Addiction recovery can be a long, hard battle for both the person fighting the disease and their loved ones. In fact, the first step in the journey toward recovery is often initiated by the addict’s loved ones in the form of an intervention. If successfully orchestrated, the intervention will lead to the addict receiving the help he so desperately needs.

* Preparing for an Intervention

An intervention should be performed as soon as possible in order to help an addict recover from his disease. Friends and family should never wait until the addict reaches rock bottom and by then, it may be too late. The devastating effects of addiction, such as financial ruin, loss of family, imprisonment, and even death, may have already taken hold of the addict’s life. The sooner the intervention occurs, the more pain and suffering can be avoided.

An intervention is a one-way family and friends can convince the person they love to seek the help they so desperately need. In order to successfully facilitate an intervention, the family and friends need to first learn how to communicate in a language the addict can understand.

This language includes being completely honest with the person suffering from an addiction. Speaking openly and honestly with the person about the effects his addiction is having on those around him is often the eye-opener the person needs in order to see clearly enough to accept help.

* Structure of the Intervention

There is no magic number of people needed to orchestrate a successful intervention. In addition to an interventionist, there can be as few as one additional person or as many as six to eight. What is critical is that each of the participants is someone the addict either loves or respects. Potential members of the intervention team are family and friends, as well as teachers, clergy, lawyers, and doctors. Anyone that might have an impact on the addict’s thinking and emotions should be included in the intervention.

There are several key elements to a successful intervention:

1. Provide a sufficient opportunity for all family members and loved ones to voice their concern over the addict’s behavior in a passionate and loving manner

2. Provide information/education on the nature of addiction

3. Discuss the enabling behavior that has occurred during the progression of the disease

4. Direct the addict, and perhaps family members, to treatment.

If an intervention is successfully performed, the addict can be moved to seek the help he needs on the very same day. To accomplish this, however, each member of the team must be willing to work together toward a common goal and to be properly educated in the execution of an intervention.

* Finding Help for an Intervention

Some families and loved ones choose to execute an intervention without the guidance of a professional. In most cases, however, it is best to involve the expertise of a seasoned interventionist or a drug rehab center in the development of an intervention plan. The professional interventionist or rehab center can help the team learn how to reach a common goal and how to use language the addict will understand while helping to prevent the situation from escalating out of control.

Often, those who are performing the intervention worry that the addict will walk out in the middle of the intervention. This rarely occurs. Nonetheless, it is best to have a contingency plan in case this does occur. Generally, the best course of action is to have one or two of the members of the intervention team follow the addict in order to gently persuade him to return to the intervention.

* Finding a Rehab

The ultimate goal of an intervention is to persuade the addict to get the help he needs with his addiction. Therefore, it is best to already have a rehab center chosen and ready to admit him. Even if a staff member from the rehab center does not participate in the actual intervention, the center should be aware of the team’s intentions. The worst-case scenario, aside from the addict refusing help altogether, is to have no place for the addict to go for help upon successful completion of the intervention.

When selecting a rehab center for the addict, it is important to consider what type of center is best suited to the addict’s needs. The types of programs offered, the location of the rehab center, and the approach used by the center can all have an impact on the overall success. The rehab center will need as much detail as possible regarding the addict including drug, family, medical and psychological histories. Work closely with the staff before the intervention to ensure the center is the best choice for all involved.