It’s truth time: addiction is not a rare problem. In fact, an estimated 1 in 7 Americans will battle substance abuse in their lifetime. Chances are that someone you know and love is fighting an addiction whether you know about it or not.
In many cases, addiction reaches such a destructive point that it’s impossible not to know. If you’re watching a loved one lose who they are and the future ahead of them because of addiction, an intervention could be the best next step.
Before you start calling your family together and dreaming of a future free from addiction, you need to know how to prepare. For anyone planning an intervention in Stuart, Florida, you should start with these key tips.
Tips for a Successful Drug Intervention in Stuart, Florida
Whether you’ve seen interventions on television or you’ve read about them, they sound pretty straightforward. In truth, there are many details you need to arrange to give yourself the best chance for success. Begin with the following tips.
1. Don’t Do It Alone
Is it possible to organize an intervention yourself and be successful? Yes. Is that intervention as likely to be successful as one organized by a professional? No.
There are plenty of qualified intervention specialists throughout the country, including here in Florida. An intervention specialist will help you plan the intervention and choose your words carefully. They’ll also be a neutral voice during the intervention to guide the discussion and keep it productive.
Depending on the intervention specialist you choose, they may be able to help you deal with your own mental health. When your loved one has an addiction, it takes a toll on you too. Some intervention specialists can also serve as therapists for you before and after the intervention.
2. Understand Your Goal
It’s obvious that your intervention goal is to get the person to agree to go to a treatment center. Few people enter the process realizing how this works, though.
Addiction causes your loved one to live life in a “brain fog.” They don’t see things clearly or make decisions clearly because their addiction changes their perception.
By having a group of their friends and family together, your goal is to break through that fog. You’re trying to create a moment of clarity so the person can finally see how they’re affecting their loved ones.
As you prepare for your intervention, keep that goal in mind. Explain it to the rest of the group too so they understand what they’re working toward.
3. Choose Your Intervention Group Wisely
One of the most crucial decisions you’ll make is choosing who to include in the intervention. Don’t just call in the five people your loved one is closest to.
Knowing the Relationship
Your intervention group should include people who love the person but also relate to them in a supportive way. They need to have a positive and caring relationship with the person.
For instance, the person with an addiction may have a deep relationship with a parent. However, as strongly as they love each other, these two may also get into huge fights sometimes too.
You don’t want to risk that anger coming out in the intervention. It may be better not to invite the parent.
Knowing the Person
You also need to choose people with the right mentality and personality for an intervention. They need to be able to stand firm in their statements and keep the promises they make.
Your intervention team should include people who can clearly voice their experiences. They also need to be level-headed so they don’t get overcome by the emotions of the meeting.
Keep in mind that emotions tend to run high in interventions. You don’t know how the person with the addiction will react, and things could become intense. It’s not a good idea to invite kids or anyone who can’t handle the potential stress to be a part of the intervention.
Counseling Your Team
In addition to finding the right team, you need to prepare your team, too. Explain to them that they’ll need to keep calm no matter what happens. Make sure they know they’re there to support the person, not tear them down.
As you explain this, ask each member of the team in private if they feel capable of doing this. It’s better for them to be honest and bow out than to lose their cool and cause the intervention to fail completely.
4. Set Up Direct Consequences
The purpose of an intervention is to have a rational discussion about the fork in the road. It’s not a debate about who has wronged who. It’s a clear and honest meeting to point out a problem and its solution.
When you go into the intervention, you need to give a specific consequence if your loved one doesn’t get treatment. This is a consequence you have direct control over.
Instead of saying, “You could overdose if you don’t get treatment, ” you should say, “You can’t live in my home anymore if you don’t get treatment.” It should be a consequence that will impact their lives in a powerful way, and in a way that you have control over.
Just as important as the consequence is the follow-through. Don’t make promises you aren’t willing to keep. Make sure each member of the intervention team has their own consequence they’re committed to carrying out, too.
5. Find the Perfect Venue
Your setting has a serious impact on your state of mind, and that holds true for people with addiction, too.
Find an intervention venue that’s neutral. It shouldn’t be a place that has memories tied to it for your loved one. You want to start the intervention fresh without any excess tension.
Make sure your venue is private. This will be a frank, adult discussion and you all need to be able to speak your minds.
One common choice is a community space in your local church. You could also rent a meeting room in a local hotel.
6. Choose Your Timing Wisely
Part of setting up your intervention for success is finding the right timing. You need to find a time when your loved one is receptive and in a positive state of mind.
