When a loved one is addicted to drugs or alcohol, the friends and family of the addict can often feel helpless. Many times it can seem as if there is nothing one can do to get that person back on the right path, and thus, they do exactly that. Nothing.
However, before you decide to throw in the towel, there is one thing that you can do to show the person who is struggling that you care. In turn, such an honest and heart-felt approach can enable them to get back on the path towards sobriety. How can you do this? Through an intervention.
What Is An Intervention?
You may have seen an intervention on TV before, however, their portrayal is often exaggerated. Whether on the drama-filled A&E or on daytime talk shows, such as Oprah and Dr. Phil, the episode is always scripted, the drama planned, and there is a large public audience watching this very personal moment.
In real life, things go a little differently. An intervention is a small gathering of family and friends, staged to help someone who has a problem with drugs or alcohol come to terms with their abuse. This loving confrontation is designed to open the eyes of the abuser and convince them to seek help.
When Is It Needed?
An intervention is a good idea if the person in question allows their drug or alcohol use to take control of their life. This includes the loss of a job, inappropriate care of their children, harm to themselves, or a multitude of other detrimental happenings. If the addict refuses to admit they have a problem and/or refuses to seek treatment, it is wise to start planning for an intervention.
How Do I Prepare For One?
If you feel as if an intervention is right for your situation, make sure that you go about planning it very carefully. Here are some things to consider and plan for before moving ahead:
- Decide who is important to invite to this intervention; which friends and family members will show the most support and affection, and yet have the willpower to put their foot down and say enough it enough? Usually, four to six people is adequate.
- Choose if you think the professional help of a therapist, counselor, or psychologist is needed in your intervention. It might be a good idea if you don’t feel confident enough to be well-spoken, if the addict is prone to personal attacks, whether verbal or physical, or if they have a history of mental illness. An intervention is an emotionally-charge situation; be sure to consider all your available resources to do it right the first time around.
- Consider inviting your pastor, priest, or spiritual leader. Many people are better able to fight their addiction if their belief in a higher power is brought into play. However, if the addict isn’t religious or if they don’t have a personal relationship with their clergyman, they may feel as if they are being ambushed and resist help.
- Orchestrate a plan. Research local rehab centers. Figure out which kind best fits the needs of the addict. Consider the differences between programs, such as inpatient, outpatient, 12-step, non 12-step, and other specific treatments.
- Make guidelines to follow. Nothing is worse than sitting down and having everyone talk over each other or completely forgetting what you were going to say. Make sure to write down or rehearse what needs to be said, and make sure that everyone has their specific part to play. You want to come across as clear, concise, and knowledgeable.
Putting It Into Action
When everyone is fully focused and devoted to the intervention, find a place where there are no distractions or interruptions. The setting doesn’t have to be extremely structured for it to be effective, but it must be conducted in a serious manner and well-planned. Be sure that the addict doesn’t know what’s happening ahead of time or else they may purposely avoid it or refuse to participate. Finally, make sure they are not under the influence of drugs or alcohol while the intervention is going on. They need to be in a clear state of mind to understand the encounter.
Provide accurate and specific examples of how their addiction has negatively affected their own life and the lives of those around them. Many times, the haze of the high allows them to look past these negative consequences. However, if they are laid out on the table in front of them, they will often express regret and remorse, two feelings that are likely to lead to a lifestyle change.
Lay out a possible treatment plan for them. Demonstrate that you have given this a lot of thought, but don’t make it a hard and fast arrangement. If it’s set in stone, they are again likely to resist. But if given a possible outline, it allows them to personally mold it to their needs and preferences, making the choice to receive treatment more easily accepted.
Give them a soft ultimatum. If one starts off with hard threats, this isn’t likely to do anyone good. More likely than not, you’ll cause resentment and later go back on your word, sending mixed messages. They key is to show tough love, demonstrate that you care and yet be firm about what is acceptable and what is not.
- Bad Example: I will never see or talk to you again if you continue to do drugs/alcohol.
- Good Example: I will no longer support this habit. I will only spend extended periods of time around you when you are sober.
Finally, allow the addict to leave if they choose to. An intervention is a powerful thing. They may feel overwhelmed by the confrontation, and to fully process it, they may need some time alone. It’s okay if they get up and go in the next room or outside. Allow them their space, but also let them know that you are there for them when they need you. Do not bar the door or keep them from leaving. If they feel caged and stuck, they are likely to lash out and see this as a coup against them, making them less likely to seek help.
Get Professional Help at DrugRehab.Org
Now that you have the basics of an intervention at your fingertips, you are ready to begin planning your own for your loved one. Contact us today with your questions about different types of treatment so that you can begin formulating your game plan.
For More Information Related to “How To Stage An Intervention” Be Sure To Check Out These Additional Resources From DrugRehab.org:
- How Much Does a Drug and/or Alcohol Intervention Cost?
- Common Street Names For Illegal Drugs
- How Do I Get My Loved One Into Rehab?
- Environmental Risk Factors for Developing an Addiction
- Breaking the Cycle of Addiction through Family Intervention
- How To Get Someone Court-Ordered Drug Treatment
- Paying For Drug Rehab With Insurance | Coverage & Treatment
- Effective Drug Rehab Centers & Successful Treatment
- Scholarships And Grants To Cover Costs Of Drug Rehabilitation