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Anyone who has ever watched a loved one struggle with drug or alcohol addiction knows how devastating the disease can be for everyone involved, not just the addict. Family members and friends often feel scared, alone and helpless to know how to help. They worry about enabling the drinking or drug using— and for good reason. Often the most well-intentioned efforts to encourage a loved one to get treatment can backfire, only perpetuating their slide into denial, alienation and worsening addiction.
At Beach House Center for Recovery, we understand what you’re going through and are here to support you and your loved one, starting with a free intervention consultation. Our dedicated counselors are here 24/7 to assist you with any questions you might have regarding how to help your loved one choose treatment and embrace a future free of drugs and alcohol.
In many cases, a substance abuse intervention is the first step. Whether you need a family intervention in Florida or elsewhere around the country, our counselors can connect you with trusted advice and resources that can support you in that process.
“Family support” is critical to recovery in both senses of that term: families who have the support they need can better support their loved one’s recovery. – Chief Clinical Officer Anna Ciulla, LMHC, RD, LD
Why Choose Us?
Beach House Center for Recovery offers a number of highly sought-after intervention services to families in need. These offerings are greatly enriched by our strategic location in South Florida and strong emphasis on family involvement, via our distinctive Family Programs:
- A free phone consultation with one of our dedicated counselors can help families develop a plan and next steps in getting their loved one into treatment, including how to prepare for a successful intervention. Our counselors are also intimately familiar with Florida laws that can support families’ efforts to get a loved one into treatment, such as the Marchman Act, and can coach families about the legal resources that may be available to them here in the state of Florida (regardless of where you live). Learn more about the Florida Marchman Act.
- Trusted referrals via our national network of contacts can connect families to certified intervention professionals and “sober escorts” (people who can accompany your loved one to our rehab facility, ensuring they arrive here safely). That continuity of support provides families with greater peace of mind, both prior to the intervention and in the immediate lead-up to treatment as well.
- Access to family support groups, counseling and education that can strengthen and support families in their journey towards freedom from addiction. Thanks to our location in Palm Beach County, Florida, a leading recovery hub in the nation, we enjoy unparalleled access to a thriving network of local resources and recovery groups that can equip families with everything they need for the longer haul of recovery.
What Is an Intervention?
A substance abuse intervention is a gathering of close family and friends who, with the help of a professional interventionist, meet with their loved one with the goal and intent of convincing them to enter a drug or alcohol treatment program.
Today there are many types of behavioral interventions for substance abuse and dependence. This should be good news for any family struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, because it means you have options to choose from. If your loved one has a drinking problem, for example, one alcohol intervention method may work where another failed. Our caring and experienced counselors can help you determine which of these alcohol intervention methods is right for you and can assist you with the next steps in your and your loved one’s recovery.
Is Drug or Alcohol Intervention Necessary?
Staging a drug or alcohol intervention for a loved one with an addiction problem is often the most effective way to get them into treatment and recovery, because the process can:
- Help the person recognize they have a problem that is treatable
- Present treatment as an immediate option that has already been arranged
- Address any excuses for not getting treatment with pre-arranged family solutions
- Motivate the person to seek treatment
- Establish clear consequences if they choose not to pursue treatment, thereby laying the groundwork for healthier family boundaries that do not further enable the addiction
When Is an Intervention Necessary? Signs That Someone Is Addicted
When a loved one is exhibiting the signs of an addiction, that is the cue that an intervention is necessary. Only a certified professional can ultimately diagnose a substance use disorder. However, these could be signs that your loved one is addicted and that now—not later—is the right time for an intervention:
- They are falling behind with their obligations at home, work or school because of drug or alcohol use and/or symptoms related to that use.
- They have driven under the influence and/or engage in other risky behaviors as the result of their substance use.
- They have had drug or alcohol-related legal problems or brushes with law enforcement.
- They are having problems in their relationships with you and/or other family and friends.
- They have tried unsuccessfully to quit drinking or using drugs, but seem to have no control over the amount they consume.
- They have a tolerance to drugs and/or alcohol, requiring more and more of the substance(s) to achieve the same effects, and exhibit withdrawal symptoms when they are not drinking or using.
For more information about signs to look for, explore these 10 Signs That Your Loved One Is Masking a Drinking Problem or take the short quiz, Could My Loved One Be Addicted to Drugs?
Do any of the above signs describe your loved one lately?
How Do You Arrange for an Intervention?
The first step in arranging for an intervention is to find a reliable interventionist. If you’re looking for a trusted interventionist in your area, call our dedicated counselors for a free consultation. They are available 24/7 and will be happy to assist you. You can also check the member directories of the Network of Independent Interventionists (NII) and the Association of Intervention Specialists (AIS).
Addiction gets its power from dynamics of isolation and disconnection, but family relationships of love and support can help pave the way to lasting freedom from drugs and alcohol— which is one reason we provide family intervention services. – Chief Clinical Officer Anna Ciulla, LMHC, RD, LD
An interventionist is a person who is trained and professionally certified to be able to help your family prepare for, rehearse and facilitate the intervention, serving as a mediator during the interaction with your loved one.