As we mentioned earlier, you’re trying to break through the brain fog of addiction. That’s difficult or impossible to do while the person is drunk or high.
It’s crucial that you perform the intervention when the person is as close to sober as possible. Most people with addiction have patterns and have certain times of the day, week, or month when they’re less likely to be under the influence. Try to plan the intervention with that in mind.
Of course, substance abuse isn’t 100% predictable. Things can change and maybe your loved one gets high or drunk unexpectedly on the day of the intervention. Your intervention specialist can give you guidance, but it’s usually better to reschedule.
7. Be Prepared for a Yes
We have good news: according to the National Council of Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, 90% of people get help after an intervention. There’s a strong chance your intervention will work.
However, you need to handle that “yes” in the right way. You can run into problems if you say, “That’s great! We’ll bring you to rehab first thing tomorrow morning.”
You run a risk that the person will go out that night for “one last binge,” which could end in a fatal overdose. If the person doesn’t use that night, withdrawal could set in and make them second-guess their choice.
If the person agrees to get treatment, be ready to head to the treatment center right away. That means you should go straight from the intervention to the treatment center with no stops in between. You need to take advantage of the momentum you have when you have it.
How to Plan for a Yes
Before the intervention, make sure you have a treatment center with an open bed reserved for your loved one. It can take time to make these arrangements, and you don’t want to try to scramble at the last minute.
Your loved one will also need some basics for their stay. You could have someone go to their home and pack a bag for rehab and bring it to the treatment center later that day. The treatment center may be able to offer suggestions for these and other logistics.
8. Be Prepared for a No
As hopeful as you are for a yes, there’s always a risk that your loved one will reject treatment. You need to prepare for that possibility as well.
Make arrangements to follow through with the consequence you provided right away. For example, if you told the person they can no longer live with you if they reject treatment, have a locksmith’s phone number on hand ready to change your locks.
Make sure every member of your intervention team does the same for their consequence. The intervention should have an immediate effect, either positive or negative, for the person with the addiction.
This is to ensure that they understand you are taking their addiction and their treatment very seriously.
9. Practice Your Body Language
After you spend time writing your words and rehearsing them in your head, body language may seem like a small detail. In reality, it helps to set the tone for the entire intervention.
Body language can make the difference between your loved one feeling attacked or supported. The key is focusing on positive and open body language.
Avoid any position that makes you look closed-off. This includes crossing your arms, crossing your legs, and lowering your head. Instead, sit up straight and keep your shoulders squared toward your loved one.
It’s also important that you don’t sit in a way that’s too casual or makes you look bored. You need to express that you’re taking this seriously and that you’re invested in your loved one’s life.
Make sure you explain this to the rest of your intervention team too. They might have closed body language without realizing it and it can throw off the intervention.
10. Leave Nothing Up to Chance
There are occasions in life when you can head in without a plan and “wing it.” An intervention is not one of those times.
Emotions will be high for everyone because you’re trying to save your loved one’s life. Don’t assume you’ll be able to find the right words in the moment.
Instead, take the time to write down your thoughts word for word. Don’t worry about reading off a paper: you aren’t giving a performance. You’ll still sound genuine and your loved one will know it’s coming from the heart.
Practice Makes Perfect
After you and every member of your intervention team have written down your thoughts, take time to practice. You can rehearse the words on your own, but practice them as a group, too.
You might get tired of your “speech” after a few rehearsals, but that’s okay. The more comfortable and familiar you are with your words, the less likely you are to let emotions take over.
It’s also a good idea to role play with your intervention team. Have someone pretend to be your loved one and go through different possible reactions. You need to know the possibilities and have a plan for how to respond.
Above all, don’t diverge from your script. It’s easy for words to come out wrong and become hurtful in an intense situation, and that’s the last thing you want to happen.
Making Your Intervention Count
Documentaries and TV shows about substance abuse and interventions have had both positive and negative effects.
On the plus side, they shed a light on the issue of addiction and how you can help a loved one. The downside, though, is that some people watch a few documentaries and believe they’re experts on hosting interventions.
This leads to a “thrown together” intervention with poor planning and a low chance of success. That doesn’t have to be you. The tips above can help you step in and intervene for your loved one in a successful way.
If you’re ready to start planning an intervention, start by finding an addiction intervention expert in Stuart, Florida. Call our substance abuse treatment center for guidance today.