Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Intervention may not be so divine ...

Tonight someone from my home group asked me to participate in an intervention for one of our female members who, if the stories are true, is back out drinking and in rapid decline. I haven't reflected much on the concept of intervention in a long while, but my thoughts on the matter haven't changed much:

1) Interventions aren't really for the alcoholic, but for her friends and family. If most alcoholics wanted help at this time, they would have sought it on a less dramatic scale. However, friends and family attending this event should be past the breaking point with this person: if she doesn't get help, she is out of each attendee's life until she does.

2) Threats won't work, but promises might. Any friend or family member is wasting his time participating in an intervention if he can't carry out on his statement to have no contact with the alcoholic if she refuses help. In fact, he might be worsening the problem by undermining the entire production.

3) It's now or no. She doesn't get to leave the room without making a decision. She's either going to treatment right this very second (which means transportation has to be somewhere waiting) or she is exiting the lives of everyone present. No scheduling issues, no upcoming events, no more excuses.

4) Leave law enforcement out of this. If the alcoholic is in legal trouble, some families have arranged for officers to be present to take her into custody if she refuses treatment. I think this is blackmail and therefore doomed to failure. If she's only going to treatment to avoid incarceration, you may as well grab a few 12-packs for her Welcome Home Party, because she's going to want them!


Kristin H. said...

#4 is a very good point.