Brief Guide to Interventions

Key Points for Setting up an Intervention

  • The goal of the drug, alcohol or similar intervention is to create a "bottom", so that the individual will recognize their need for help. It is the loving thing to do.
  • All attending must be aware of the plan to get the individual to the treatment or recovery center of choice after the intervention. The Interventionist and the point person will make the arrangements prior to the intervention.
  • All attending must write a two-part letter to be read in turn to the individual. The first part should express your own personal feelings about this addiction crisis in the family. This should not contain judging or criticism, just honest feelings about how the individuals' behavior has made you feel. The second part will only be read if the first part does not bring the individual to compliance with the plan of the group. The second part presents the consequences if the individual does not comply. These consequences will vary based upon the participants' relationship with the individual. However, all participants need to be willing to "burn bridges" with the individual until they comply and get the help everyone agrees they need.
  • Displays of emotion are normal and expected. However, attacking, screaming or any other display of disrespect will be addressed by the Interventionist. The person will be asked to stop, and if necessary, asked to leave the room.
  • The intervention should take place in mid-afternoon so that there will only be a short window of time between the end of the intervention and the admission of the individual into the treatment program in the evening.
  • An intervention is designed to "interrupt" the destructive process that has been occurring in the family. All family members have played a part in this process. There should be no "finger-pointing." Everyone should be willing to go to some type of counseling or begin to attend a support group for their own healing and education.

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