Before You Perform a Drug Addiction Intervention

Before You Perform a Drug Addiction Intervention


If you have someone in your life who is struggling with drug and alcohol addiction, then you might consider doing a drug addiction intervention in order to try and convince them to take action.

If you do decide to do this, there are a few points you should keep in mind in order to get the best possible outcome.

1) Plan ahead – if you just throw together a rather informal intervention, you are likely to get poor results.  Perhaps the most important piece of planning you need to do is to be specific in deciding what you want the outcome to be.  “Getting someone to cut down on their drug use” is not helpful or even actionable in most cases.  If that is the agreement that  you get at the end of an intervention, then you have wasted your time.

A better outcome would be “the person is going to check into local treatment center “X” tomorrow morning at 10 o’clock.”  That is specific and involves real action which is easy to measure.  If the outcome is a vague goal like “get them to stop drinking” then you are going to get vague results.  Instead, shoot for something more specific that involves some real commitment on the part of the addict.

Obviously, if you are going to get specific like this and use a local treatment center, you will have to set things up in advance.  Do not expect to just walk in.  Call in advance and get your ducks in a row.

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2) Understand the risk – if you spring an intervention on someone, understand that it could very well backfire completely.  They could come away from it resenting you for it and drive them deeper into addiction.  You should not decide to do an intervention lightly.  It is a last resort kind of effort.  So what are the alternatives?

The alternative is to do an informal intervention.  This is otherwise known as an argument.  All kidding aside, what you are basically doing is simply confronting the addict in your life and trying to convince them to take action.  What I am saying here is that this option needs to be exhausted before  you get the whole family involved and do a large scale, formal intervention.

3) Consider professional help – you can hire someone to help you with an intervention, but understand that this is not a magic bullet, and these people often times cannot produce any better outcomes than what you could get on your own.  Just realize that you cannot buy a magic wand to motivate the person with.

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