Stage an Intervention Successfully with these Tips

stage an intervention

Are you looking to stage an intervention with your loved one?

When dealing with a loved one’s addiction, it’s important to remind yourself that you’re not alone. In fact, over 23 million Americans are suffering from addiction to drugs or alcohol. Of these millions, only a handful will receive the treatment they need to overcome addiction.

While there’s no denying that addiction is most harmful to the addict themselves, this harm is not limited to the addict. As friends and family members of an addict, it’s common to feel the true pain and emotional instability that stems from their addiction.

When dealing with a loved one’s addiction, it’s only natural to feel lost and helpless in their addiction. When the addiction reaches a certain point, you may feel as though there’s nothing you can do to help your loved one battle their addiction.

In these moments of darkness and pain, it’s important to remind yourself that you do have the ability to offer a change in their lives. This is where many friends and family members will choose to stage an intervention for their loved one.

If you have a loved one that is struggling with addiction, you’re going to want to read this. We’re uncovering our top ten tips on how to stage a successful intervention.

1. Build Your Roster

First things first, it’s essential to begin by selecting who will be present in the intervention.

In terms of numbers, it’s best to opt for an intimate group rather than a one-on-one. When a group is present, it allows the addict to visualize how many people they are hurting with their actions. It also allows the addict to hear the different perspectives of the people closest to them.

It’s important to ensure that each person that is present in the intervention has a meaningful relationship with your loved one. Any friends or family members that have a negative or hostile relationship with that person should be asked not to participate in the intervention. In the event of an intervention, it’s essential for each person present to have a positive and healthy relationship with the addict.

Remember, an intervention is supposed to be motivating for the addict.  If you feel that a certain individual may establish too negative an environment, they shouldn’t be invited to the intervention.

2. Establish a Firm Leader

Every group needs a great leader and your intervention group is no different.

Once you have chosen your team, it’s now time to choose a team leader. In most cases, the leader is the individual that has the closest or longest-running relationship to the addict. This is often the partner, sibling or parent of the addict.

Although each person in the team will have the chance to speak, it’s the leader that will be doing the majority of the talking and facilitating the conversation. If the conversation takes a negative turn, the leader will attempt to bring the conversation back to a more neutral stance.

At the end of the discussion, it’s the group leader that will present the addict with the opportunity to take the next step. In most cases, this will be asking the addict if they will accept an invitation to a treatment facility or detox program.

3. Find a Time When Your Loved One Is Sober

With any intervention, timing is one of the most important factors to be considered.

First things first, it’s always best to conduct your invention at a time when your loved one is sober. For the majority of addicts, this would be the first thing in the morning.

Of course, finding a time in which your loved one is 100 percent sober may be challenging for some. From an outsider’s perspective, there’s never a guarantee that your loved one is completely sober. In this case, it’s best to strive toward a time when they are as close to sober as possible.

Remember, substances such as drugs or alcohol affect an addict’s ability to think clearly. When challenged at a time in which they are under the influence, they will be less capable of processing their thoughts and being rational. They are also more likely to act illogically and out of anger.

4. Gather in a Neutral Area

When determining the best location for your invention, it’s best to locate somewhere that is neutral.

While it’s essential to ensure that your loved one feels comfortable, it’s also essential to ensure that it’s not too comfortable. For example, the family home is generally a very comfortable location for all. However, it’s also a location in which your loved one can retreat to their bedroom or a bathroom when emotions run high.

In selecting a location, it’s best to opt for a location that is neutral and provides limited means of abandoning. In many cases, this may be in a therapist’s office or in a private park. Unlike the family home, these locations are new areas that don’t illicit negative memories of past conversations.

5. Create a Script

A successful intervention is never a spontaneous nor spur-of-the-moment occasion.

Instead, it’s a rehearsed moment in which every discussion must be pre-determined. This is why detailing a generalized script beforehand is always beneficial.

Some family and friends may even find it helpful to simply read their feelings aloud from their script. When caught up with your emotions, having a script will ensure that you’re still capable of communicating all of your original points of discussion.

Remember, the purpose of an intervention is not only to get your loved one to agree to change their life. It’s also a good opportunity for friends and family members to let the addict know how their addiction has impacted surrounding lives.

6. Practice Your Script and Role-Playing

Throughout the course of an intervention, it’s only natural for emotions to run high and to feel lost in your words.

