A well planned and executed family intervention can be a useful tool to get a family member the help they need. It can also be therapeutic for family members who are unable to confront their loved one about how their substance abuse if affecting those around them.
Alcoholism and drug addiction strain relationships and can tear families apart. Often the addict is in denial and is incapable of seeing how their destructive behavior is affecting those around them. Many addicts and alcoholics need the help of a treatment program in order to overcome their substance abuse problems, and often those that are closest to them see this long before the user does themselves.
If a family member has been resistant to change and their use has reached the crisis level, a family intervention may be the only way to get them to agree to get help. Thousands of families find help through treatment centers every day, and many of these families use an intervention to start the process.
What is a Family Intervention?
A family intervention can be done with love in a non-judgmental and non-confrontational way. The key to any intervention is proper planning to ensure everyone involved is of the same mind and resolve. For many addiction or alcoholism presents a potentially life threatening situation, so participants need to work together. An intervention should never be done spur of the moment, without a detailed and agreed upon plan of action for the addict if they accept the family’s help.
To plan an intervention the family should get together beforehand to educate themselves on the severity of the situation. It should be decided what is in the best interest of the family, and research should be done to find an appropriate treatment center that fits the addicts individual needs. The treatment program should be contacted to make sure they will be able to admit the user, and the family should let them know of their intentions to hold an intervention.
Once the treatment plan has been decided upon, each family member should prepare what they are going to say to the user. This should focus on the toll the addiction has taken on the family, while encouraging the addict and letting them know that you believe they can change and that you are willing to support them in their effort. The family should also decide on specific consequences that each member will impose if the user is unwilling to participate in treatment. This may involve losing their place to live, financial repercussions, or cutting off the relationship altogether. While the consequences may seem extreme, the intention is to get the addict the help they need and must be upheld to have any impact.
How to Conduct an Intervention with Family
On the day of the intervention, the addict will need to be brought to the location without knowing why they are going. If the user knows the family is holding an intervention they can prepare to counter the family’s arguments in an effort to avoid getting help. In some cases a professional interventionist may be necessary, especially if the user has a history of violent behavior, or has threatened suicide.
Once the addict arrives each family member reads their prepared statement and the offer to start treatment is presented. The family lets the user know that they want to see them take this opportunity to get help, and lets them know what the consequences will be if they are unwilling to go.
An intervention can be very powerful, and have the ability to heal a family. With the right preparation and care an addict’s life can be saved and a family can be brought closer together.