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What to do during an interventionThe outcome of an intervention frequently depends on what you say and how you say it.  Some people assume that the addict will enter treatment if he is “ready” and that nothing you can say will convince him to go if he hasn’t hit rock bottom or had a personal epiphany.  That is absolutely untrue.

Arranging a Successful Intervention

If an intervention is handled badly – for example, if the addict feels ambushed and attacked and people start making accusatory statements – the addict may be too angry to listen and try to walk out.  If the wrong people are included, the intervention may fail for different reasons.  In some cases, the addict may not feel comfortable enough to do good work because there are people there she doesn’t trust.

Other times, an intervention will fail because someone who is very important to the addict does not attend.  An addict will grasp at anything she can in a situation like that, assuming she can still be enabled by the person who isn’t there.  Those who are there become the enemy and she can convince herself that they are wrong and her life can still go on without them.

Given the importance of being thorough in your planning and handling things carefully, it is advisable to speak with a professional interventionist. He will make certain that you know what to do during an intervention and be there to make sure things stay on track even when tempers flare or hearts are breaking.

Details to Consider for an Intervention

  • Try to begin your thoughts with “I” instead of “you.”  Tell the addict how you feel and why you want to help.
  • Don’t express anger in a loud or unkind way.  You may have to address issues such as stealing or lying that make you angry, but in this instance you need to be calm about it.
  • Let everyone share the remarks that they have prepared. Anyone who met with the interventionist or the group before the intervention should have a chance to speak to the addict.
  • Be firm in your ultimatum. Do not negotiate with the addict.  You have discussed the ultimatum with the others and hopefully with an interventionist. Now you have to follow through.
  • Offer to take the addict to his home to pack a suitcase and go straight to a treatment facility.  If you let the addict leave alone, chances are he will change his mind even if he said he would enter treatment and meant it in the moment.

For more help staging an intervention, call (888) 371-5722.