8 Steps to Staging an Intervention
When an addict is unable to see the damage their substance use disorder is causing to both themselves and the people around them, it might be time for their loved ones to stage an intervention. The purpose of an intervention is not to shame the individual in any way, but instead to draw attention to the problem in a supportive and encouraging way. Its end goal is to motivate the addict to seek the help they need from a licensed and qualified treatment provider.
Before considering an intervention, it is important to try gentler methods first, such as sitting down with the addict to talk peacefully about their drug abuse. Only after these attempts have failed and left both parties with no positive outcomes, should an intervention be considered. It can be a jarring and difficult experience for all members involved, but if it is needed, it can be a critical step in getting someone the addiction help that they need.
When the time for an intervention comes, it should be meticulously crafted so the encounter can be focused and managed so that it helps rather than harms. For this reason, staging an intervention is no easy task and should only be carried out with careful preparation.
Here are some essential steps to follow along the course of preparing and carrying out an intervention.
Step 1: Recruit a Professional
Before staging an intervention, it is crucial to enlist the aid of an intervention specialist, who is trained in the most effective ways to plan and carry out an intervention. This individual should also have qualifications to prove their ability, ensuring that they have the knowledge and experience needed to overcome the obstacles that can accompany loved ones during an intervention. This can include the addict denying that a substance use disorder exists, even when it has been clearly pointed out to them.
While it is possible to hold an intervention without a specialist present, the event is too important to risk attempting without the guidance of a specialist during the planning stage. After all, a failed intervention could easily push an individual further into the pit of drug dependency.
Step 2: Build the Team
Once a specialist has been recruited, it is time to form the rest of the intervention team. The team should be composed of the addict’s loved ones since they will have the best chance of making an impression. These loved ones should be especially close to the addict, determined to help them and able to be in contact with each other to better coordinate the event. Among many options, this gathering could include:
- Close friends
It is also possible for children to be a part of the group, but before inviting a child, the group leader should take into account how difficult of an experience it may be for them to take part. Interventions are rarely an easy task to carry out or even witness and involving children could do more harm than good for both parties.
Step 3: Develop a Plan
After the team has been assembled, it is time to work with the intervention specialist to form a plan. Since interventions are delicate and can easily turn combative if the addict tries to reject help, having a plan is crucial for keeping members focused and preventing the event from turning into an unproductive argument. All team members should be familiar with how challenging the process may be and know their role in the intervention process.
Step 4: Research
A critical part of staging an intervention is to learn as much about the addict and addiction itself as possible, and then to research what treatment options are available. No recovery option is the perfect match for everyone, and different rehab centers connect better with certain individuals. It is the team’s job to accurately come up with a strategy that will work well for the individual. Providing the addict with a tangible strategy like this helps to make the concept of recovery more tangible and leads to better results, as they will have a concrete plan they can follow.
Step 5: Write Impact Statements and Offer Help
Each member of the intervention team should have something valuable to say to the addict when the day of the event comes. These are called impact statements and should be carefully chosen in order to effectively resonate with the addict. An addiction does not just hurt the addict, but instead it also hurts their loved ones. This harm may be difficult for the addict to notice while they are trapped in their own struggle. Relaying impact statements to them helps them understand the pain that their addiction has caused for the people that they care about. To make sure these statements stay focused, team members should write out what they plan to say beforehand and practice it.
Impact statements should be detailed and personal, since it is easier to connect with an addict on an emotional level than on a logical one. While they should be specific, impact statements are intended to help the addict understand the harm they have caused and should never be used as a personal attack on the individual. Once the impact statements have been delivered, it is important to emphasize that help is an option and that the team is willing to support the addict if they choose to follow that route.
Step 6: Create Boundaries
To give the intervention extra weight, it needs to establish that if the addict refuses to undergo treatment, their relationship with the group members will need to change. Each member of the group will have to decide on their own boundaries, and the goal here will be to protect themselves from further harm and to end any enabling activities. This will force the addict to have to face the consequences of their destructive actions and eventually overcome their denial.
Step 7: Rehearse
Emotions will be high during the intervention. If the group does not practice what they will say beforehand, it can easily fall apart in the pressure of the moment. There are many ways that an intervention can go wrong, such as one member talking too long, the group blaming the addict, or members falling into self-pity instead of keeping the focus on the addict. By rehearsing the event before it occurs, they will be in a better position to avoid these mistakes and keep the meeting on target.
Step 8: Follow Through
When the intervention finally occurs, members need to stick to the plan they have decided on and carry it through to the end. Once the intervention ends, the group needs to be prepared to stay true to what they said during the meeting, regardless of how difficult it may be.
If the addict agrees to accept treatment this means helping them in any way that was promised. If not, then this means enforcing the boundaries that were implemented during the meaning. The addict will likely try to get members to relent on the strictness of these, but it is critical that each member remains strong and keeps their word. Otherwise, the individual will never learn the consequences of their actions.
Bonus Tip: Manage Expectations
In a perfect world, every intervention would prompt the individual to acknowledge their condition and willingly seek help. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, and even the most carefully planned and well executed interventions can fail. This can happen through no fault of the group or the plan but is simply the result of the addict not being ready to accept the reality of their drug abuse, which is why instituting boundaries is imperative.
Before carrying out the intervention, all group members should be aware of this possibility and brace themselves for the worst-case scenarios that could occur. This includes not just the addict refusing help, but also them becoming aggressive and hostile toward group members. By preparing themselves for these possibilities, the members will be in a better position to handle their own emotions in the event that this occurs.
Getting Help Today
While an intervention can seem scary and overwhelming, it can be the turning point for someone you know and love. At Brookdale Addiction Recovery, we can provide you and your loved ones with the necessary guidance and support from licensed intervention specialists, so the suffering person in your life receives the treatment they deserve.
For more information regarding our Intervention Services or various treatment options, please contact us today to speak with our trusted Admissions Specialists. From the very first time you contact Brookdale, you will be greeted with the compassion and understanding you have been searching for. It is our goal to provide you with the most effective course of treatment, so you and your loved ones have a chance to experience a life…recovered.
Call us today at (855) 575-1292 to begin the process of treatment and recovery.