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How To Stage An Intervention

How To Stage An Intervention

When a person is struggling with addiction it can be difficult for them to realize they have a problem. Not only is the person with the addiction struggling, but the family and friends surrounding the addict also struggles too. It’s strenuous for everyone involved and it comes to a breaking point where a meeting needs to take place. There needs to be help, there needs to be additional support, the problem of addiction needs to come to a head. 

Interventions-meetings are always an atmosphere of encouragement. Trying to give the best incentive for the person with addiction to seek treatment, however, not every intervention ends up as a successful one, unfortunately. 

A lot of what you see on popular media, such as, “reality television,” of what interventions are are not accurate as to what they truly consist of.


What Is an Intervention?

Done well, it is a very carefully planned out process

Spontaneity must be avoided. It is important that what is said by friends and family is thought out prior. It is also important to have a location picked out as to where everyone will be gathered too. 

Having what is planned to be said is thought out helps everyone stay on topic. It helps to avoid placing blame, saying hurtful things, and making accusations. Which helps lessen the odds of the person refusing help.

It’s important in the meeting that it is focused on the positive. Even though it is important for the person who is going through addiction to understand how their condition affects their loved ones, it’s still important not to blame them for causing harm. Instead, it’s important to point out that their addiction in itself causes negative changes in their behavior, which causes the harm. The solution to that is detox and a reputable rehabilitation program. 

You can stage an intervention on your own, or you can consult with a professional interventionist. Having a professional interventionist will be beneficial in structuring the planning process, and helping to guide the team, and overall lead the session itself.

Steps Involved in an Intervention

There are some important steps involved to help the process:

  • Step 1: Get help. Some may choose to involve contacting a professional interventionist, or it can also just involve having family and friends plan it together on their own. Having support is beneficial and important, along with a plan. It’s best not to do all the work of all alone.
  • Step 2: Form the intervention team. Have everyone ready and accountant for! Which is the core group of people that will be involved. It may or may not include a professional interventionist. More than likely your team will be made up of close friends, family members and sometimes coworkers. If a person is currently struggling with their own substance abuse issues, then it’s best they sit out on the intervention.
  • Step 3: Make a plan. Choose a specific time, day, and location. Populate the team list of who is supposed to be there. You should also have a mapped out plan of how the process should work out, including what everyone will say. There shouldn’t be any room for surprises as to what will be said or who will show.
  • Step 4: Gather information. The more knowledgeable you are, the better support you can be for your loved one. Learn about the substance of abuse, addiction overall, including the recovery process. It’s also important to gather information about detox and rehabilitation services and programs. It’s important to note ones that are particularly suitable to the personality and needs of the person who is going through the addiction.
  • Step 5: Write impact statements. It’s most beneficial for everyone to have something to say about the person’s struggles with addiction. The statements should be personal and detailed as to how the addiction has harmed the person they love. Addiction can deeply hurt relationships. Statements that are written about the impact of how addiction has affected their relationship can help the person who is struggling with addiction to better understand that their struggle just doesn’t affect them. These statements should always be genuine, focused, emotionally honest and come from a place of love. There is no room for personal and hurtful attacks in these statements.
  • Step 6: Offer help. Those attending the intervention should be forward and willing to give support to their loved one while the person goes through the process of detox, rehabilitation, and long-term recovery. The support offered can be. rides to treatment once a week, attend family therapy, or join in on a support group meeting on an occasion with your loved one.
  • Step 7: Set boundaries. Relationships with friends and family must change if the person refuses treatment. It’s most important that everyone commit to ending enabling and codependency behaviors. It’s essential to be clear that there will be firm consequences if the person refuses to seek treatment.
  • Step 8: Rehearse. It is easy for emotions to run high and potentially to get out of hand when it comes to regards to substance abuse and addiction. In order to avoid taking too much time, falling into self-pity, or even blaming the loved one,. It’s important to try to rehearse the whole intervention with all the participants at least one time before it actually happens. It will make it much easier for each person to have an idea as to what to say, for when it comes their turn to speak. 
  • Step 9: Manage expectations. “Reality television,” has us believe that the person who is the center of addiction must always accept help at the end. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case in real life. You can have the best well-planned, best thought out intervention, and your loved one might still not see things your way. They may still choose their addiction over the reasons otherwise explained elsewise. Which for family and friends is heartbreaking when that is the outcome of the intervention, a no, instead of a yes, for positive change. However, in moving forward it’s the time to follow through on the outlined consequences.
  • Step 10: Follow up. Regardless if a person decides to receive help or not, it is always to follow through. Uphold your statements that are made during the intervention are very important for your integrity. Otherwise, your loved one may feel indifferent towards you, and it can cause excessive stress. Some ways it could even slow down their rehabilitation process, or even deepen their substance abuse problems depending on their previous trauma or triggers.

Recovery Requires Social Support

Regardless of how you choose to go about conducting an intervention for your loved one. Whether a personal family and friend intervention or having a professional interventionist involved. The point of the process is to successfully help someone who is struggling with alcohol or drug addiction come to realize they do have actual support to conquer this condition. That real help from people who genuinely care is available for them. 

Support comes in many forms, not only medical care, but also therapeutic, social, and also from loved ones as well.

Can a Professional Interventionist Be Helpful?

If you or your family and friends tend to be emotionally charged, perhaps it is better to consider having a professional interventionist on your side. A professional interventionist can help lead the intervention or simply be there to help seek guidance in planning the event. 

Professional assistance can be extremely helpful, and help make the outcome the most beneficial for everyone. It also allows everyone to stay focused as for what everyone is supposed to be there for, and that’s to help their loved one, get help. 

In some cases, hiring a professional can be essential. Professional interventionist are highly recommended if the person who has the addiction has displayed any of the following behaviors and/or circumstances:

  • Polysubstance abuse
  • A history of violence, such as domestic abuse or verbal abuse
  • Serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, etc
  • A history of suicidal talk or attempts, or other self-harming behaviors

Tips for a Successful Intervention

The most successful interventions are when they are implemented and planned well. If they are structured, and usually with the help of a professional. Interventions can be up to 90% successful. 

To have a successful intervention, keep the following in mind:

  • The intervention is not about anyone else but the person who is overcoming the substance abuse. This is not a plan to air out past wrongs.
  • Interventions are not about lashing out. It;s about educating and showing love. Not shaming or abusing the person who is struggling with addiction.
  • For those who are too emotionally involved, it’s highly recommended to seek professional help to help guide the intervention process. Especially if the one with the addiction as well has a history of violence or other mental health issues.

Your loved one may be in denial about how their substance abuse is causing them harm to themselves or others. However, an intervention can help them to begin to understand how their substance abuse affects their behaviors which are hurting not only themselves but those they love, whether physically and/or emotionally.

If your loved one knows they do have the support they need. They may be more willing to enter a medical detox program and follow a comprehensive rehabilitation program afterwards. Working towards a life of sobriety through treatment.
Contact us, here at Midwood, to get help scheduling an intervention today.

2 thoughts on “How To Stage An Intervention”

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