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How Do I Go About Setting Up An Intervention?

How do I go about setting up an intervention? Learn about your loved one's addiction problem, consider who should participate and prepare for the intervention itself. Take the time to learn about drug and alcohol addiction. This helps you better communicate with your loved one and gives you a better frame of reference. Know that drug addiction is not a disease. It is a chronic condition that develops over time and a series of poor choices. Using drugs and/or drinking were once a fun and recreational activity for the addict; now after continually choosing to abuse these substances the person has developed a serious addiction problem. Their addiction has taken over their life. It has changed the functioning of their brain, demands that they satisfy their drug cravings and has stolen their ability to think rationally.

A drug addiction intervention is a meeting between the drug addict, those who care about them and sometimes an interventionist. The purpose of the meeting is to get the addict to accept that they have a drug or alcohol addiction problem and need help. Holding an intervention is a way to shed light on the addict's problems. It is also a forum to speak openly about how you and the others attending the intervention are affected by their addiction and what boundaries you are going to enforce if the addict does not accept help.

How do I go about setting up an intervention? Consider who should participate and the possibility of who should not attend the intervention. Some families hire a professional in the field of drug addiction intervention to help them set-up and hold the meeting. While it is not necessary, it is often an effective way of completing a successful intervention. When you are thinking about who should be present at the meeting itself think about the drug addicted person. Who do they respect most? Who do they love or care about among those who are close to them? These are the people that you may choose to ask to be part of the intervention you are setting up.

If the drug addicted person has people in their family who they always seem to butt heads with or are fearful of you may consider not including these individuals. The purpose of the meeting is to speak openly and calmly to the addict, if they become enraged or freighted during the process they may retreat and not listen to what the others who have come to participate have to say. It may be difficult to not include a loved one or family member in the process who wants to support the addict. Let that person know that their support is greatly appreciated but in the interest of the drug addicted person their attendance is not necessary.

Choosing a leader of the group, if a professional interventionist is involved, is important. The group leader will organize the others in the group speaking with them about their part in the intervention that is going to be taking place. They will also be responsible for orchestrating the time and place of the intervention, all very important factors in planning a successful drug addiction intervention.�'�' The time of the intervention is key because you are hoping to speak with the addict when they are not "high" and unable to process the event that is taking place. Location is also a key point in the process because you want the person to feel comfortable and not to become defensive. Typically a private residence or something similar is a good choice because you will be able to speak freely without strangers listening in or someone intruding on the meeting.

Many successful interventions involve the individuals in the group writing a letter to their drug addicted friend or family member. This allows them to take the time and think about what they want to communicate to the addict. This letter is often written in two parts. The first part is where the participant expresses their personal feelings about the drug problem. They provide facts about what they have witnessed and the way they now feel as a result of the addict's actions. This should be conveyed without anger, judgment or criticism. The words should come from the heart and be honest, loving and sincere.

The second part of the letter is read if the addict does not accept help and enter a drug rehab program. How do I go about setting up an intervention? You will need to outline consequences for the addict's actions if they do not accept the help that you are offering them. Be sure that the consequences you state are ones that you are willing to abide by. The purpose of these consequences is to establish distance and boundaries with the addict. The consequences will likely be different for each participant of the intervention. These consequences may involve no longer giving the addict money, paying their bills, providing free room and board or driving them to purchase drugs. Setting these boundaries is healthy for you as the loved one of the addict. It means that you stop enabling their self-destructive ways and only support them on the terms you agree to, getting treatment for their addiction problem.

While a large number of drug addicted persons accept the help offered that day, some do not. It may take days, weeks, months or even years before they accept help. The intervention is not a failure if the person you care about does not go into treatment right away. They will now understand the lengths you are willing to go to help them and may begin to take a harder look at their actions.


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  • Smoking PCP is often referred to as "getting wet".
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