According to the Institute of Addiction Medication, more than 2.1 million people in 2007 misused painkillers of one sort or another. It went on to further report that almost 2 million Americans are dependent on some sort of opioid drug. It is becoming increasingly clear that people with addictions, far from being monsters that are a part of some distant urban landscape, can in fact be the people closest to us. Drug abuse can take many forms, but when you have identified it in someone you care about, an intervention may be the next appropriate task to take.
Do Some Planning
The intervention should ideally be held in a neutral place, and one that is private. On top of that, you need to gather the people who are going to confront the person in question. Talk to the people who are important to them, and remember that it is far less important that you like them as people than it is that they care about the person you are meeting for. Make sure that these are people who the person trusts and respects. For the most part, the most effective interventions are on the small side. Ten or so is a good number. Remember that you need to invite people who will be helpful over all.
Basically, the point of an intervention is to help the addict realize what has happened. Addiction is a very insidious thing, and the vast changes that you might have noticed may have gone completely over the head of the person that you are meeting for. To that end, make sure that everyone has a task. The more planned things are, the better. People often get quite confused and nervous if they are put on the spot, especially if they have to say something critical about the person that they care about. For example, you might ask one person to address how much the addict has changed, or another person to point out things that have been lost. It is also always worth asking people to talk about the personal impact of the addicts issues on their own lives.
Turn Off the Phones
An intervention is a very intense thing. It can let a lot of intense emotions out, and depending on the scope of the addiction, problems that are many years old might be getting aired. Because of this, the fewer distractions around, the better. The intervention needs to be very focused, and in this environment, phones are not required. Talk to the people in question about turning them off.
Do Your Research
An intervention has two purposes. In the first place, it is meant to tell the addict what is going on, and what is happening. In the second place, it is meant to give them a course of action. There are plenty of people who cannot help themselves because they simply do not know where to go or what to do. They do not know who to talk to, or what avenues of help that are available. An intervention that only tells them that there is a problem can plunge them even deeper into the depths of despair. Research what their options are going to be in terms of treatment, and what they can do immediately.
Be Ready for Anger
No one likes to be confronted by the things that are wrong with them, particularly when the people who are confronting them are people that they love very much. Instruct the people who are attending that the person might be very angry or they might say hurtful things. If they cannot deal with this possibility, it might be better for them to stay away. Anger is a powerful thing, but if you remember to stay calm, to stay on topic and to make sure that things get done, you are already on your way to dealing with it.
An intervention, at its best, is the start of a voyage of recovery. However, it is important to remember that it is just the first step. If the person in question agrees that they need help, you need to have some steps set up. Perhaps you can call a therapist for an appointment for them, or perhaps you could help them pack a bag and take them to an intake facility for treatment. Make sure that you know what the next step to take should be.