What You Need to Know About Interventions

By Luke Nichols, New Life Retreat

Dealing with loved ones can be difficult sometimes and that only gets harder when they have a problem with drugs and alcohol. A big part of dealing with a loved one’s addiction is getting them into treatment. But what if they are unwilling to go? Intervention is the next logical step, however what is an intervention and how you pull one off? 

Contrary to popular belief, successful interventions usually aren’t like the ones you see on TV or in the movie Hangover 3 with the family sitting around and reading off of notecards. Interventions that are successful usually consist of several different techniques. I hope they help you and your family to have the best chance of saving your loved ones. 

The first thing is to do your research on a treatment facility. Before an intervention takes place, you need to know where they are going. Once you get someone willing to go to treatment it is imperative that they go straight in. When someone is struggling with substance abuse they can waffle on the idea of treatment, so you have to have the facility already picked out so there are no slows or stops on which facility. Adding time in-between when your loved one becomes willing to go and them getting into treatment is deadly. 

Number two is building your team. An intervention can either be done by the family or by a professional interventionist. A family can choose the family or friends of the addict that the addict will most likely listen to so it is important those persons are at the intervention. On the other hand, an intervention done by an interventionist is usually conducted on a one-on-one basis, where the interventionist works with the addict alone to get their agreement to go to treatment. Since a lot of interventionists are ex-addicts themselves, they will have a point of reality with the addict which may facilitate the reach for treatment. In some cases, the interventionist may decide to call in family members but that will be decided by the interventionist. 

Once you have decided on your team, get them together and go over all the details so everyone is prepared to pull off the intervention. Make sure any family or friends who are involved are all on the same page and have the same goal; getting the addict into treatment.  

With everyone on the same page, you would then bring in the addict. Approach them kindly and at first try to get them to see how treatment will benefit them. Show them the website or brochure of where they are going. It is also a good idea to have someone ready to talk to them from the center to answer any questions they may have. 

If this doesn’t work, you should be prepared to bottom line them (give them an ultimatum). An example of a bottom line is, “If you don’t go to treatment you aren’t staying here anymore.” If they run off and refuse to listen, do not give in. You must hold strong or they won’t take it seriously. Even if they do run, most of the time they will come back and listen and then agree to go to treatment.

If you have more questions or want to find out more about getting someone into treatment, read here: https://www.narcononnewliferetreat.org/blog/intervention-101.html or call 1-800-431-1754 to get help for your loved ones.