It’s hard to watch someone you care about struggle with addiction, and you may have tried repeatedly to get them to seek help. Unfortunately, people are often unable to realize how their actions affect others when they are stuck in the cycle of addiction. In fact, your friend or family member may be completely unaware that they have an addiction, or they may believe that their decisions are not causing anyone else harm. Interventions are designed to help those people understand that their decision to use drugs or alcohol affects everyone around them.
Drug rehabs often enroll people in their programs that have never been through an intervention, and one is not necessary to get someone treatment. However, many people need a gentle nudge to help them realize that it is okay to ask for help, and you may need to stage an intervention to let your loved one know that they have everyone’s support. You can use this guide to help you know if you need to stage an intervention along with how to plan one effectively so that your loved one will be moved to seek treatment for their addiction.
Know When an Intervention is Necessary
A person who acknowledges their need for help right away may not need an intervention. In fact, staging an intervention for someone who is willing to go to rehab is often ineffective and could lead to negative feelings. If your loved one is ready to go to rehab, then help them take the next steps such as contacting the treatment program to begin the admissions process.
Although it would be nice if everyone with an addiction was willing to seek help so easily, it is often not the case. An intervention is often necessary to help someone see that their actions are directly hurting others. Watch for these signs that your loved one needs an intervention to help them see the light.
• Broken relationships
• Frequent outbursts of anger
• Problems in their career
• Hiding drugs or alcohol
• Claiming to be able to quit at anytime
• Saying that they aren’t hurting anyone
• Refusing to admit that there is a problem
Plan the Intervention
The secret to a successful intervention is to plan it ahead of time so that emotions do not get in the way of the message that you want to convey. Begin by gathering a group of friends and family members who all want to help your loved one get help for their addiction. Then, discuss what each of you will want to say during the meeting. For instance, one person may want to describe how they’ve lost trust after having things stolen from them to fund your loved one’s addiction. Another person may simply want to recount a favorite memory of what life was like before addiction changed your loved one’s behavior. Try to balance out a few negative effects with positive memories to help generate a supportive atmosphere.
Once your team feels confident that they know what to say, set up a time and place to hold the intervention. Typically, these work best if you hold it in a place where your loved one feels safe and comfortable such as their home or one of a family members. Then, plan an activity with that person and surprise them by having everyone there that day. While it may seem harsh to ambush them, keeping the intervention quiet until the big moment helps to catch your loved one off guard so that they are more open to hearing what everyone else has to say.
Naturally, your loved one may have a strong response to being confronted about their drug or alcohol use. While some people instantly sense a feeling of remorse, others may react with anger or even relief to have their problem out in the open. Be prepared for any type of reaction, and caution the members of the group ahead of time to remain steady emotionally. Even if your loved one lashes out verbally at someone, you must all maintain your calm stance that they must get help.
Typically, your group should agree upon consequences that happen if your loved one refuses to address their problem. For instance, you could tell them that they can no longer stay where they are living if they insist upon using illegal substances in the home. Alternatively, a spouse might make counseling a requirement for them to continue to stay in their relationship as it is. In addition to having consequences in mind, your team should also have a list of resources to turn to if your loved one accepts their need for help. Be prepared to make the phone call to enroll them in drug rehab right away if they are willing to take this step toward recovery.
Follow Up With Continued Support
One of the biggest benefits of an intervention is that your loved one instantly is surrounded by people who care that are all making it clear that they will provide them with support during recovery. Once your loved one admits that they have a problem, be sure to stick by their side as they begin the first stages of their treatment.
Often, a person who is entering a residential treatment program needs help maintaining their household while they are away. You can offer to help with their kids, feed their pets or just check on their house while they are in rehab. Drug addiction treatment centers also allow certain friends and family members to visit when they know that they are capable of providing support. Find out if your presence is beneficial during family therapy sessions and attend any events that your loved one requests you to visit for so that you can begin to rebuild your relationship.
While it does take time to recover from an addiction, an intervention lays the groundwork for a successful recovery.
Your decision to help your friend or family makes a big difference in their successful recovery. Give us a call today at 800-723-7376 for more information on how to plan an intervention.