Anyone who has borne witness to a family member or loved one’s struggle with drug or alcohol abuse can testify that substance use disorder is a powerful disease. Addiction brings recurring cycles of grief, confrontation, and destruction. When you love an addicted person and must watch them struggle daily with a thing they cannot control, you quickly feel hopeless and desperate, and you wind up wondering if, when, and how you should stage an intervention.
Regardless of how long you have watched your loved one battle their addiction, a well-planned and compassionate – but firm – intervention can be of significant value. Even if they refuse the help (although the hope is that they won’t refuse, there is always a chance they might), when an intervention is done correctly, the process provides a respectful encounter with the addicted person, with the goal of:
Despite the antagonistic, overwrought, disorganized interventions seen in many films and television shows, an intervention is an organized means of breaking through the denial of an addicted person, helping them acknowledge and accept help for their addiction. Interventions must be well-prepared and carried out with a professional in attendance. Having an objective third party ensures that the environment remains peaceful and restrained.
Usually, an intervention follows a specific set of steps:
Once each member has taken their turn, the decided-upon treatment option is presented, and your loved one is asked to accept that option on the spot. Each team member states what their specific consequences will be if the plan is not accepted. Again, do not lay out a consequence unless you are prepared to go through with it.
Successful interventions have to be carefully planned if they are to work as intended. Poorly designed interventions can make the situation deteriorate rapidly, making your loved one feel as if they’re being attacked. Your loved one will then, in turn, become more isolated and more resistant to the idea of treatment.
Remember that addiction comes with powerful emotions. Just organizing an intervention can cause conflict amongst family members and friends who know that the addicted person needs their help. To help the intervention run smoothly:
When you decide that staging an intervention is the best recourse for getting your loved one into treatment for their substance use disorder, you must consult with an addiction professional. At Hired Power, we offer various options for addiction professionals, including interventionists. Addiction professionals will take your loved one’s particular circumstances into account and help you choose the best approach to organize the most effective and safe intervention. They will assist you in determining the best type of treatment, devising a follow-up plan, and how to proceed should your loved one refuse to accept treatment. It is especially important to have a professional at the intervention to keep things safe if your loved one has a history of violent behavior, has been talking about suicide, or may react self-destructively. You can call Hired Power at (714) 559-3919 to discuss how to go about planning an effective intervention for your loved one.
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