Family Intervention

Is a family intervention is necessary? When you’ve come to this decision, everyone in the family has had it, and the problem has hit crisis level. However, interventions are not as simple as getting the family together and confronting the alcoholic or drug addict

Approaching the addict with confrontation has to be planned. All the family members must be in on it and each one has to hold strong boundaries, as well as make demands. No one should back down, particularly the enabler.

The person who enables is usually the weakest link in the family and the addict knows this. The greatest obstacle to getting any help for any addiction, is that the person needing it is in denial. They actually believe that they can stop on their own. So this is why pressure from family members is so important.

Family members, employers, friends and significant others should all be involved. The addict doesn’t have to ‘hit bottom’. Hitting a bottom may kill them. What a family intervention does is creating a bottom, by uniting in a common front. This shows the addict that everyone who matters in their life is pressuring them, and giving them consequences if they don’t get help.

If the intervention goes well, the addict goes into an addiction treatment center. However, it is not always the case. The alcoholic or drug addict can leave treatment, or walk out on the intervention. If this happens, it can be devastating to the family, and they must go back to setting consequences.

Family Intervention Plan

Before any intervention, the family must do research.

Choose a treatment center.

Consult staff for immediate availability

Counselors to act as interventionists may be available

Have a back-up plan for failure. Ex. Filing for divorce, no rent money etc.

Be supportive without enabling If an alcoholic or addict becomes a threat to themselves or others intervening on their behalf can save their life. The elderly can not tolerate drugs and alcohol the way they did when they were younger. Although they will resist, you must make demands.

If a teenager is addicted to pot or other drugs and they live at home, the parents and family members can give them an ultimatum – “get help or you’re out”. This can be the hardest thing a parent can do.

Because of the pain that an intervention can cause the families, many professionals, like myself refuse to participate in them. However, I do consultations for families who need direction in doing a family intervention on their own. Private interventionist can also be hired. Make sure that they not only have experience, but they're credentialed.

The intervention can push the alcoholic or drug addict into treatment, but addiction has to be a long-term commitment. Through the treatment process, the addict must choose to change their behavior by changing their thinking and have a support system, like AA, recovery coaching or counseling to enable them to do it.

Have a question on the family intervention and this link will tell you how to help an alcoholic husband
Tell you own experience with addiction helps you get rid of what's on your chest, as well as help others, knowing they are not alone. Simply say as you feel -- of course you can be anonymous

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