Whether it’s managed by a professional or initiated by a family member or friend, intervention is the first step in the recovery process. This often seems like the most difficult step as the person struggling with addiction may be in denial about their illness and is unwilling to seek treatment help on their own.
You need to remember that the person you are confronting is very, very sick. They are being manipulated by the drug as it has poisoned their mind. Think of it like an allergic reaction – if someone has an allergic reaction to a medicine or food and they behave strangely, you understand. Addiction is the same way.
When you confront this person, be prepared for the following:
GUILT: This works particularly on parents/care givers. Every parent has a degree of guilt, the mother usually feels it more. "If I had done a better job my child would not be doing drugs,” “I was just never around enough when he was a teenager, this is my fault.” Guilt makes it less likely for the abuser to be punished appropriately. It is important that you push aside your personal feelings and focus on the illness.
HOPE: Addicts can convey the hope families want to feel very easily. They are truly sincere when they do it, but they are diseased. They would not fail a lie detector test when they are saying: "I promise this is the last time, I just need the twenty bucks to get on my feet. I don’t need to go to treatment.” Be stronger than this disease and continue to tell this person that you love them and treatment is the only answer. Remember, this is the disease talking. Not your loved one.
SYMPATHY: "Don't you think I would change if I could?" "I know I'm a loser." "I know I’m a drug addict." "Go back to your perfect world and leave me behind," are all things this loved one will say to you. And they mean it. Stick to your guns. Treatment is the only way.
FEAR: "If someone intervenes it will be worse", "If you throw me out I will end up on the streets and dead within 72 hours." "You'll wish you didn't throw me out when you're visiting my grave." This is hard to hear but it is a part of the disease that is frantic at the idea of not being fed the drug or alcohol.