a doctor, therapist, or interventionist can be valuable when planning an intervention for someone you love.

"A professional will help guide you and your family through the process and ensure the efficiency and overall safety of the intervention," says Dr. Stephen Loyd, Medical Director at JourneyPure. "Every family is different, so it's best to leave intervention planning to the experts. Unfortunately, there isn't a step-by-step guide for planning an intervention."

Decide who will speak.

While there isn't a specific order of operations for planning an intervention, it's important to come organized and prepared. Unfortunately, a lot of times an intervention is viewed as an ultimatum. That is not the case. You should carefully choose who will speak to your loved one while coming from a place of love and support, rather than being confrontational or demeaning.

"Sometimes a well-intentioned intervention group makes mistakes by embarrassing the addict, which will lead to the addict avoiding the group members," says Dr. Dorothy Reddy, director and principal practitioner at Neurogenex Clinic. "Sitting the person down and talking to them about concerns in a calm, clear and concise way can have an influence. Offering help in the form of social support, information on drug rehabilitation programs, and other methods to get healthy and sober may prompt the person to accept help."

Come prepared.

If your loved one is ready to turn their life around and seek regular assistance, through a treatment facility for example, there are many questions that can arise from job and money-related issues to something as simple as who tends to a pet.

Presenting solutions to these problems will help ease your loved one's mind so they can focus primarily on getting the help they need.

Manage expectations.

Every person and family is different. Not everyone will be open-minded when it comes to an intervention. They may deny having a problem or addiction or they may be confrontational.

It's important to understand the various situations that may develop during and after an intervention. While acknowledging an addiction is a major step toward recovery, it isn't the only one toward the ultimate goal of sobriety.

"The key to an intervention is the follow through," says Ben Barrett, a social worker and addiction counselor. "Clear boundaries must be made and the family cannot continue to enable, otherwise there's no reason to change."

Treatment & Resources: General Information