Hello, In my series on Addiction, I have shared information on how to identify what an Addiction is to Co-Dependance. The next step is Intervention, "if and when" a person, and or family, realize the addiction has become unmanageable. The signs of it being unmanageable range from the physical damage to their bodies, to the mental damage that is caused by life altering experiences. I listed some steps to help with an intervention, just as a rough idea of what it should entail. As suggested below, it is best to talk with a counselor or a trained professional first. At first the person will probably be extremely angry and still in denial, but in the long run, you may have just saved their life. And some day, when they are feeling the Grace that comes with recovery, you'll hear the words "Thank You".
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Plan for a direct intervention at the meeting with family members, friends, and anyone else who is concerned about the individual and can attest to the way that his actions have negatively affected his or her own life, and that of others. It is best to involve 3-6 people, and no children.
Communicate openly with one another and take notes of what the loved one is doing that is harmful to himself and others. Gather the facts about the person you are dealing with. Make confidentiality a clear rule for this meeting for all partakers in the meeting and for the offender's mutual protection.
Plan what each person will say and the sequence of events for the intervention. Ensure there is no contradiction or repetition. Repeating the same negative experiences and statements will only cause more stress and resistance.
Predict ways in which you think the offender will respond, and anticipate ways you can address any anticipated denials.
Meet with a professional, such as a therapist or counselor, prior to the intervention. Guidance can be helpful when preparing for the intervention. The last thing you want to to is make the offender feel victimized, abused or belittled.
Rehearse the intervention with the professional to enable you to receive an objective opinion on the expected responses from your loved one, how to stay calm and steadfast both during and after the intervention and how to react to these responses.
Create and discuss a list of actions and behavioural patterns by the loved one that will no longer be tolerated. Next to each activity, write what your action will be if he/she does continue these behaviors.
Present a list of probable and already experienced losses. Present to the addict every possible loss which the family can recount. This can include jobs, possessions, or relationships.
Highlight Consequences and Ultimatums. Prepare a list of consequences to actions and explain any required ultimatums to the loved one. Most important here is the willingness to follow through on consequences you have agreed to implement as a family to aid the loved one. Do not state consequences that you are not willing to enforce!
Follow-through with the consequences or else the plans will turn into empty threats. Refusing to loan money can be a simple consequence, or one can be as painful as threatening to leave a spouse, and to take the children from the home. Make appropriate preparations, just in case. For example, if his wife tells him that she will be leaving him unless he agrees to treatment, have clothes packed and a place to stay.
Make arrangements for treatment. Make plans and organize any necessary treatments that should immediately follow the intervention. The professional that you meet with should be able to recommend appropriate treatment given the nature and severity of the problem at hand. Choose the facility and make prior arrangements, considering all elements including location, quality of treatment , good fit for the offender and financial implications of the treatment.
Arrange for seating, so that each person has a place to sit. This should all be in place before you begin, as you don't want people moving around once the intervention commences.
Confront the individual with everyone present in a private room. Ensure the safety and security of the environment beforehand ie. no disruptions etc. Do all you can to begin with your loved one in a calm state, and if the issue is drug addiction or alcoholism, he should be sober. Gently explain to him that you are all there because you are concerned for his well-being.