Addiction interventions are valuable tools for the loved ones of people struggling with substance use disorders. An intervention enables family and friends to come together to create a safe, nonjudgmental space. In this space, they can express their concern to the person in need as well as give them support and encouragement.
Most importantly, addiction interventions provide families and friends of people dealing with addiction the chance to help their loved ones without continuing to enable negative behaviors. Instead, these events can turn feelings of concern into an opportunity for growth, connection, and recovery.
What Is the Purpose of an Intervention?
An intervention is an important step for individuals struggling with substance use disorder, and one of the best ways for families and friends to help their loved ones. It offers an opportunity for family, friends, professionals, and even employers to educate the individual about the consequences of substance abuse and motivate them to accept treatment.
During an intervention, friends and family members come together in a supportive environment where they create an open dialogue about the impacts of addiction. In doing so, they communicate the real-life consequences that substance abuse is causing in their lives. Throughout an addiction intervention, it’s also important for friends and families to express how they still love and care for their relative or friend.
An addiction intervention serves two purposes which include:
- Educate your loved one on how their behaviors are impacting those around them
- Help your loved one take concrete steps to seek help in treatment in the hopes that they will begin their journey toward a life in recovery
Through interventions, families can come together as a unit with insight and understanding of both sides of the disorder. Interventions offer a new way to approach substance abuse. While it may be difficult to remain in control of your emotions, it’s vital to stay calm. In the past, discussions may have devolved into arguing, shutting down, or passing blame back and forth. Instead, you can achieve healthy, positive conversations by fostering a space of empathetic understanding. As a result, intervention participants become part of the solution rather than part of the problem.
While living with a loved one who has a substance use disorder can be stressful and isolating, holding an intervention can get you both on the right track. In fact, an addiction intervention is a proactive step you can take to show your loved one care and support while helping them on the road to recovery.
Holding an Intervention
To hold an addiction intervention, friends and family can research useful information regarding the stages of intervention, intervention planning, and help with addiction resources. Remember that interventions are proven to show overall positive results in reducing substance use among those that take part in one when handled with care.
While convincing a loved one to enter treatment can be extremely challenging, it is worth it. In fact, sending a family member to treatment may be the only chance they get to face their addiction and heal. The time to get your loved one help is now. An addiction intervention can be a great resource in helping your loved one agree to enter treatment for substance abuse.
While each intervention is a personal experience, you can prepare for the event and practice healthy forms of communication.
Commonly, successful addiction interventions include:
- Creating a plan for the intervention
- Hiring a professional interventionist (optional)
- Being honest and sharing your feelings
- Withholding blame and judgment
- Being ready to help them enter treatment
- Standing your ground and being firm
Interventions are one of the most effective means of getting a loved one into treatment. The purpose of an intervention is to show your loved one how addiction is affecting their life and the lives of those around them. By no means is an intervention a guarantee that your loved one will enter treatment, but it shows them the damage and hurt they are causing in a highly impactful way.
Planning an Intervention
When it comes to planning an intervention, you want to keep things as calm, predictable, and under control as possible. An effective intervention means planning out exactly what you want to accomplish and how you plan to accomplish it. Deciding who will be there and what you’re going to say is critical in a successful intervention. Transportation directly to detox or treatment should also be coordinated prior to staging the intervention.
If your loved one refuses help, it’s important for them to understand what consequences they’ll face as a result. Haphazardly throwing an intervention together is a recipe for disaster. It is also important to note that any consequences you bring up in conversation must be enacted if your loved one chooses not to attend treatment. Standing your ground will ensure that your loved one fully understands the consequences of their choice and it can help to deter them from choosing against treatment. Make sure you have all of the important pieces together before you decide to act, as it will yield a much higher chance of success.
Consider Hiring an Intervention Professional
Beyond planning an intervention there are other aspects of getting a loved one into treatment that may require assistance. For example, speaking and reasoning with a loved one when their judgment is impaired can be next to impossible. Often, friends and families also struggle to remain level-headed when confronting the person abusing drugs or alcohol. Whether you’re holding an intervention for your spouse who is binging drinking or your child is abusing drugs, it’s understandable if you lose your composure. Regardless, it is important to remain calm when attempting to hold a successful intervention.
To avoid an intervention turning into a screaming match, many people hire a professional interventionist. This is because a good interventionist is equipped with the skills necessary to facilitate a productive line of communication. Trained interventionists have experience in planning and handling the logistics of the intervention. Often, hiring a professional can be the difference between a successful intervention and a loved one refusing help.
Make the Intervention Impactful
In order to make a big impact on the person abusing drugs or alcohol, choose words, phrases, and anecdotes that have emotional weight. Friends and families can bring up past examples of negative behaviors while focusing on their experiences of the events. To clarify, it’s important to remember to use “I” statements wherever possible, to avoid your loved one feeling attacked. Stating your concerns directly can really break through and make a difference. For example: “I miss my best friend” or “I miss my brother.” Another approach is sharing your fears, such as, “I’m scared that one day I’ll answer the phone and find out that you’re in jail or worse – dead.”
Withhold Blame and Judgment
During an intervention, friends and families are more successful when they avoid manipulation and guilt tactics. In fact, those kinds of statements can be perceived as an attack and are entirely unproductive. Avoid using “should” statements such as “you should have never started in the first place.” Similarly, removing blame and shame statements is imperative. For example, statements like “If you had just listened to me in the first place,” and “If you never married that girl then you wouldn’t be in this mess,” are not helpful. An intervention is a time to let your loved one know you love them, not to judge, shame, or blame them.
Be Prepared to Help Your Loved One Enter Rehab
When a loved one agrees to enter into treatment, it is important for friends and families to act quickly. Having a facility lined up before the intervention is essential, as waiting any longer can mean life or death. “I’ll go tomorrow” or “I just need to get a little something for the ride” are common things you may hear. One more time can also be the last time, so getting them to treatment as soon as possible is essential.
Stand Your Ground and Be Firm
The final decision on whether or not a loved one will enter treatment is ultimately in their hands. If the outcome of the intervention is that they are refusing treatment, it is vital for friends and families to stand their ground. In order to make any impact, you will need to follow through with the consequences expressed during the intervention. This can be a challenge, especially if you typically enable your loved one’s addiction. However, it’s imperative that you’re firm in your resolve to let them know how serious this is. This is where the enabling ends, once and for all.
You can help your loved one entering treatment for drug and alcohol treatment. An addiction intervention can open the door to discussions regarding treatment and recovery. Royal Life Centers offers a full continuum of care starting with detox and inpatient treatment. Following residential care, we also provide continuing care in the form of partial hospitalization (PHP), intensive outpatient (IOP), outpatient (OP), and sober living residences.
If your loved one is currently struggling with substance abuse, please reach out to our 24/7 admissions team for guidance and support by calling (877)-RECOVERY.
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