Intervention Survival Tips For Family and Friends

Tips to Help You Survive an Intervention

So you’ve decided to have an intervention. Welcome to a select group of people who probably thought the same thing you have, at least once: How did I get here?!

Alcoholism and addiction are especially tricky in that they are classified as progressive diseases, meaning they get worse over time. If left untreated, they may result in the three most horrific outcomes: jail, institutions, and death. This is the sad reality of alcoholism and addiction, today.

Shows on television would have you believe that an intervention is all flying chairs and tearful confessionals, which may not always be the case. It’s very likely, however, that your loved one has a successful career, healthy public standing, and a supportive family structure. Whatever your circumstances may be, here are five tips to help you survive an intervention:

1. Become Informed

The American Medical Association recognized alcoholism as a disease in 1956; it’s taken us a long time as a community to accept that medical opinion. Informing yourself of the disease of alcoholism and the true nature of addiction will prepare you mentally for the obstacles, which may appear before, during, or after the intervention. Ample knowledge on the subject is available online; attending open 12-step recovery meetings can offer keen insight into the disease from alcoholics/addicts, firsthand; and discussion with a therapist or addiction specialist can provide helpful facts and solutions.

2. Remain Open

While “knowledge is power”, being close-minded is the enemy of constructive conversation. Remaining open to the suggestions and expertise of a trusted treatment professional may change the tides in the outcome of the intervention. Keeping a positive outlook and staying in a place of gratitude, despite the circumstances, will allow you to remain open to the transformative possibilities of the experience.

3. Stay Connected

Ever heard of safety in numbers? Working in collaboration with others provides a powerful stance when confronting the dilemma of addiction, head-on. Communicating with individuals who have experienced an intervention, speaking with family members processing similar emotions, and attending group therapy meetings offered in your area, are all helpful solutions to preparing you for the experience of an intervention.

4. Maintain Healthy Boundaries

Once a commitment has been made by the family to follow through with the process, specific boundaries may be set, with the intention of abiding by them, diligently. Agreed upon limits, healthy expectations, and achievable goals may all be reviewed as possible objectives for the family.

5. Treat Yourself Well

The most important thing you can do during a time of stress and worry is take care of yourself. Treating yourself to physical exercise or a massage, maintaining a healthy diet, communicating with friends, keeping a journal, and engaging in recreational activities are all assets, which will contribute to a healthy frame of mind and sound body, as you go in to your intervention.  

However your journey may end, the process of sticking together during difficult times can strengthen the bonds of friendship, family, and personal power.