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How To Plan A Substance Abuse Intervention For Your Loved One

May 21st, 2015

Interventions are all over the place in popular culture. We see them on TV shows, often with humor attached; “give this guy a comic book intervention!” or “that woman really needs a gossiping intervention!” It’s a concept that’s easy to exaggerate, but the reality is often quite serious.

The truth is, many people need help and refuse to admit it, especially when it comes to substance abuse. An intervention can be one way to get your loved one to seek the help he or she desperately needs.

How To Begin

According to the Mayo Clinic, an intervention often follows these seven steps:

  1. Make a plan. A family member or friend proposes an intervention and begins generating a plan for the intervention. Who, when, where and why are good places to start.
  2. Gather information. Having facts, figures, and specific incidences to talk about can help prove your case and may convince your loved one to get treatment.
  3. Form the intervention team. Use five or six friends and family members who can be trusted. Don’t invite anyone the person doesn’t like or trust as this could cause the intervention to go negatively. Overly emotional or defensive people should be avoided, as well. If you think someone should be involved but they cannot physically be there, have them write a letter that can be read during the intervention.
  4. Decide on specific consequences. In some cases, the addict may have been allowed to borrow money or provided a place to stay from time to time. These offers have to stop, and your loved one needs to know that. If the person has been in jail, then no more bail-outs can happen. Big changes need to be made, even though they may seem painful.
  5. Make notes on what to say. Notes and even a rehearsal can be very helpful. This isn’t the time to wing it. It’s not a performance and lines do not need to be memorized, but each person should be able to have their say without being interrupted by the others. You need to appear as a united front.
  6. Hold the intervention meeting. Make sure to stick to a specific time and place. It’s also extremely important that the entire team shows up. Interventions are not to be treated lightly, and a no-show or late arrival can disrupt the gravity of the situation.
  7. Follow up. Support your loved one if he or she decides to attend therapy, and follow through on the agreed-upon consequences if not. Don’t accept half-measures, either. Sometimes addicts will claim that they’ve been clean for two weeks and are therefore fine. Stand your ground and don’t let your loved one backslide.

Other Things To Consider

If you have never participated in an intervention before, it can be helpful to consult with a professional upfront. An interventionist or therapist can also act as a facilitator, guiding the intervention without being emotionally involved. It’s especially important to get advice if your loved one has a history of mental illness, has attempted suicide, or is likely to get violent in reaction to the intervention.

Contact Us

If you need professional guidance in planning an intervention and don’t know where to begin, contact us.If you need professional guidance in planning an intervention and don’t know where to begin, contact us. We can help talk you through the stages and get the treatment needed for your loved one.

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