It is always a challenge to stage an intervention for someone battling with drug or alcohol addiction. People with addictive behaviors are often in denial of their situation. Most of the time they are not willing to seek treatment because they do not recognize or acknowledge that there is an existing problem.
If this is the situation you need to plan the intervention very carefully. You may need to seek the help of others to help you take action. Staging an intervention is one of the first approaches that you can do to save your loved one before things truly get out of hand.
What is an Intervention?
An intervention is a carefully planned encounter where members of the family and concerned friends come together to talk to a loved one about their addiction and how its impacting everyone.
The main goal of an intervention is simple, its to help a loved one to realize the problem and to convince them to get the proper medical care that will help them recover and heal. This goal should be clear to everyone that will participate in the process.
Often, a doctor or a licensed drug counselor is consulted first or invited to the process. This counselor will set the goals and guidelines for each participant of the process and will tell each participant what they should do in case the patient declines to be treated.
When To Intervene For A Loved One?
Determining that you need to have an intervention for a loved one is hard. Aside from the well of emotions that come when doing the process, knowing if it is necessary could also be tricky. Addiction is an illness that is very hard to detect. It is not as straightforward as most of people think it is.
Addiction can mask itself as something else rather than what it truly is. This makes early detection very hard. Particularly, for the people who interact with the addicted person daily. So when is the best time to intervene for a loved one?
If you are completely clueless whether it is necessary to hold an intervention for your loved one, hopefully, the list below could help you. These are common signs and symptoms of addiction. If you see your loved one manifests any of these, then it is time that you make a decision.
- Skin Infections and Abrasions
- Aggressive or Passive behavior
- Lacks motivation
- Deterioration of personal hygiene and appearance
- Change in sleep pattern (unusual sleeping extension)
- Items in the house go missing
- Always borrows money
- Wearing long sleeves even on warm days
- Have problems in school or at work
How to Stage an Intervention?
It is easy to know the meaning of intervention. The hard and complex part is to create, develop, and arrange the intervention. While the task could be overwhelming, careful planning will greatly help the odds of a positive outcome.
To plan and stage a successful intervention you need to:
- Hire a licensed drug or alcohol counselor or intervention specialist
- Select the people that will form part of the team
- Choose the proper time and venue to conduct the intervention
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Find an Intervention Specialist
To stage an intervention, you have to first find someone who is well-versed to do the process. You can consult a professional who is an expert in addiction. A social worker, a licensed drug or alcohol counselor, psychologist, or an intervention specialist could greatly help you. The specialist can help you organize an effective and structured intervention by:
- Considering your loved one’s condition
- Enumerating various ways on how to approach this condition.
- Guiding and help you on the kind of treatment and follow-up programs that will most likely work.
- Helping you and your team maintain the communication between you and your addicted loved one.
- Assisting you in case the patient is on denial
Form Your Intervention Group
An intervention group is usually composed of four to six members. These are the people who are very important in the life of the patient. This could be someone whom he respects and depends upon. The intervention specialist can help you identify the right persons who will form part of the intervention team.
Common member of the team are:
- Members of its church
- Its best friend
- Grand parents
- Co-workers and close friends
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Learn and Rehearse
The intervention specialist will teach and inform the members of the group about addiction and recovery. It is crucial that each member understand that they need to have compassion and thorough knowledge about the problem at hand. This way, they can be effective in convincing the addicted loved one that they need help.
To convince the addicted person that help is needed, each member of the team will describe how the actions of the person have hurt them. These stories should also be reviewed by the intervention specialist and the members of the group to remove any unnecessary details.
After these stories are known to the members and screened by the specialist, each member must take part in rehearsing their respective role.
Choose an Intervention Meeting Place and Time
Another important factor that should be carefully planned and considered is the place and time of the intervention. The setting of the intervention plays an essential role in the success of the process. It is important to note that the place where the intervention will happen is:
- Not threatening or overwhelming.
- A private place.
- A place that makes him feel safe.
This way, your addicted loved one could be at ease during the intervention. In addition to the place, it is also important to schedule the intervention at the time when the addicted loved one is sober. While there is no required time period, an intervention usually lasts between 30 and 90 minutes.
Be Prepared for Anything
Despite careful and meticulous planning, there is no guarantee that the intervention will be successful. It is difficult to predict or control the reaction of your addicted loved one when its being confronted. It is important to note that the addicted loved one could be in denial of its condition. This means that he does not recognize that there is a pressing issue at hand.
Another factor that should be taken into consideration is the current condition of your addicted loved one. Prior to intervention, no one can accurately say how deep he is in his addiction. No one can precisely say the level of his abuse or addiction. So, it is important that you and the rest of the team should be prepared for anything that will happen.
The professional experience of the intervention specialist can greatly help in handling potential scenarios. He knows ways on how to calm your addicted loved one. He can tone down the level of hostility if the environment goes that way. His mere presence is also important in making sure that the process remains productive and peaceful. If you include someone from his church or someone with authority that he respects, it could also be very helpful in maintaining order. If things go out of hand and your loved one endangers the intervention team, immediately call 911.
Perceptions of Intervention
Intervention is gaining popularity in the United States and in other parts of the world. Many think that intervention is an effective way of convincing an addicted loved one to enter into a drug rehabilitation and treatment center. Over the past decade, intervention has become a favorite subject in pop culture. The reality TV show “A&E’s Intervention,” for instance shows intervention as a tough event.
This type of reality TV show may raise awareness on the benefits of intervention. However, they poorly reflect the right attitude towards the process. There is also a common misconception that the process involves a hostile confrontation with an addicted loved one. However, this is not actually the case.
Intervention is a good opportunity for friends and family to show their care and concern to their addicted loved one. It is the time where they share their needs with their troubled family member. By allowing the family members to express their perceptions, fears, and pains, and helping the addicted loved one to find a healthy way out is good family therapy. This improves the likelihood of achieving a positive treatment result.
The Next Steps Forward
The intervention team should set recovery goals after the intervention takes place. You should also plan and prepare should the intervention turn out unsuccessful. There are instances where the addicted loved one may decline the treatment program. He could insist that he does not need help or simply explode of anger and accuse you of betrayal.
Prepare yourself emotionally should this happen. However, be hopeful that a positive change could still take place. If your addicted loved one does not want treatment, be equipped to use other alternatives.
Even if the intervention does not work, the intervention team can still make helpful changes. While it is true that you cannot control the behavior of your addicted loved one with his addiction, you have the power to leave. If after the intervention the situation becomes destructive, remove yourself and your family members from it.
If you have a family member showing signs and symptoms of alcohol or drug abuse or addiction, seek help immediately. You can call Mountain Springs Recovery today. Our medical professionals will assist you in helping your loved one get out of his current situation.