What to Consider Before an Intervention

Intervention leading to either inpatient rehab or outpatient treatment for addiction

What to Consider Before an Intervention

Watching someone you care about struggle with an addiction to drugs or alcohol can tear you apart. You can clearly see the many negative effects their addictive behavior and poor decision-making are having on their lives, but your loved one doesn’t see how much they are harming themselves. In many cases, an intervention can be the best way to break through the layers of denial and defense mechanisms to get your loved one to admit they need treatment.

In conducting an intervention, you can successfully convince your loved one to get help and avoid tragic consequences, but without careful planning, your intervention can fail. Here’s some advice to help you get the outcomes you want for your loved one.

What Is an Intervention?

The goal of an intervention is to persuade someone with a drug or alcohol problem to agree to accept treatment. Because of the close link between denial and addiction, someone who has developed a physical and psychological dependence on drugs or alcohol may be unwilling or even unable to admit the extent of their problem. An intervention can help an addicted person come to terms with the fact that their behavior is out of control and that they need help to get their life back.

An intervention should never be spontaneous or spur of the moment, nor should it be an opportunity to blame the addicted person for their disease. Instead, a properly orchestrated intervention should involve specific, pre-planned statements from friends and family members that communicate their love and support.

4 Things to Consider Before an Intervention

Here are four things to think about before an intervention.

1. Who Should Participate?

Regardless of whether they are friends or family members, everyone who gets involved in the intervention should have a close relationship with the person you want to get into a treatment program. If a potential participant is not prepared to state an ultimatum and stick to it, do not invite them.

2. Write Your Remarks in Advance

Rather than speaking off the cuff, write out exactly what you are going to say, and rehearse it several times before the day of the intervention. This approach ensures you never lose control or get angry during the meeting. In writing your remarks, remember not to blame your loved one for their disease. Use “I” statements to describe how the addictive behavior makes you feel, as opposed to “you” statements that might feel accusatory.

3. Have a Detailed Treatment Plan Prepared

If your loved one accepts the need to get help, the treatment needs to begin immediately. Ideally, you should have prearranged a treatment plan with a trained professional that allows your loved one to go directly from the intervention into a treatment center.

4. Decide What You’ll Do If Your Loved One Rejects the Help

What lengths are you willing to go to to stop your loved one’s behavior? Be prepared to tell them and stick to it. Rejecting help should involve real and immediate consequences. Don’t feel as if you are punishing the addicted person; rather, this is a “tough-love” approach that helps you focus on what you need to do to reclaim your peace of mind.

Nationally Accredited Intervention Solutions

If your loved one is locked in a battle with addiction, the worst thing you can do is wait and assume they will decide to make a change on their own. Scheduling a professional intervention will send your loved on the message that you don’t want the addiction to win, and that you believe they are strong enough to fight it successfully.

A qualified professional interventionist can help you prepare for an intervention. As a neutral third party, a professional interventionist will guide you through all the necessary steps to have this difficult conversation in a way that avoids blame and hostility and instead conveys a message of love and concern. Contact us today to learn more and get the process started.

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