Preparation is the key to a successful intervention
The intervention checklist is a guide for preparing an intervention to get a person into appropriate treatment. It is designed to be used in conjunction with the book Love First or a professional interventionist. Don’t plan an intervention using the checklist alone.
- Bring together three to eight people who are important to the alcoholic and are willing to learn how to help.
- Set up a planning meeting to discuss moving forward with the intervention.
- Choose a detail person.
- Choose a team chairperson.
- Discuss the importance of not alerting the alcoholic to the intervention plans.
- List ways you’ve tried to help the alcoholic that may have enabled the addiction.
- Put in writing all the negative consequences caused by the addiction problem.
- Write a one- to two-page letter to the alcoholic.
- Read your letters to each other, editing out anger, blame, and judgment.
- Determine bottom lines, and write them down on a separate page.
- Test each other’s willingness to follow through with the bottom lines.
- Identify financial resources for covering treatment costs.
- Evaluate treatment centers using the evaluation questions.
- Set a date, time and place for the rehearsal and the intervention.
- Choose a treatment center, answer its pre-intake questions, and make an appointment for admission.
- Make airline reservations if the treatment center is out-of-state.
- Create a plan likely to guarantee the alcoholic’s presence at the intervention.
- Identify objections the alcoholic may use to avoid or postpone treatment, then formulate your answers.
- Pack a suitcase using the guidelines provided by the treatment staff.
- Determine who should drive the alcoholic from the intervention to treatment.
- Compile a list of all prescribed medications the alcoholic is presently using.
- Rehearse the intervention.
- Decide where each person will sit, including the alcoholic.
- Discuss the order in which you’ll read your letters.
- Find a discreet place to park your cars.
- Script the chairman’s introduction and closing statement.
- Review objections and answers.
- Plan to arrive at the intervention location 30 minutes before the alcoholic is expected to be there.
- If the intervention is taking place at the alcoholic’s home, arrive as a group.
- After the intervention, call the admissions staff and let them know whether or not the alcoholic has agreed to treatment.
- Collect all letters and send them to the alcoholic’s treatment counselor.
- Sign up for the Family Program.
- Locate an Al-Anon or Family Anonymous meeting near your home or office.
Adapted from the book Love First, by Jeff Jay and Debra Jay, (Hazelden, 2nd edition). All rights reserved.
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