Staging an Intervention: Everything You Need to Know

Are you planning on staging an intervention for a loved one struggling with addiction? Besides your good intentions, interventions 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 of a successful intervention. Whether it’s a family member, a friend, or a spouse, all interventions need to feel like a safe place for the addict. This way, they won’t feel like everyone judges them and will accept help more easily.

Interventions 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 help they need.

Plan In Advance

The key to a successful intervention is having a set plan about the event. 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 addict.

Don’t stage an intervention just for the sake of it. If you don’t offer a solution or treatment options, it’ll seem like you all got together to judge and criticize the addict. This will make them doubt your intentions and the entire intervention will backfire on you.

Invite the Right People

As you learn how to stage an intervention without the addict feeling judged or attacked, it’s important to show empathy. The people you invite should all be close friends or family to the addict and have a genuine desire to help. If you sense any judgment, harshness, criticism or plain insults, remove those people from the intervention.

Inviting the right people is an essential step in this stage. 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 homes are often the first choice, but the addict 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 therapist’s office where the addict will feel free to open up and listen to what you have to say.

Try not to give out your plans to the addict 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 addict is not under the influence or in a bad mood because the intervention may fail before it even starts.

Offer Practical Solutions

As the intervention progresses, you should prepare to offer the addict smart recovery solutions. The intervention shouldn’t feel like an attack on the addict, but it very well could be if you don’t prepare practical ways to help them.

This is the part of the process where the addict will either accept or deny your help. It’s important to approach them gently, explain the entire rehab process in as much detail as possible, as well as the positive outcome from it.

Decide on the Consequences

Interventions can be planned, but this doesn’t mean everything will go according to the plan. The addict may accept help, but they may resist, get angry, and deny treatment. This is why you need to be clear on the consequences that you’ll implement if the addict refuses rehab.

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 before the intervention. Set strict rules about the tone of voice you’ll use, which means no yelling, no judgment, and no insults towards the addict.

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 an Addiction Professional

Sometimes, even the best intentions can’t guarantee a successful intervention. Before you start planning, consult a therapist, counselor or an addiction professional who’ll help you approach the intervention properly.

They can also refer you to quality 12 steps of AA programs in your area or connect you to reputable rehabilitation facilities.

Follow Up After the Intervention

If you decide to intervene, you need to commit to it all the way through. This means you should follow up after the intervention to see how the addict is coping. Regardless of their decision, you should still reach out and offer your support and help.

If you live with the addict, you can follow up in the form of daily support, sitting down to search for rehab centers, and scheduling a visit together. If you’re staging the intervention 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. Addicts are not emotionally strong to deal with addiction on their own and may even deny they have a problem. Yelling, criticizing, and shutting them off can make the problem even worse, so stay patient until they get help.

These Are the Main Steps for Staging an Intervention

If you have an addict in your life who’s unable to get better on their own, staging an intervention may be the only logical thing to do. However, this takes a lot of planning and setting guidelines in order to help the addict get treatment.

You need to write down a plan, choose the right people who won’t judge and offer your full support throughout the rehab process.

For more tips on recognizing and overcoming addition, head over to our blog.