If you are concerned about a loved one’s drug or alcohol addiction, you are probably thinking about having a substance abuse intervention. When an intervention becomes necessary, most families have exhausted other ways of trying to get through to the person, including one-on-one talks, pleading, maybe even threatening the person with ultimatums. If an intervention is necessary, it needs to be done right.
What is a Substance Abuse Intervention
A substance abuse intervention is when a group of concerned individuals get together to lovingly confront a loved one about their concerns with their addiction. It is a way to try to get through to the addict and make them see that many people are concerned about their well-being, and it isn’t just one person who has the wrong idea. The hope is that seeing so many concerned faces thinking the same thing will make the addict think about changing their ways.
The point of an intervention is not only to get your point across but have some kind of action that results from it. Best case scenario is that the addict admits to having a problem and agrees to seek treatment for their problem.
To get an addict to agree to seek treatment, it is important to take the right steps.
- Engage the right people in your intervention. This isn’t somewhere to invite just anyone to. The people who take part in the intervention should exclusively be people who love the addict and genuinely want them to do well and succeed.
- Keep the mood calm and collected. As soon as emotions get in the way, tempers flare up and arguments break out. This is clearly an emotional subject, but you want to approach things as calmly as possible to avoid having the addict react in anger and dismiss the entire intervention as an attack.
- Have a plan. It’s important to have some structure in your intervention so everyone doesn’t speak at once. Without sounding forced, know what you are going to bring up, and how you are going to do so. Also, it is important to have a plan in place for when the addict agrees to go to rehab. The last thing you want to do is have them agree to get help but have no solutions. Do your research ahead of time.
If you think you might need additional help with your intervention, there are many professionals that can help. You may want to consider a local therapist, or maybe even a religious figure or important figure in the community that has relevance to your family.
Willow Place can offer support as well. We have plenty of experience with interventions and can help guide you through our best practices.