Reaching the realisation that you genuinely need professional drug and alcohol rehab advice is never easy. It may be cliché to say that this is the most important step in the recovery process, but it also couldn’t be truer. Nevertheless, things often become even more difficult to handle when it isn’t you yourself facing a problem that could benefit from professional intervention. When a family member is clearly battling any kind of issue with chronic alcohol use, alcohol dependency or any related issues, bringing the subject out into the open can be incredibly difficult.
You only want what’s best for the individual in question, but have no idea how to proceed. You understand that the time has come for intervention, but at the same time do not want to risk making things worse. And if relationships are already struggling, you might be tempted to sweep the issue to one side for the sake of preserving any bonds that remain. Unfortunately, overlooking or ignoring the issue will only allow it to continue intensifying and worsening.
So for those who have decided that the time has come for intervention, what follows is a brief overview of six important tips for getting the job done right:
1 – Timing Is Everything
First of all, it’s important to bring the issue up at the right time. For example, if the individual in question is prone to excessive binge drinking, it doesn’t make sense to time the intervention when they are too intoxicated to make sense of what’s happening. Given the importance of the issue, it needs to be raised at a time when everyone involved – including the individual in question – is as relaxed and level headed as possible. During heated arguments, likewise, does not represent the best time to state an intervention, despite what your instincts might tell you at the time.
2 – Don’t Expect Success the First Time
It’s important to remember that while you and the rest of the family may have acknowledged the severity of the problem, the individual in question may be living in a state of complete and total denial. As such, it’s entirely possible that when you go about the intervention, they will simply laugh it off as something that is nonsensical and unnecessary. They may also simply refuse to go ahead with anything you propose, so it’s a good idea to tailor your expectations accordingly.
3 – Expect an Emotional Response
Though emotions can go in any number of directions, it is highly unlikely that the intervention will pass with nothing more than a smooth, calm and quiet conversation. There may be shouting, crying, screaming, aggression and all kinds of accusations being thrown in both directions. Once again, it’s important therefore to ensure that you are realistic with your own expectations.
4 – Think Carefully Who to Involve
In most instances, stating an intervention involving more than one individual can be more effective than attempting to do so one on one. But at the same time, you don’t want the individual in question to feel they are being ganged-up on – nor should you run the risk of involving anyone they may react negatively to. You need to think very carefully about who should be involved and who should be kept at a safe distance, for the time being at least.
5 – Plan Your Words Carefully
Under no circumstances should an intervention ever be approached in something of a random or unplanned manner. As already mentioned, it is inevitable that emotions will be running extremely high, which vastly increases the likelihood of those involved saying things they don’t mean. Or perhaps, forgetting all the things you really wanted to say. Think extremely carefully in advance about what needs to be said, plan your words carefully and don’t be afraid to bring along notes and reminders to help you out.
6 – Do Your Homework
Last but not least, you cannot expect an individual with an alcohol or drug problem to take you or your advice seriously, if it is clear that you do not have a clue what you are talking about. It may be an entirely alien subject to you right now, but there’s no reason why you cannot at least improve your knowledge and understanding of the basics. Be sure to carry out at least a little rudimentary research before going ahead with the intervention, in order to gain a better understanding of what you are dealing with and how to deal with it. Endless helpful resources can be found online, or professional advice/counselling can be sought if preferred.