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How to properly stage an intervention for an addict

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Having a loved one who is addicted to drugs can be a difficult situation. Not knowing how to help someone who is struggling with addiction can leave many people feeling helpless or hopeless. However, there are some steps you can take to stage an intervention for your loved ones and get them the help they need. Below are tips for staging a family intervention for drug addicts, as well as what it generally takes for successful interventions.

A serious problem

Drug and alcohol abuse is a very serious problem. It can cause many problems for the individual, as well as those around them. If someone you know has a drinking problem and refuses to quit or get help, an intervention might be the only way for them to understand they need professional treatment before it’s too late. The first step of an intervention is to set the stage.

Begin to plan out what you will say, and bring your family member or friend into a safe environment where they won’t be interrupted by other people who might upset them. They need to understand that the meeting isn’t meant as punishment, but rather as support for their recovery from alcohol abuse.

Resistance is natural

Be ready for resistance. It is likely that your family member or friend isn’t just going to just admit that they have a problem because you say so.

Clearly tell them the reason for the intervention. To back up what you are saying, as they may say they don’t have a problem, collect evidence ahead of time about their drinking habits, such as empty bottles or hospital visits. Bring up past problems associated with their substance abuse too, such as driving drunk or job losses.

Below are the things that you need to consider when you decide to do an intervention:

Choose carefully who will be present

When you are staging an intervention, you need to decide who will be present. This is not the time for emotional reactions that are not positive to occur as support is what the individual needs the most. Everyone involved ought to be on their best behavior during the intervention because even one negative comment could derail things or cause tension.

While it is good to have family and friends at the intervention, also consider that a neutral third party could be helpful. In this case, asking a trained counselor to be at the intervention can be helpful.

When you decide that an intervention is necessary, it’s time to think about how best to approach the intervention and what your goals are for the process. Strategic and careful planning is a necessity.

You need to decide who will speak and when they will speak. You will also need to decide what will be said and when it will be said. It is best that everyone who will be involved gets together for a walk-through of the scenario that will play out before it happens.

This way, you will know ahead of time the role of every person in the intervention. The only person who is likely to be surprised is the person for whom you are staging the intervention.

How to start the intervention

The first step is to explain to the loved one how their alcohol abuse is affecting different areas of their life. Also, discuss what they think causes their problems with drinking. Give them a chance to give you feedback about their thoughts on alcohol consumption and how it affects them personally.

Most people in these situations are ashamed, so expressing your concern for them will be important if you want to get through it a bit more smoothly. Be sure that those closest to them and who they trust the most speak to them first. This way, it will seem less threatening and give your intervention a greater chance of working.

While it is important for you to be amicable during the intervention, ensure you have a purpose and a why behind it. At some point, be prepared to issue an ultimatum to the person to get help or else. The “or else” is something that should be discussed when you have your meeting with those who will be present for the intervention.

Have a plan for after the intervention

You need to have a plan for what will happen after the intervention takes place. Have two outcomes: one for it is successful, and one for if it is not.

If it is successful, you can start talking with alcohol rehab about all the possible strategies that can be used to get the person free from drug addiction. Even if you think everything went great and everyone is on board, it’s important to talk about your feelings with others especially trusted friends or family members.

If the intervention was not successful, you don’t want to just drop things and give up on the individual. You’ve likely been working towards this moment for a while, so it’s best to have backup plans in place.

If you don’t feel like things went well or if the person just isn’t interested in getting assistance, it’s important to realize that this is often a long process. Don’t give up on them.

Also, know that there are places where you can get support throughout it all! If an intervention fails, it is not advisable that you try another one too soon. You will perhaps need to employ another strategy to help them. Based on the response of the counselor, you will know what to do next.

The hard truth that you may have to face if your intervention fails is that you cannot help someone who doesn’t want to be helped. The best you can do sometimes is try to be loving and supportive until your loved one realizes they are on a destructive path and asks for help.

Be patient

Even if the intervention was a success, it will take time for things to get better and there will likely be setbacks. So, don’t give up after just one instance of relapse or bad behavior on their part.

If there are times when the intervention doesn’t seem to be successful and the feeling that things are not getting better fast enough overwhelms you, make sure that you know where to turn and who to talk to. Remember that drug abuse doesn’t just emotionally damage the abuser; it also has a negative emotional impact on those around them.

Don’t give up hope. There are plenty of resources out there for helping people with drug abuse issues, and it’s not always an easy process!

Keep going

Staging an intervention for drug abuse can be a very difficult process. But, it can also help your loved one immensely if this person wants to get sober.  With the help of this guide, you now know about some of the best practices for staging an intervention for a loved one.

Once you know what to do, you can better help them in getting the professional assistance and treatment options they deserve. The key is to stay positive even though it can sometimes be difficult if you feel that your intervention didn’t work.

Even if your intervention did work you should bear in mind that this is just the beginning stage of the recovery process. There will be a long road ahead.

You also need to think about yourself throughout the whole process. Remember that drug and alcohol abuse affects family and loved ones too so be prepared to give yourself all the self-care you need.

3 thoughts on “How to properly stage an intervention for an addict”

  1. Unfortunately the addict who does not want to be helped, may wind up near death in the hospital.
    Be there to support them, as they will probably have had a near death epiphany.
    This is a critical point of intervention.
    Without support at this point, they will regress.
    Be strong, firm, helpful and don’t judge.

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