Josh Chandler | December 26, 2017

How to Stage an Intervention for Addiction

If you have a friend of family member with a substance abuse problem, it can be hard to know how to help. Learn how to stage an effective intervention for someone battling a drug and/or alcohol addiction.

When a loved one seems to have immersed themselves in the murky world of drugs, it can be hard to handle.

It’s no wonder that the need for interventions has never been greater when 23.5 million people above the age of 12 needed treatment for either drug or alcohol abuse in 2009.

You may be considering holding your own drug addiction intervention. If so, we have a few tips on how to handle this delicate process.

Let’s dive in.

What Is an Intervention?

Firstly, we need to clarify what an intervention actually is.

A proper intervention requires someone or a group of people to intervene in someone’s life with the hope of changing a negative or destructive behavior.

You’ll want to stage an intervention when you feel the life of your loved one is rapidly spiraling out of control.

This will involve confronting the addict about their drugs and/or alcohol usage.

The aim of the intervention is to persuade the addict to take control of their life with the support of a professional.

What If They Don’t Want Help?

Often the reason you’re staging a drug addiction intervention is that the sufferer doesn’t think they have an issue.

This poses a problem. If they don’t recognize they have an issue they won’t take treatment seriously.

With that mind, you’ll never be able to force them to quit. They have to want help.

The intervention is just a catalyst to help them come to a realization.

How Do I Organize a Successful Intervention?

Ideally, if everything goes to plan, your loved one will see the light and want professional help.

However, if that doesn’t happen don’t beat yourself up. Tommorrow is a new day; sometimes these things take time.

However, you’ll want to have pre-planned the next steps if all goes well.

Firstly, you need to avoid a time lag between the moment they decide they need help and starting treatment. This limits the chances of them backtracking.

So, make sure you’ve notified the rehab center of your plans, and made necessary transports arrangements.

You may also want to find out whether the patient’s health insurance covers rehabilitation.

Is There Any Specific Format the Intervention Should Follow?

Every situation is different so needless to say there aren’t any hard and fast rules.

Below are some of the more popular intervention methods, give some thought as to which might be the most effective for your loved one;

  • A private one-to-one conversation with someone the sufferer deeply trusts and respects.
  • A small group of close family and friends.
  • A small group of close family, friends, and an experienced interventionist.
  • Some interventions include colleagues (be careful before including work mated, as you may jeopardize their job).

We recommend consulting with a professional before embarking on your intervention.

This ensures you’ll receive the most up-to-date information regarding available medication as well as advice about the healing process.

TOP ADVICE: Having a professional addiction specialist present can sometimes effectively descale the emotions at play, this can be incredibly helpful.

Here are a few ideas you should consider incorporating into your own intervention;

  • Anything around a 5 to 60-minute conversation with the focus being on seeing a doctor that specializes in addiction.
  • Having a medical professional provide advice as to whether your loved one is able to quit using drugs on their own.
  • You could talk about the possibility of the addict attending sessions where they can learn more about addiction and the healing process. You could offer (along with any other supporting friends and family) to attend these sessions with them.
  • Alternatively/or in addition to this, you could also suggest that they attend counseling. This is useful for tackling the issues that made them turn to drugs in the first place. Support groups can be equally as effective for this.

All you can do is try and support your loved one through this difficult time. Helping them get the help they need is a great way to do that.

Be prepared that during the course of the intervention the addict may become defensive or to try and minimize the issues at work.

This can sometimes result in the addict guilt-tripping their loved ones, or making out they’re a victim. Stay strong, be firm but fair.

Further Advice on Preparing for an Intervention

To properly prepare for your drug addiction intervention you should consider the following;

  • If you’ve opted for a group intervention, meet beforehand to discuss the structure of the intervention as well as what will be said.
  • Consider choosing a leader to help give the intervention some structure.
  • Be sure to use this time wisely. It’s a time to honestly open up and tell the addict how you feel about their addiction.
  • It’s often useful to write down a letter or a list that can be read to the addict.
  • You and the rest of the group should also decide on some consequences, if the addict doesn’t actively decide to seek help.
  • Usually, an intervention works best when you find a reason to get the addict to a pre-planned place and time, off guard. This encourages them to be honest because they won’t have the chance to pre-plan their response.
  • Everyone should be present at the location prior to the arrival of your loved one. When they get there, ask them to take a seat.
  • Then everyone will have the opportunity to read their letters/lists aloud.
  • You should then follow this up by discussing the agreed upon consequences if the addict refuses to change.

Interventions are never easy. Hopefully, this advice will help you and your loved ones get through the process as smoothly as possible.

Would You like Any Further Information on Drug Addiction Intervention?

If you would like any further information on drug addiction intervention please feel free to contact us.

We’re more than happy to answer any questions you may have about the process and offer you support in any way we can.

You may also find our blog of interest. Over there you’ll find plenty of information on addiction, support, and recovery.

Addiction,Alcohol Addiction,Drug Addiction,Mental Health,Recovery,Rehab,Treatment,
Josh Chandler
Josh Chandler
After growing up in Chicago and North Carolina, Josh chose to get help with substance use disorder and mental health in California because of the state's reputation for top-tier treatment. There, he found the treatment he needed to achieve more than five years of recovery. He's been in the drug and alcohol addiction rehab industry for four years and now serves as the Director of Admissions for Resurgence Behavioral Health. Josh remains passionate about the field because he understands that one phone call can alter the course of a person's life.

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