Rehab Family Intervention

Family Intervention

It Shouldn't be a Secret...Families Can HELP!

What is a Family Intervention?

A Family Intervention is done when person is unwilling to go to get help at all or unwilling to get the level of help that the situation obviously requires.

It is done by picking people in the family that the addict has some respect for. It must be people who truly cares for the addict and want them to get well. Friends can be included also. The key is to pick people who cares about the addict and people who are important to the addict.

A Family Intervention should not be the first attempt to get an addict to get help. Some families have a hard time confronting the issue with the addict on an individual basis because they are afraid of the reaction of the addict. They may get angry, cry, leave the house and even become violent. However, it is important that the first approach is one individual who has a good relationship (or at least had a good close relationship) with the addict. The approach must be one of caring. Do not be angry or get confrontational. Let the addict know that you are not angry, but that you love him/her and you really want to help.

If several conversations like that do not get a result, and the addict is obviously destroying his/her life, it becomes time to do a Family Intervention.

Important Points of the Cycle of the Intervention:

  1. Before actually doing the intervention, it is vital that you have a treatment center picked out. All the work and impact of an intervention can be totally wasted if you have to spend hours or days to locate a treatment center. Even though an addict may say yes to treatment under the pressure of an intervention, it does not mean that he will still say yes the next day.
  2. Make sure that the people are chosen based on their care for and importance in the life of the addict. If there is a family member or friend that has tendency to be confrontational with the addict, that person should not participate.
  3. Work out the consequences of what will happen if the addict does not agree to go to treatment. The goal is to appeal to the addict to go to treatment because he can see the need or because of the wishes of the family members and friends. However, if the addict does not agree, there must be consequences. The harshest of those are that family and friends will disconnect and have nothing to do with the addict, including having to leave his home. Lighter measures can be shutting off phone service, taking car keys, reporting to employer.
  4. Get everyone who is going to participate in the intervention completely on the same page. It is very important that everyone who are going to participate in the intervention fully agree on the consequences that are going to be presented. They must all fully agree on the treatment center that has been chosen. If the addict senses weakness in one or more of the participants of the intervention, there is a chance it will fail.
  5. Make a slist of what each person wants to say to the addict. This can be things that they have observed about the addict, changes in life style, things he has lost or is loosing, change in character. It can be pointing out how good his life was before he started using drugs – trying to make him remember positive things that were in his life before and how he can get all of that back by choosing a drug free life. It can be effective for each person to communicate how the addicts actions and life style is hurting and worrying the family member or friend. For example mother may not get any good sleep, worry about a phone call that addict is dead or in jail. Keep it realistic. Again, get everyone agreeing what should be said and points to bring up.
  6. Work out time and place of the intervention. It is obviously important that it is a place or time where it is certain that the addict will be there. It must be in a private place – not a restaurant or any kind of public place because it can get noisy and emotional. You need to know the pattern of the addict so that a time and place can be chosen. Choose a time where you know that the addict had no commitments so he cannot use the excuse of having to be somewhere.
  7. Pepare yourself to stay calm during the intervention. Everyone must be direct and matter of fact, show a lot of love and care, but do everything possible to not get into a screaming match. That does not mean being soft, just being in control of your own emotions and show the addict you mean it, but that you are not mad at him – just insistent that you cannot and will not participate in his current life style or sit by and watch him destroy his life and the lives of those that love him.

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