Leading with Love: How to Do An Intervention That Will Cause Change

 In Substance Abuse Treatment

You’ve begged and pleaded for your loved one to get help with their addiction, but nothing is helping.

You feel like there’s nowhere left to turn. You want to help them, but how can you do it without being forceful?

Staging an intervention isn’t always easy, but it’s possible to elicit change by doing so.

If you want to know how to do an intervention that is successful, continue reading to find out more about what you need to do ahead of time.

How to Do An Intervention: The Basics

There are many types of addictions out there that may be plaguing your loved one. It could be a drug addiction, alcohol addiction, gambling addiction, or eating addictions. If one of these is impacting your loved one, you’ll want to approach the topic carefully.

Most of the time, people with addictions are going to be in different stages of understanding their addiction. While some may be willing to admit they have an addiction, others may be completely against the thought.

There are also different stages of addiction in terms of how addicted the person is. These stages include experimentation, regular use, risky use, and dependency.

Before you can stage an intervention, it’s important to educate yourself on the topic and understand what the addicted person is actually going through. Most people wouldn’t choose to be an addict. But as humans, we can become addicted without even realizing it’s happening.

There are a lot of factors that play into addiction, including biology, environment, and type of substance. All these factors will impact the course of addiction and eventual treatment. These need to be understood by those involved to make the intervention most successful.

1. Choose The People Helping You Carefully

The people that are going to help you, back you up, and assist with intervening will need to be very specific and well thought out. You don’t want to choose people that have bad tempers or are unable to talk about addiction without being judgmental because it’s counterproductive.

In addition to this, it’s important that you find people that genuinely care. The addicted person will be able to tell whether the people on your intervention team are genuine or fake.

Obviously, a genuine discussion and input from everyone involved is much more meaningful.

There is no perfect formula for finding the people that are going to help you and be part of this experience. Sometimes, things go wrong and people’s emotions get the best of them.

For this reason, it’s important to screen for these types of behaviors beforehand and try to make the chances of them happening limited. Remember, the goal is for the person to seek treatment and for this to be their choice in the end.

2. Plan What Will Get Said

While considering who is going to be part of the group, think about what everyone might want to say. Although it’s wise to let people come up with their own words, you want to be a guide.

Some people may want to say things that are inappropriate, such as putting blame on the addicted person, yelling, being physically violent, or being unable to control themselves on a tangent. Words and actions really do stick with people over time.

As you may guess, none of these are going to be productive in terms of getting the person you love help.

Everyone in the group needs to plan out what they’re going to say and which order the group will go in. It’s a good idea to rehearse all this before you actually try to do it in front of the addicted person.

Writing a letter, for instance, is a great way to say what you want to say without being abrasive or off-putting to the person. You can put your heart and soul into it and read your letter aloud if you’re comfortable.

Center this entire experience around love for the addicted person and think of what you, as well as other members of the group, want to say through that lens.

3. Be Flexible

Sometimes your intervention plan won’t go exactly how you think it will. Someone may be overcome with emotion and unable to talk. The addicted person may try to leave the room.

If this happens, and you’re the one that planned the intervention, it’s your job to get things back on track. Plan for things that may go wrong in advance so you know what to do if they happen during the real thing.

Do the best that you can. If things go wrong and you can’t get it back together, don’t punish yourself. Just do what you can to make things go right and show the person you care about them.

You may need to call 911 at some point to get emergency services. If this happens, know what to say and what you need to ask for in terms of help.

4. Choose a Neutral Location

When you think of staging an intervention, you may your home or the home of someone else involved with this intervention is the best place to have it. This is actually not the best idea.

It makes it easier for the addicted person to leave when they’re in a comfortable location. For this reason, choosing a location that doesn’t hold any value for them or others in the group is generally going to be the best option.

If you don’t know where to hold the intervention, consider speaking with a local community center or other space that you’re able to rent out for a short period of time.

Getting assistance from a professional, such as a therapist or counselor, can be extremely beneficial in these instances. They’re experts who can provide expertise, but they may also have an office space you can use.

Reach out for Help

Now that you know more about how to do an intervention, you may be ready to get started. Be sure to plan ahead and try to map out how everything will go.

If you want to find out more about planning an intervention, make sure you research and learn more through our website. We have resources available to help you.

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