Here are some reasons to choose a professional interventionist:
- Addiction is a complex disease that impacts the family system in similarly complex ways, often causing immediate family members to take on different roles in relation to the person with the drug or alcohol problem. Consequently, “codependency” and “enabling” are easy traps to fall into.
- Emotions can also run high during an intervention, hijacking your best intentions of staying focused on the goal of helping your loved one seek treatment.
- An interventionist can educate you about these common family dynamics of addiction and important pitfalls to avoid in advance of the intervention
- They also can help diffuse any anger or other strong emotions on the day of the intervention, so that the process stays constructively focused on getting your loved one into treatment.
For more information about how to find an experienced interventionist, explore What to Ask an Interventionist to Find the Best One for Your Situation and When Is It Time to Hire a Professional Interventionist?
Clients who are more motivated in treatment typically enjoy the support of one or more close family members. – Chief Clinical Officer Anna Ciulla, LMHC, RD, LD
How Do You Plan an Intervention?
Once you’ve chosen an interventionist, they should help you plan the intervention. The process typically involves the following steps:
- Forming an intervention team of close family members and friends
- Rehearsing the intervention in advance
- Staging the intervention with your loved one
- Articulating the treatment plan and what the consequences will be if your loved one refuses treatment
Each participant in the intervention will be required to discuss how their loved one’s sickness has impacted their lives. They will be asked to document this impact on paper, and then read their statements— typically at least once in a practice session and then on the day of the intervention itself.
With the help of our counselors, families can also make advance preparations (before the day of the intervention) for ensuring their loved one has a place in one of our treatment programs. This way if the intervention proves successful at convincing a loved one to enter drug or alcohol treatment, admission to treatment can happen immediately, decreasing the chances that a loved one will change their mind.
What Happens on the Day of the Intervention? How the Process Works
On the day of the intervention, your interventionist will help to facilitate a scripted dialogue with your loved one that is aimed at motivating them to seek treatment. An intervention is more likely to be successful at achieving this objective when the tone in the room is one of love, empathy, and support.
Here are some other do’s and don’ts to remember on the day of the intervention:
- Stay in the present as much as possible.
- Have a clear plan in place for next treatment steps, including how your loved one will be transported safely to treatment. Don’t wait until after your loved one agrees to enter treatment to begin researching rehab options.
- Be loving but firm with what you’re asking your loved one to do in the way of a plan of treatment. Don’t let them try to negotiate with you or modify your request. For example, if you have decided ahead of time on an intensive inpatient rehab program, don’t get taken in by the claim that only a few therapy sessions should be sufficient treatment.
- Be ready for both potential outcomes: either a “yes” or a “no” to treatment and how you will respond in each scenario.
- If your loved one agrees to treatment, end the intervention then and there and proceed with the immediate next steps of transporting them to rehab.
- If your loved one refuses treatment, clearly spell out what the consequences will be and communicate your need to establish healthy boundaries that do not enable their addiction further.
- Try to stay positive, regardless of the outcome. If this attempt to intervene does not succeed at getting your loved one immediately into treatment, remind yourself that recovery is typically a journey that takes time— and, that this process could very well be a stepping stone in the direction of eventual recovery.
If anyone has a close friend or family in need, do not hesitate to contact Beach House Center for Recovery, as they will do their best to help. – Nolan
Will the Intervention Be Enough? And Other Common Concerns
Many families wonder whether an intervention will be enough. Try to take a long-term perspective, recognizing that any intervention—whether or not it’s successful—is typically only a first step towards recovery. While fears that an intervention may fail or backfire are only natural and normal, these should never be reason to avoid or delay an opportunity to convince your loved one to get treatment for a potentially lethal disease.
Concerns about the timing of an intervention—and when is the “right time” to schedule the process—can also be common. The following tips and considerations can help you find the right timing for a meeting:
- Have you secured a spot for your loved one in a trusted rehab program? Do this first!
- When is your loved one both sober and available to meet?
- When are you and other participating family able to convene for at least one planning session and the intervention itself?
- Is your loved one in imminent danger because of their addiction?
With substance abuse, early intervention is critical for various reasons— so sooner rather than later is always a good guideline to follow in considerations of timing.
The Florida Marchman Act
Some states allow family members to intervene by requesting that their adult loved one be legally mandated to enter treatment against their will. In our state, for example, the “Florida Marchman Act” allows for involuntary treatment of individuals who are considered a danger to themselves or others and/or unable to make rational decisions on account of a substance-induced mental illness.
An individual does not need to be a Florida resident in order to be eligible for treatment under the Marchman Act. For this reason, some out-of-state families travel to Florida with their addicted loved one in order to mandate treatment with the help of the court system. Our caring and knowledgeable counselors can provide you with personalized advice about your options related to these and other Florida state laws.
When a loved one is showing signs of a drug or alcohol problem, an intervention is key— and the sooner the better. Act today, because you could be saving a life.