She has told him frequently the drinking is getting worse. He repeatedly responds, “I’m fine! Why don’t you lay off me? If you wouldn’t nag so much I wouldn’t need to drink.” The substance abuse has gone on too long. She can’t bear it one more day. It’s time. Time for an intervention. But, how? Can she pull this off? Does he really need an intervention or is she exaggerating? Who will take the kids while she confronts him? Will he get so angry she puts herself in danger? Will someone else help her confront him? Should that “someone” be a friend or a professional?
There are so many things to think about when planning an intervention. And on top of all that, you’ve read different opinions from the experts and you have a family member telling you you are overreacting. Who’s right? Are you overreacting? Once you decide an intervention is needed, now you must muddle through the variety of opinions on how it’s done.
An intervention can be done by family or friends with or without the help of a professional interventionist.
If at all possible, the intervention should be staged when the addict is sober (not under the influence). If they aren’t under the influence when confronted they are likely to be less volatile and more able to process what you are saying. Certainly, it is safer to have two or more people confront the addict. Some loved ones fear an intervention will sever ties between them and the addict; however, most addicts realize their loved ones do love them and were only trying to help.
Some say waiting until an addict hits “rock bottom” is the only(or best) time to intervene. The challenge is we really don’t know what “rock bottom” looks like. It’s different for everyone. If you feel a loved one is abusing substances, you are probably right and probably not the only one around him that thinks this is true. Therefore, this is the time for an intervention. Seek moral and spiritual support as you prepare to stage for the intervention; it is a daunting and emotionally draining task. (More on spiritual support later) It’s a tough decision and can be a difficult process on the family.
There are resources available to help you through the process of the intervention and recovery. Some statistics say 90% of calls for intervention are placed by women; but, only 10% of those who call actually go through with it. Love is the strongest motivator of all, both to make the call, and to cancel the call. It’s not an easy decision. But, it may just be the right decision and save a life.