Planning an intervention? Besides your good intentions, conversations with a family member or loved one who’s struggling with substance use disorder can quickly go south if you don’t plan them well and if you attack the person instead of being understanding. Who you invite and what they’ll say is another crucial element you need to understand before beginning. Whether it’s a family member, a friend, or a spouse, all interventions need to feel like a safe place for the addicted person.
This way, they won’t feel like everyone judges them for their substance use disorder, so they can accept professional assistance much more easily. They can fail for many reasons, which is why you need to have a script and a plan that all participants will follow. Keep reading to learn how to stage a successful intervention and get your loved one the alcohol and drug addiction treatment help they need.
Plan The Intervention In Advance
It’s best to plan the group intervention ahead-of-time so you’re prepared. It should outline who’ll be attending, what they’ll say, the place and time, and additional steps and help that you’ll offer to the addicted person.
Don’t stage an intervention just for the sake of it. If you don’t offer a solution with treatment options, it’ll seem like you all got together to judge and criticize the addicted person. This will make them doubt your intentions and the entire intervention process will backfire on you.
Invite the Right People
As you learn how to stage an intervention without the addicted person feeling judged or attacked, it’s important to show empathy. The people you invite as a support group should be the whole family and several close friends; ones that have a genuine desire to help. If you sense any judgment, harshness, criticism or plain insults, remove those people.
Inviting the right people to play the part of an intervention team is an essential step in the addiction recovery process. They should be someone who sees the person on a daily basis and witnesses their struggle first-hand.
Choose the Right Place and Time
The next phase in planning an intervention is the location. Family members‘ homes are often the first choice, but the addicted person can easily retreat to another room if they don’t like the situation or feel threatened.
It’s best to choose a safe, private place without any other people where you can all talk. One example is a professional interventionist’s office where the addicted person will feel free to open up and listen to what you have to say.
Try not to give out your plans to the addicted person because they might not show up or even get mad at you. Simply say you’re going to a family gathering and you’d love them to join you.
Make sure the addicted person is not under the influence or in a bad mood because the intervention may fail before it even starts.
Offer Practical Treatment Plan Solutions
As the discussion progresses, you should prepare to offer the addicted person treatment for alcoholism and drug dependence. It shouldn’t feel like an attack on the addicted person, but it very well could be if you don’t prepare practical ways to help them.
This is the part of the recovery process where the addicted person will either accept or deny your help. It’s important to approach them gently, explain the treatment process in as much detail as possible, as well as the positive outcome from it.
Decide on the Consequences
You may have the best plans but this doesn’t mean everything will go according to the plan. The addicted person may accept help, but they may resist, get angry, and deny help from a rehabilitation center. This is why you need to be clear on the consequences that you’ll implement if the addict refuses help for their drug or alcohol addiction.
This doesn’t mean you’re giving up on them, but that you’ll stop enabling their behavior and set strict boundaries.
Make Notes of What Everyone Will Say
Interventions with many people can get chaotic quickly, so make sure everyone sticks to the plan. Assign something specific to everyone and have them rehearse it beforehand. Set strict rules about the tone of voice you’ll use, which means no yelling, no judgment, and no insults towards the addicted person.
If someone starts being rude, ask them to leave. Also, assign an order in which the attendees will speak. No one can speak before their turn and steer the conversation the other way. Everyone should say something different from the others to avoid sounding preachy or complacent.
Talk to a Professional Intervention Specialist
Sometimes, even the best intentions can’t guarantee a successful intervention. Before you start planning, consult an addiction therapist, social worker or an intervention professional who’ll help you approach it properly.
They can also refer you to quality 12 steps of AA programs in your area or connect you to a reputable treatment program.
Follow Up After the Intervention
If you decide to intervene, you need to follow through all the way. This means you should follow up after to see how the addicted person is coping. Regardless of their decision, you should still reach out and offer your support and help.
If you live with the addicted person, you can follow up in the form of daily support, sitting down to search for a treatment facility, and scheduling a visit together. If you’re doing so for a friend or family member who doesn’t live with you, calling them or visiting in person is a great way to check in on them.
It’s important to be persistent and not give up. People who are addicted to drugs struggle to cope or deal with their substance use disorder. Yelling, criticizing, and shutting them off can make the problem even worse, so stay patient until they get help.
Seek Treatment at a Drug Addiction Rehab Center
If you have someone in your life who you care about who is addicted to substances and they are not able to get better on their own, staging an intervention may be the only logical thing to do. However, this takes a lot of planning in order to help an addicted person get professional help at an addiction treatment center.
For more tips on recognizing and overcoming addiction, head over to our addiction blog.