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Article Summary

How to Do a Drug Intervention

If you are wondering how to do a drug intervention it is often best to enlist a professional for help. Many people have approached their loved one regarding his/her drug addiction, with no success. This is why it is helpful when talking with your loved one, to have a third party present that is professionally trained and knowledgeable about drugs and drug abuse. Professional intervention techniques save lives. Intervention is the best way to make help available to those struggling with a drug addiction yet refusing treatment.

If you are concerned about someone you love, nothing can be gained by waiting. Crisis comes and crisis goes, but with the dangers of drug addiction, we don't get to choose the consequences our loved ones will face the next time. If now is not the time, ask yourself: How much worse will it have to get before you are willing to act? Will doing a drug intervention make matters worse? No. Doing nothing will make matters worse.

The Steps of Drug Intervention

1. Stop all rescue missions. Family members often try to protect an abuser from the results of their behavior by making excuses to others about their abuse problem and by getting them out of drug-related jams. It is important to stop all such rescue attempts immediately, so that the addict will fully experience the harmful effects of his use and thereby become more motivated to stop.

2. Don't enable them. Sometimes family members feel sorry for the addict or tend to avoid the abuser; let them come and go as they please. This comes across to the abuser as a reward after all; all he wants is to be left alone. Be careful not to reward by paying his bills, bailing him out of jail, letting him stay for free, etc. This kind of reward creates out exchange and criminal behavior.

3. Time your drug abuse intervention. If possible, plan to talk with the addict when he is sober. Choose a time when all of you are in a calm frame of mind and when you can speak privately.

4. Be specific. Tell the family member that you are concerned about his drug or alcohol abuse and want to be supportive in getting help. Back up your concern with examples of the ways in which their drug abuse has caused problems for you, including any recent incidents.

5. State the consequences. Tell the family member that until he gets help, you will carry out consequences not to punish the drug abuser, but to protect yourself from the harmful effects of the abuse. These may range from refusing to be with the person when they are under the influence, to having them move out of the house. DO NOT make any threats you are not prepared to carry out. The basic intention is to make the abuser's life more uncomfortable if he continues using drugs than it would be for him to get help.

6. Find strength in numbers with the help of family members, relatives and friends to confront the abuser as a group. However, you want to choose one person to be the initial spokesperson. It will be much more effective for the others to simply be there nodding their heads, than it would be for everyone to talk at once and gang up on him. Remember the idea is to make it safe for him to come clean and seek help.

7. Listen. If during your drug abuse intervention the abuser begins asking questions like; Where would I have to go? For how long? This is a sign that he is reaching for help. Do not directly answer these questions. Instead have him call in to talk to a professional. Support him. Don't wait. Once you've gotten his agreement, get him admitted immediately. Therefore, you should have a bag packed for him, any travel arrangements made, and prior acceptance into a program.

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