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Does My Loved One Need an Intervention?

an alcoholic is surrounded by loved ones at an intervention to discuss rehab and recovery Many of us have seen the hit TV series Intervention, but does this mean any one of us is prepared to conduct a successful intervention? There are a few things to consider before planning an intervention, as bad timing and disorganization can have undesirable consequences.

Does Someone Close to You Need an Intervention?

The first step in preparing an intervention is to make sure the person in question needs an intervention. The occasional night of overconsumption or a brief period of drinking too much don’t usually indicate that someone needs to go through an intervention, and neither scenario suggests someone needs to participate in rehab. If the loved one in question is drinking heavily on a regular or daily basis, has lost control of their relationship with alcohol or has begun to opt of family and responsibilities in order to drink, then perhaps it is time to plan an intervention in order to get them the professional help they need.

How Does an Intervention Work? Who Should be There?

There are a variety of methods used to conduct an intervention, but in most cases close friends and family meet with the loved one suffering a substance abuse or alcohol related problem and share their feelings on the matter as well as explaining how the individual’s drinking affects them. Often times, it’s best to involve a professional interventionist to “moderate” the session. Having an objective person in the room can keep things organized and prevent tempers and emotional outbursts from derailing the intervention, and ensure a positive result.

Intervention FAQ

Q: Who to invite?

A: Family closest to the individual with an alcohol addiction, as well as close friends. Young children should not be present unless they are very mature and have something meaningful to contribute.

Q: Where should an intervention take place?

A: Somewhere both familiar and soothing for the individual. It could be in their home, a close friend’s home or somewhere private that the person in question is familiar with. Due to the sensitive nature of an intervention, public places like restaurants or coffee shops should be avoided.

Q: When should an intervention take place?

A: Choose a time that is convenient for your loved one with the alcohol addiction. Perhaps after work or school, and make sure that the person in question doesn’t know about the intervention in advance as this could lead to them skipping out entirely or preparing answers to questions and concerns that placate those participating in the intervention. After all, the point is to urge the individual to seek professional treatment and enter rehab.

Q: Who should run the show?

A: If you have decided to involve a professional interventionist, they should guide everyone through the process. If it was decided that a close friend or family member should take charge of the intervention, ensure that this person is capable of leaving their emotions at the door. Objectivity is paramount to a successful outcome, as well as ensuring the individual seek the treatment they need.

Before You Go

Remember that a hastily organized intervention is not a good idea. Occasional binge drinking may not mean that someone requires an intervention, and could negatively affect your relationship with them. Keep in mind that there is a big difference between alcohol abuse and alcoholism, and that an intervention should reflect the circumstances of the individual it is conducted for.