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The Best Way to Hold an Intervention with Compassion and Understanding


The Best Way to Hold an Intervention with Compassion and Understanding

Drug and alcohol addiction represent destructive forces that can cause significant physical and emotional damage to affected individuals. Addiction can also strain and challenge the family dynamic, impacting those closest as its ripples radiate outward. Substance abuse by a loved one or friend can precipitate dark and difficult times for those closest to them, who may experience the dishonesty, manipulation, and general devastation that can stem from an addict. 

Although intervening to help someone with a substance use disorder is never easy, an intervention led by a family member can change the trajectory of their life. Therefore, planning to intervene with the goal of getting your loved one into treatment is the best way to hold an intervention. When carefully executed, a formal intervention may be the event that inspires life-altering change. 

Preparing for an Intervention

Once you have decided to intervene, what comes next will be very important. Participating in an intervention is not easy for anyone—not for family members who must deliver a difficult message and not for the individual who must confront the consequences of their substance use. Developing a plan and carefully organizing the intervention can mean the difference between a successful intervention and one that falls flat or, worse, alienates the person from those that care for them. 

At this point, you will need to consider who should participate. Choosing people who are on good terms with your loved one and have their best interests at heart will be most impactful. Avoid involving friends or family members whose relationships are so strained that they may make matters worse. This thoughtfully selected group will remain important moving forward as they transition to providing much-needed support throughout the recovery process.

When dealing with a serious problem involving someone we love, it may be hard to keep our emotions from getting in the way. Seeking the objective input of a mental health or addiction specialist can ease the pressure and help you make critical decisions. An addiction professional can help you decide who to include and help you to structure the intervention in the most effective way. 

The Best Way to Hold an Intervention for Maximum Impact

Your consultation with an intervention or addiction specialist will help you plan an intervention with the maximum impact, while still maintaining compassion and understanding for the person being addressed. Through the benefits of their professional training and experience, they can help you iron out these pertinent details:

  • Find the best time: Do not attempt an intervention on impulse—too many things can go wrong. Ideally, you should plan to speak with your loved one at a time of day when they are sober, or nearly so. Talking to them when they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol may make it impossible for them to recognize or acknowledge your concerns. To be successful, you must appeal to their rational side, which should be more accessible when they are sober.
  • Select the ideal place: Generally, you will want to choose a neutral location for your intervention, which is neither emotionally charged nor too public. An addiction specialist can advise you regarding location, and may even provide space at their office or treatment center.
  • Establish the order: Since the goal is getting your loved one to enter treatment, each member of the intervention team will give their perspective. The order that you present your statements is of consequence, as it can lead your loved one to a logical conclusion. For this reason, your professional advisor can guide you to structure your talking points for maximum impact.
  • Decide what to share: Though there are likely numerous examples you can cite to illustrate the devastation substance use disorder has brought to your loved one’s life— including loss of employment, damaged relationships, encounters with law enforcement, and overdose—you may not know what to share. An intervention specialist can help you whittle these down and advise you on what to emphasize and what to omit.
  • Prepare for the unexpected: While an intervention is meant to hit the subject very close to home, this may cause the person you are addressing to respond with denial, anger, and even an abrupt departure. Your professional advisor can help you prepare for a variety of reactions and make contingency plans for each.
  • Hold a practice run: Because of the sensitive and emotionally charged nature of an intervention, it is best to practice before the actual event. A rehearsal will help you and the other team members stick to the plan and remain calm. Your intervention specialist can guide you to speak from the heart while supporting your loved one’s fears and concerns with empathy.
  • Offer treatment: During an intervention, you must be prepared to offer an immediate treatment option. This will require research into nearby treatment centers as well as available therapeutic options: residential care, intensive outpatient care, medication-assisted treatment, etc. Your consultation with an addiction rehab professional can streamline this research and help you understand the criteria for various treatment paths. 
  • Consider consequences: Each team member needs to decide what actions they will take if their loved one fails to agree to seek treatment. This will require some soul searching, as you must be prepared to see it through. In the event that your family member fails to agree to enter treatment, each person must outline the consequences they will impose as a result to avoid continuing to enable their addiction.

With so many details to consider and so much to plan, be sure to enlist help along the way. The staff at a local treatment facility will gladly work with you as you conduct your research. Make a list of questions and utilize their expertise to ensure that your efforts will have the desired impact.

Ensuring the Best Possible Outcome

Intervening in the life of a family member with drug or alcohol addiction is an ambitious and compassionate undertaking. With the immediate and long-term dangers associated with substance use disorder, a successful intervention could mean the difference between life and death. But, do not attempt this challenging endeavor without proper support and preparation. To ensure the best possible outcome, give your intervention the assistance and expertise of an addiction medicine professional.

With the knowledge and experience of a professional whose life’s work and passion is dedicated to helping those addicted to drugs and alcohol, you and your loved one will have a powerful ally in your corner. With so much at stake, this will be preferable to attempting to intervene on your own and risking further alienation. Persuading a family member to agree to enter treatment will be challenging. With the proper resources, you can focus your love and compassion on making a positive impact on their future.

If you are ready to take action, the team of addiction specialists at New Choices Treatment Centers is available to advise you on the best way to hold an intervention. Reach out to us online or by phone at (726) 888-7003 to get help planning the details and learn about our treatment options.