As a result, it’s easy to lose your train of thought and feel uncertain in your discussions. This is why it’s so important to practice your scripts and even conduct role-playing scenarios before the official intervention.

Role-playing helps to prepare each member of the intervention for how they may react to different scenarios. For example, it’s important to plan ahead of time how you will respond to the addict fleeing the scene or denying their addiction. Knowing in advance how you will react to these scenarios will help to ensure that you’re intervention is as smooth as possible.

7. Prepare an Escape Plan

When it comes to the actual intervention itself, it’s best to hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

In preparing for the worst, it’s important to establish an escape plan. Upon confrontation, it’s possible that your loved one will flee the invention and refuse to continue. This is especially the case if they are caught by surprise or in denial of their addiction.

With this possibility, it’s best to know ahead of time what your escape plan is. Be sure to discuss a variety of unpredictable scenarios and how they will be handled best.

Remember, addiction is often connected to a deeper emotional issue. In fact, 53 percent of drug users have at least one serious mental illness. This could be anything from depression and anxiety disorders to bipolar disorders. When we pair substance abuse with emotional instability, it’s difficult to predict how our loved ones will react upon confrontation.

8. Remain Positive and Hopeful

When dealing with a loved one’s addiction, it’s only natural to experience feelings of anger, blame and judgment. For those that have never experienced addiction, it can be challenging to understand the intense power that drugs or alcohol can have over one’s self.

In these moments, it’s important to encourage yourself to be positive and minimize your feelings of judgment. When you force yourself to change your way of thinking, you’re better equipped to provide the support and encouragement that your loved one needs.

One factor that many people find helpful is to remind themselves that addiction is not always a personal choice nor a defect of character. In fact, much of addiction can actually stem from the chemicals in the brain as well as genetics.

For example, multiple studies have found that addiction can stem from a person’s genetic expression. Let’s consider that between 40 and 60 percent of an individual’s risk of addiction can stem from genetics. When we consider this fact, it’s more simple to understand that addiction is not always a personal choice.

9. Secure Your Rehab Plan Beforehand

The finale of your intervention is the most important aspect of the intervention.

This is where you present your loved one with the option to make a positive change. One of the most successful means of doing so is to have a rehab plan pre-arranged before the intervention.

Here, you will communicate to your loved one that you have already arranged their spot at a treatment center. In most cases, it’s best for this position to be secured beforehand and arranged to begin the day of or after the intervention.

For many addicts, this makes the difficult choice to attend a treatment facility easier. When we consider just how difficult it may be for addicts to make arrangements themselves, it’s simple to understand why this is a helpful strategy.

10. Don’t Give Up

Last but not least, remember to avoid the temptation to give up.

Throughout the intervention, there will be many instances of negativity and uncertainty. These moments will take place for the addict themselves as well as those present in the group. In these moments, it’s important to remind yourself not to give up and to remain hopeful.

It’s also possible that your loved one will abandon the intervention before it’s finished. Your loved one may require more than one intervention before agreeing to make a change in their life.

When this happens, do your best to remain positive and encouraging. Resist the urge to feel frustrated and hopeless if you don’t see immediate results. No two addicts are alike and each addict is going to react differently to intervention.

Remember, making the decision to attend a treatment facility is incredibly intimidating for addicts. This is why it’s essential to be emotionally present and sympathetic when talking about going to treatment with your loved one.

It’s Time to Stage an Intervention

As friends and family of an addict, it can often feel that your words of concern and actions have little effect on the addict.

After all, many addicts are controlled by their substance of choice. As a result, the people and relationships in their lives take a back seat to their addiction. For many addicts, this destructive path will continue until they are confronted by a serious need for change.

By choosing to stage an intervention, you’re presenting your loved one with a valuable opportunity for change. As compared to past lectures or voices of concern, an intervention is a proactive approach that involves the addict’s closest friends and family. This is why almost 90 percent of interventions result in the addict choosing to seek help.

If you’re considering staging an intervention for your loved one, it’s imperative that you’re as well prepared as possible. This means choosing your team wisely, detailing a firm script and having an established plan for a variety of potential outcomes.

Do you need help in staging your intervention or finding a suitable treatment program? If so, be sure to contact us today.

References

Content Reviewed by Jacklyn Steward

Jacklyn StewardJacklyn is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) and an EMDR trained trauma therapy specialist with over 6 years of experience in the field of addiction. She has a Masters Degree in Mental Health and Substance Abuse Counseling from Nova Southeastern University.