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Intervention: Going Over the Edge to Get Well!

answered 10:34 AM EST, Fri October 31, 2014
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anonymous anonymous
I am considering an intervention for an alcoholic family member. Things are very touchy with her. Do interventions ever backfire and make things worse?

Evan Jarschauer Says...

That is a great question and one that requires careful consideration before moving forward with any intervention. The primary goal of an intervention should be to help someone who is in need of immediate care for an addiction or an underlying mental health issue. In most cases, it is planned only after multiple attempts by friends and family to help the individual have failed, or appear to have been unsuccessful. From my perspective, the true power of the intervention experience is found deep within the collective core of all those involved in the process. The key to harness all of that concerned energy is having a comprehensive and caring plan that can be implemented with a unified approach.  Similar to a paramedic breaking a few ribs when performing CPR, there may be some collateral damage as a result of the intervention. Therefore, before you move forward with the intervention, you have to be able to accept all the potential outcomes associated with the process, even if that means that you may potentially damage or strain your relationship with the person in need of help.

Now, if you feel as though you are ready to move forward with an intervention and your question is regarding potentially pushing your loved over the edge, then you have to make sure that your intervention plan carefully outlines predetermined strategies and solutions to manage each possible scenario along with the potential fallout. At the same time, keep in mind that addiction thrives within the fear of those that if affects. It holds families and friends emotionally hostage, scared to make a move one way or another. Therefore, making the situation worse, or going over the edge may actually be one of the only ways to help someone suffering with severe symptoms of addiction hit a bottom, thereby helping them experience enough carefully managed discomfort to feel the need to reach out for help and commit to the process of recovery.  

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Page last updated Oct 31, 2014

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