Why Should You Do an Intervention?
There’s just one reason: To save a person’s life.
But will an intervention even work? After all, haven’t you already tried everything you could think of?
The answer is yes, the intervention can work. But it must be done correctly. Success or failure hinges on the preparations and choices made ahead of time.
An intervention is not simply loved ones gathering together to lay down the law. Although that’s far better than not speaking up, without making all the arrangements that essentially offer the addicted person no other choice but to go to rehab ahead of time, failure is a possibility.
Why Do So Many Attempts at Intervention Fail?
When a family decides to do an intervention, there are a few common mistakes they make.
They don’t estimate the power of the enemy – the person’s addiction and desperate need for drugs.
Once this individual begins to feel the pain and sickness of withdrawal, their need for more of the substance they are addicted to is likely to overwhelm their rationality. Some people say that they simply “go crazy” when the cravings hit. At that time, nothing is more important than getting more drugs. Not their children, their health, career, marriage, home – nothing.
When selecting those people who will participate in the intervention, they don’t exclude anyone who might weaken and abandon the goal.
The addicted person is very likely to turn his rage on those attempting the intervention. He (or she) will blame, accuse, find fault, run guilt trips – however you want to word it. Those individuals who are susceptible, who could crumble and yield should be excluded.
For example, a person’s parents and siblings gather to do an intervention. The addicted person is brought in and informed that he must go to rehab. He responds by attacking his parents for everything they ever did that wasn’t perfect and many things he imagines they did that have no basis in fact. “You never supported my choices, you always supported my brothers more than me, if dad had been home and taken more of an interest in me, I wouldn’t be in this situation.” To his spouse, he might say, “You never believed in me. You always nagged me. It’s your fault I felt so bad I needed something to take the edge off!” He’ll say whatever he thinks will get people off his back, true or not.
They don’t cut off all avenues of escape.
Anything the family has been doing that let this person continue to use drugs or alcohol must be cut off. Money, cell phones, legal support, housing, medical care – all those channels of help must be terminated to give the individual only one choice – going to rehab immediately.
They didn’t do their research and preparations before the intervention so that as soon as the person agrees to go to rehab, departure happens immediately.
This means that the choice of rehab must already be made, financing must be worked out, barriers to the person leaving (child care, legal situations, etc.) must be resolved ahead of time, all the way up to a bag already being packed for him/her. The person’s decision is delicate. A delay of an hour or two, and the person may to change his mind. A delay of a day and he will be well into withdrawal or he has gone out to get more drugs in the meantime.
Interventions are about correct preparation and management of the meeting itself. That’s where experience is very valuable. Newman Interventions has managed dozens of these meetings for families all over the country. We can guide you around the pitfalls and show you how to deliver a strong message that gets results. For help with this critical situation, call us immediately. There is truly no time to waste.