Does Someone You Love Need An Intervention?
You may have asked yourself, how do interventions work? One of the most insidious aspects of drug and alcohol addiction is that addicts often don’t want to get help, so how is an intervention going to change things? The addiction has wormed its way so far into their brain that some addicts don’t think they even have a problem, when it’s clear to everyone else in the addict’s life that they do. Because they think it’s too difficult, they think they are hopelessly addicted and things will never get better, or that they really don’t have a problem and they can control their addiction (when they clearly can’t), many times addicts don’t want to go to rehab or get help. Denial is a large part of addiction for many people, but it must be remembered that this is a facet of the disease.
So what can you or your family and friends do to help an addict get sober?
This is a difficult question with many answers. Every addict, and each addiction, are different. You can try to get your loved one into rehab, to go to sobriety meetings like AA and NA, help in detoxification at home, or get them to see a doctor or therapist. But for many addicts in the late stages of addiction for whom this hasn’t worked, a staged intervention might be a last-ditch effort for your loved one to get sober and get help.
Below, we’ll talk about what an intervention is, how you might stage one, and some tips for making them more successful.
What Is A Drug And Alcohol Intervention
A drug and alcohol intervention, or just an intervention, is a time when a group of the addict’s friends come together to talk to the addict and encourage them to seek help all at once. This intervention is often a surprise to the addict. The intervention attempts to get the addict to see the harm they are causing to their friends, family, and community, and encourage them to seek help. Participants can include the addict’s family, including spouses and children, their extended family, friends and community members.
These groups also often include a therapist or healthcare professional experienced in staging interventions. Interventions are often extremely emotionally intense, and a healthcare professional can help to set up the intervention at a good time and location, help to prepare the participants for what might happen, help participants to prepare statements they would like to read to the addict, and to help keep calm within the meeting and facilitate. We highly recommend an intervention consultant, and can help provide one.
Oftentimes these meetings involve the addict’s loved ones delineating very specifically the hurt the addict has caused them because of their addiction. Specificity is key in this instance. Participants also usually seek to outline consequences if the addict doesn’t seek treatment. These consequences can include things like loss of contact, loss of resources, or sometimes involvement of the law. It’s important that participants engage with the addiction rather than the person, placing blame on the addiction itself. It’s also important that participants stress that this addiction can be stopped, with proper help, and treatment can alleviate everyone’s suffering.
How To Stage An Intervention
Staging an intervention is similar to staging any other meeting, although at this one the stakes will be high and emotions charged.
The first step we recommend is getting help in staging the intervention from a professional. A therapist with experience in intervention or a dedicated interventionist will be able to lay out all of the next steps for you, and help you in every step of the process, including the day of. We highly recommend professional help as this is such a difficult and tender subject. Along with this, you should research treatment options ahead of time to see what is in your area and what is available. In or outpatient rehab might be the best choice. You’ll also want to see what financial options are available, including self-pay and insurance. Whatever the options may be, have a plan for getting your loved one help immediately after the intervention.
Next, you’ll want to form a plan for how the intervention will go and where it will take place, as well as start forming a team of participants. Choose a location and time where your loved one is likely to be sober and won’t have any other immediate pressing needs like childcare or work. Choose a team of people who love the addict, whom the addict loves, and who the addict is more likely to listen to. Oftentimes, these people are the most impacted by the addiction as well. Friends, family members, and close community members are good choices.
Finally, before the intervention, you’ll want everyone on the team to write or prepare statements for the addict and decide on specific consequences each will take if the addict chooses not to seek help. These statements should always include messages of love and support, but can also include specific ways your loved one’s addiction has hurt them. The consequences each person will take can vary, but can include withdrawing support like housing or money for the addict. A therapist or interventionist can be extremely helpful in crafting these statements to be the most effective possible.
Lastly, hold the intervention. Try to remain calm and stick to your plan. Try not to do things that will push the addict away, such as yelling and accusing. The addict will likely be very uncomfortable, and in some cases will get emotional, yell, and even leave. But remember, this is to help your loved one. You must also be ready to follow through on the consequences that you have decided on. You will also find more tips on staging an intervention in our page, How to Have an Intervention.
Help For Addiction Is Right Around The Corner
If you need help with an intervention or with drug treatment, please give us a call at Palm Beach Interventions at (561) 556-1979 and we can help with everything you might need to get the help your loved one desperately deserves. Call today, and make your family whole again.