Blog

successful intervention
December 21, 2020

6 Tips for Staging a Successful Intervention

It can be heartbreaking and frightening to watch someone you care about caught in the throes of addiction, unable to escape a habit that has increasingly taken over their life. Since addicts are often deeply in denial about the extent of their illness, an intervention is one way to help your loved one accept that they have a severe problem they can’t overcome on their own. In staging a successful intervention, you can convince a friend or relative struggling with substance abuse to enter a qualified addiction treatment facility and regain control of their future. 

When you hear the word “intervention,” you may picture a dramatic, emotional confrontation in which you surprise your addicted loved one and deliver an ultimatum about what you will do if they don’t get help. While media depictions of interventions often make them seem spontaneous, the reality is that successful interventions require careful planning of every detail, and a poorly planned intervention could make the situation worse. What should you consider if you’re thinking about orchestrating an intervention? 

1. Location Matters

You’ll want to host the meeting somewhere safe, but not in a place where your loved one feels empowered to leave if they don’t want to hear what you have to say. It’s also not wise to hold it in a public place where participants might feel embarrassed. Discuss the location with all others you choose to involve in planning an intervention for your loved one. Approach your loved one when they are sober, so their mind is clear enough to process what you are saying.

2. Be Choosy About Who You Invite

Your intervention team is another essential consideration. Typically, you’ll want to include a mix of family members and friends, but do not invite anyone who supports or condones the addict’s self-destructive behavior. Pick people who genuinely care for your loved one and have their best interests at heart. Ideally, they will have personal stories about times when the addict did or said something hurtful while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

3. Write and Rehearse Your Remarks

You might assume you can speak extemporaneously, but off-the-cuff comments are not conducive to a successful intervention. To make your point without going off-topic, you and every other member of the intervention team must prepare written remarks. 

Provide concrete examples of the addict’s destructive behaviors and how they’ve adversely affected your life, but be sure not to blame or shame. Emphasize that you still love them and believe they’re capable of positive change. To ensure your loved one does not feel personally attacked, use “I” statements, instead of “you” phrasing.

4. Determine the Consequences 

It’s also essential for each member of the intervention team to decide what they will do if the addict refuses to listen or accept the fact that they need help. For instance, if you’ve been supporting them financially, make it clear that ends now. Recognize whether you have been doing anything that enables the addictive behavior, and take steps to stop it. 

5. Hire an Interventionist

Even the most carefully planned intervention can quickly become emotionally tense and devolve into an angry argument. To avoid this unproductive spiral, it’s beneficial to hire a professional interventionist. This person’s role is to be a neutral third party who can bring the meeting back on task if things start going off-track. They also have specific training in how to plan and organize a successful intervention, so their wisdom and experience can be tremendously helpful in guiding you and the rest of your handpicked team to the desired conclusion.

6. Have a Treatment Facility Lined Up

The final crucial consideration in staging a successful intervention is to research rehab facilities beforehand to find one that’s a good match for your loved one’s needs. It might surprise you to learn that not all programs are the same. For example, some offer dual-diagnosis treatment for simultaneously addressing addiction and a co-occurring mental health disorder. You might know your loved one would benefit from being in a specific environment or having access to desirable amenities like massage therapy and yoga. 

If your intervention is successful and your addicted loved one agrees to get help, it’s vital to strike while the iron is hot. Give them the good news that you’ve already found a rehab facility where they can undergo medically managed detox and start their road to recovery.

Evidence-Based Addiction Treatment in Florida

At Beach House, we know addiction is a family disease. That’s why we offer various resources to families of people struggling with substance abuse disorders. If a loved one’s addiction is ruining your relationships and you need to get them professional help, contact us today.

close