(Closed) Has anyone staged an intervention or been the one intervened? Need advice.

posted 4 years ago in Emotional
Post # 3
451 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

Please seek guidance from a professional before attempting an intervention. It is not always the best approach. I encourage you to attend an Al Anon meeting or two. It is a great resource for friends and family of alcoholics.

You mention reaching out to your friend’s family. Have you spoken to your friend directly (while sober) about your concerns?

Post # 4
8444 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

BurlapnLace:  I would speak to a professional rehabilitation counselor before you do anything.  I personally don’t have any experience with this type of thing, but it’s a very delicate situation and I think having someone with a great deal of knowledge on the topic would be ideal.  Sorry to hear about your friend, best of luck.

Post # 7
1164 posts
Bumble bee

BurlapnLace:  my dad tried a couple of interventions with my step mum and spoke to a lot of professionals and support groups. Sadly nothing made any difference and she died from liver failure just over two years ago. I’m not saying this to be morbid or what not I’m just saying they don’t always work and don’t get your hopes too high. An alcoholic only stops when they acknowledge the problem and try to help themselves. And even then a lot don’t stop.  having said that I know two recovering alcoholics who have both been over 10 years sober. They made the decision to stop but it was the support from friends,  family and support groups that helped them to succeed once they decided to stop. Whatever happens make sure your friend knows that if/when he decides to stop you will support and encourage him. Most of all though you need professional advice yourself on how you can help and support him

Post # 8
8465 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2014 - A castle

BurlapnLace:  From your OP it sounds like it’s been a long time (years?) since you’ve seen this person face-to-face. If that’s the case, I don’t think it’s your place to stage an intervention. It’s also not your place to call his mom and “tattle” on him. (Sorry, I don’t really know how else to phrase it). 

My best friend is currently “living” in a tent city in the Arizona desert. I can’t tell you how many failed attempts for interventions we have had with her parents. Sometimes the only person that can save them is themselves.

Post # 11
8465 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2014 - A castle

BurlapnLace:  I know what you’re saying. I guess I’m just a little hardened from having to go through it with my friend and never seeing an outcome. She’s a heroin and meth addict. It’s ridiculously hard to watch. I check the dockets weekly to see if she’s in jail, because that’s when I know she’s actually pretty safe. 

If you’re all he’s got, then just try having a heart to heart with him first. 

To really have an intervention, you guys will need to have a clinic/rehab center lined up that you can take him STRAIGHT to afterwards. I doubt that you and your friends will have the type of money required to put him up for an extended stay. If you are really serious about getting him help I would 1) have a heart to heart with him and see if it gets you anywhere then 2) talk to his parents and see if they have the means to get him in a treatment program and then 3) find a professional that can moderate the intervention and keep everything on track. 

Post # 12
1757 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2016

I would definitely talk to him directly before trying an intervention.  Maybe text him and ask him if he can meet you somewhere (with the hopes that he’ll arrive sober.  If not, I’d still have the conversation).  He’s going to feel betrayed whether you have an intervention or just talk to him, and at least it will be more private if you do it one-on-one.

I was invited to “help” at an intervention a few years ago and it was awful.  I shouldn’t have been there.  It was way too personal and I wasn’t close enough to the person.  There were definitely steps that could have and should have been taken before we got to an intervention.  It was heartbreaking seeing her reaction and how attacked she felt.

Post # 13
6018 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2017


BurlapnLace:  I’ll be honest here, I really don’t think it’s your place to stage an intervention. From what you wrote it sounds as though you aren’t very close to this person much anymore. I feel like in situations like this, the only appropriate people to stage an intervention is the person’s family. But even then I don’t feel it would be appropriate to go to his family first.

This is tough because it’ isn’t a good move to just sit back and say oh well either. I would first make an attempt to speak with him about what might be going on with him and express your concerns as his friend. Be direct and also supportive and let him know that you, as his friend, can’t continue to do nothing. If that doesn’t work I would simply remove yourself from the friendship but let him know that you will be there should he ever decide to seek help. Unfortunately, this is one of those situations where only he can be the one to really help himself, but maybe if he sees he has people in his corner who want to be there for support, it might motivate him to at least look at himself a little deeper and recognize he may have a problem. Addiction of any kind is an absolute monster. My family has dealt with it, and is still dealing with it til this day.


Post # 14
4698 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

BurlapnLace:  Just because you can’t think of someone else to help this person, it doesn’t mean it has to be you. You haven’t seen this person in a year, instead of staging an intervention, how about have a simple conversation about how his risky behavior makes you feel as his friend?

An intervention should only be led by highly skilled professionals and require the individual to be taken into treatment immediately. You don’t sound all that close to this person.. Would you pay for his stay in a treatment facility for an extended period of time? Do you know if he has the means to pay for this himself? If so, will he go just because some of his friends told him to?

I’m not knocking your will to help someone, but you have to be realistic about the disease and the fact that no matter how much you want to help, you can never help someone who doesn’t want to help themselves. I’ve tried. Its physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausting.. Its painful.. And you’re not likely to see the outcome that you long for.

Start out by telling him how his behavior makes you feel and take it from there. Don’t let this consume you, its not your battle to fight. Its his.

Post # 15
5219 posts
Bee Keeper

I agree with a PP, it’s a lot more involved than just what we see on the surface. You guys would need to have some type of plan in place (i.e. a treatment facility or funds to help with recovery), possibly a police officer in case your friend turns violent, and preferrably someone with some experience around ( like a mental health professional or an AA leader to help assist) addicts. Truthfully, it doesn’t appear that you guys are really close enough anymore that doing a true intervention would be received well by him. You only know a snippet of his life, from a few random text messages sent to someone else. I would either reach out to him directly and try to re-establish a relationship with him first or reach out to his family again and see if maybe his behavior has thrown up some red flags to them and they are now willing to act, as opposed to several years ago. 

Keep in mind that a lot of people don’t see alcoholism as a serious issue when someone is young (college aged, partying). Maybe try those avenues first before just jumping full on intervention with him. I would imagine that it won’t be well received.

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