How to Plan an Intervention

by Alicia Bodine

Watching a loved one go through an addiction is extremely hard. It affects the entire family, not just the individual who has the addiction. Most of the time, one person's speech makes no difference to the person who is abusing drugs or alcohol. That is when it is wise to consider planning an intervention. An intervention brings all the person's friends and family members together so that they can talk to the individual under the guide of a counselor. This helps the individual see that she is loved and will have support if she agrees to go get help.

Search your local area for a counselor who specializes in interventions. Check with your family first to see if anyone has experience in this area or knows someone who does. It is key that the intervention is held the right way or the addict could just get up and walk out of the room.

Choose a date for the intervention in which the most amount of family and friends can attend. This may be on a weekday after work or on a weekend. If you hold the intervention on a Friday morning at 10 a.m., you won't be able to bring children or teenagers who will be in school or adults who work 9-5 jobs. The more people you have, the better your chance of a successful intervention.

Choose a location. Make sure this is a private location. You don't want to confront your family member who has an addiction in the middle of a busy restaurant. Find someone's house that is large enough to hold all of you. Make sure the house is one that the addict feels comfortable coming to.

Invite all your friends and family members to attend the intervention. Make sure they know how important it is to show up. Also make sure that the date is good for the intervention counselor so that you can all meet together. Have friends and family gather 30-45 minutes before the addict is set to show up so that the intervention counselor has time to go over a few things with you first.

Have everyone bring a letter to read to the addict. The letter should state what they used to love about the addict and then go into the things the addict did when he changed that hurt the person. Everyone who attends the intervention should be willing to share. This helps the addict see that everyone loves her and that her actions are hurting everyone else.

Get some referrals for a treatment facility from the intervention counselor ahead of time. Pick one and have them on standby should the addict agree to go get help right then and there. You don't want to give the addict time to think about it or change his mind or he won't go.

Invite the addict to the meeting without telling her that it is an intervention. You may have to make up a lie to get her there, but it is for her own good. Once she gets there, the intervention counselor will take over and guide the meeting.

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