Helping an addict can be very difficult. Often, he doesn’t want to listen to what you have to say, even though you may be very calm and making logical, rational points. An addict who has no desire to get help simply will not listen, especially if you get angry with him. However, an addiction intervention can often be the turning point in an addict’s life. But there’s more than addiction intervention than just getting a bunch of the addict’s friends and family together to talk to him. In fact, if you go into an intervention without planning, it can be a disaster.
There are several things that are key to a successful intervention. First, you need to educate yourself about addiction. Don’t go off of what you think you know or assume. Read through as much information as possible. Learning about the effects of addiction, what the addict is likely going through, and how you can help him is vital to a successful addiction. Look online, visit your local library, or even make an appointment to speak to a therapist about addiction and how you can successfully help your friend or family member.
Another option is to actually hire a professional therapist or interventionist to lead the intervention. This may be a bit costly, but it does help keep the stress off of you. You won’t be worrying if you are leading the intervention correctly and can instead focus on your own feelings and thoughts. Professional interventionists are trained to help an addict and the family members discuss their feelings in a calm, rational way. One thing an interventionist is especially good at handling is the initial surprise or even anger that the addict may express at the intervention. You may not be able to defuse the situation, but someone who has no emotional ties to the situation may have more luck.
Once you’ve planned the intervention , it’s time to contact the various family members and friends you want to involve. You may not want to get too large a group together. You don’t want the addict to feel like he is facing an angry mob or anything. Instead, bring in about five or six people. Before you have the intervention, you need to meet with these people and talk to them about how the intervention will go. Remind them to not get angry or let their emotions get the best of them. Also share all of the information about addiction that you’ve learned.
You may want to use this meeting time to have everyone write an intervention letter. These letters are a good way to avoid getting emotional during the intervention. Simply write your loved one a letter detailing what you want to say to them. Be certain your letter and the letters of the others aren’t negative or emotional. Each letter should include positive statements and remind the addict that you love them. By using letters as the basis of your intervention, you can avoid letting the intervention get out of control.