How to Stage an Intervention
How Intervention Can Helps You
Watching a friend or loved one suffer from addiction can be a heart-wrenching experience. Sometimes sitting with them and having a heart to heart discussion about their condition can start them on the process of self-discovery that will lead to them seeking help. But many addicts struggle with acknowledging their own dependency and it is necessary to join forces with others that care for the addicted person and stage an intervention.
An intervention allows friends and family to confront the addicted person in a more structured and focused way. Many times it provides the emotional blow that is needed to break through the barrier of self-denial and provide the addict with the motivation to take a look at how their behavior and dependency is affecting themselves and those they care about.
What is an Intervention?
An intervention is a carefully planned process where family, friends, co-workers, clergy, and possibly an intervention specialist, doctor or licensed drug and alcohol counselor come together and confront the person about their addiction.
Three Things that Should Happen at Every Intervention are:
- Specific examples of destructive behavior and its impact should be provided.
- A prearranged treatment plan with clear goals, guidelines and steps should be offered.
- Each person should spell out what they are prepared to do if treatment is refused.
6 Steps to Take When Staging an Intervention
When an intervention is proposed, family and friends will come together and form a planning or organizing group. While every intervention is as unique as the people involved, there are certain steps that this group can take to greatly improve their chances of success when confronting the addicted person.
- Consult a Professional– An intervention can be a highly charged and emotional event. Often when confronted, people with substance abuse problems will have feelings of anger, betrayal, and resentment. An intervention that is handled incorrectly may not only fail to reach the desired result, it could actually have an inverse effect and make matters worse. By seeking advice from an alcohol and drug abuse counselors, professional interventionist, social workers, psychologist, or psychiatrist, you can develop a strategy that will give you the best hope of success in your particular situation.
- Gather information– Your next step should be to gather as much information as you can about the degree of problems your loved one is having. What drugs they are actually on, what other destructive behavior they are engaged in, the extent of their addiction are all questions that need to be answered at this point. You also need to be looking at what treatment methods and centers are most appropriate for their situation.
- Form a plan– First; you need to decide on the date, time and location for the intervention and what excuse is going to be used to guarantee your loved one will show up at the appointed place and time. Then, it needs to be decided who is going to take part in the intervention itself. When forming the intervention team, it can be beneficial to have some friends or coworkers present who are not too emotionally involved with the situation. They can help keep the process on point and not let it stray into unnecessary outburst. Remember an intervention is about solving the substance abuse problem, not pointing fingers or placing blame.
- Make notes and decide on specific consequences– Each member of the intervention team needs to make notes of what they plan to say when you meet. They need to include specific events and circumstances where the loved one’s addiction or substance use caused problems. They should also be prepared to list the consequences of the person not accepting help. These could include denial of visitation with children, expulsion or barring from the home, denial of support. It is very important that the person understands that you caring for them is why you are doing this. It is not as a form of punishment. That you still believe they can change and you just want to help them.
- Hold the intervention– Without revealing the real purpose of the meeting; bring the addicted person to the meeting site. One at a time, each person should express their feelings for their loved one and the situation they find themselves in. They should also spell out exactly what they will do if the addicted person does not accept help. Never make hollow threats. If you set a consequence, be prepared to follow through with it. Treatment options should be presented and the person required to make a decision on the spot. If they walk out the door of the meeting you’re done and the intervention has failed.
- Follow Through– The object of an intervention is to get your loved one to accept help. Your job doesn’t end there though. If your intervention is a success, be prepared to help the person you care so much for on their journey to sobriety. A few suggestions of things that might help are offering to attend counseling with them, altering your habits or lifestyle to help them avoid destructive behavior, and seeking therapy of your own.
An intervention is not an easy process to go through. It can be emotionally disturbing and mentally exhausting but they are worth the effort if someone you love is suffering from substance abuse problems. If there is someone in your life suffering from addiction take the first step today and contact an abuse specialist for help.