It is something few enjoy, but there are times when it is essential to go head-to-head and not pull punches. One of those times is when you see it is the only way to save a life, especially the life of someone you care about. Most often, that confrontation is in the face of addiction, generally in the moment of a crisis; the emotion and energy you will spend on the confrontation are exhausting, but if successful, worth every bit of the expense. But how do you do it, how do you confront a drug problem?

I am sorry to say there is not a simple answer, or a quick one. It will take time, effort, and a planning-out. Let’s see if we can define a workable approach that will help you walk the road to recovery—yours and theirs.

First of all, you will want to meet with an interventionist. These are people who are familiar with addiction treatment services and are experts in productive family interaction. They have walked these paths before and will have a better understanding of what works and what does not. They might be a therapist or a trained counselor, but listen to what they have to say.

At the same time, find and immediately commence a regular schedule of attending family meetings for you, such as Al-Anon or Families Anonymous. Not only will you find support for yourself, but you may also find others who have been in your shoes and understand you in ways your friends will not. It is a critical part of the event, because addiction is a family disease, and treating only one aspect of the problem will not yield the desired results.

Once you have spoken with the interventionist, you will want to assemble your team. These are the people who will be joining you in the intervention. They will also bear some level of responsibility to the addict during recovery. It is essential that they all understand their role and that they are not the ones who are responsible for the success or failure of the addict. It is, after all, still the addict’s decision to recover, and all you can do is take them to the treatment services.

The team will write, individually, how the decisions and behaviors of the addict have affected their lives and their relationship with the addict. It should come from a place of love and concern, but without fearing the reaction of the addict. Once written, the team should meet with the interventionist so that everyone is on the same page and understands their role. The order of who speaks is laid out, and the consequences of refusing to go for treatment are defined and agreed upon.

If there were pain and hurt inflicted in what the addict did, then the team has to share that in the intervention. The intent is not to inflict pain upon the addict but to let them hear the unfiltered truth about what they have done to the people they love. Sometimes, hearing the pain they caused to someone helps them to understand the importance of fixing what they have broken.

You do not think that it will be easy because it will not be easy. What it will be is the best chance you have to do anything other than sit back and watch your loved one self-destruct.

Confronting a drug issue is never easy. Facing yourself and knowing you have done the right things makes it a whole lot better.