A Tough Realization
The 7 Steps to Host an Intervention for a Loved One. When a loved one is addicted to drugs or alcohol, it is hard on the whole family. It is also important to speak up about the situation and intervene when it is clear that the situation is spinning out of control. Although it can seem hard to discuss the situation with other loved ones and start working on an intervention, it can also save a life.
1.) Plan the Intervention
The obvious first step after discovering that a loved one is addicted to drugs or alcohol is planning. It is not possible to stage an intervention without taking the time to consult a professional, learn about the concerns other loved ones bring up or getting together with family members and friends to make realistic arrangements.
An intervention is best to start planning early so that loved ones are able to gather, the main concerns are already identified and every individual involved is united. Planning is also essential to reduce the number of potential risks that might arise.
When a loved one is abusing addictive drugs or alcohol, it is also best to talk to a professional counselor or intervention specialist to ensure that the situation is as controlled as possible. It is possible for anger, despair and other emotions to get out of control during the intervention, so a professional can help prepare the entire family for the possibilities.
2.) Research the Problem
An intervention is only effective if every family member is armed with knowledge. Without knowledge, it is easy to face justifications that seem logical or outright ignorance that makes it hard to talk to a loved one about the problem.
The first concern is identifying the substance and the situation. Different substances will lead to different behavior, so recognizing the item that is abused will make it possible to learn more about the situation.
When the specific substance is identified, the next step is learning about the impact of the drug or alcohol on the body. Each substance is different and it is important to identify when a substance might cause violent or shocking behavior during the intervention. If the substance can potentially lead to violence, then it is important to consult a professional and request assistance before moving forward. Professionals are trained to help keep the situation under control and reduce the risks as much as possible.
3.) Select Loved Ones to Participate
Even if the entire family wants to participate in the intervention, it is not always logical to bring in a large number of loved ones. The best way to handle an intervention is by selecting a team and allowing that team to present the message.
Every loved one can work together to determine the exact message that must be conveyed during the intervention, but the individuals participating will determine the date, location and exact details about how the intervention will occur.
4.) Selecting Consequences
During the planning phase of the intervention, it is important to identify and decide on consequences for continued drug or alcohol abuse. A loved one needs to know that the impact on his or her body is not the only downside of continuing to abuse the substance and avoiding treatment.
Consequences will depend on the situation and family. The team members who are directly participating in the intervention should pick consequences that will have a solid impact on the drug or alcohol abuser.
Consequences that might work will depend on the individual. Options might include:
- Cutting off any provided support
- Refusing to see a loved one
- Taking children to a safer environment
- Involving social services if children are living with a substance abuser
The best consequences for refusing treatment will depend on the individual. A consequence should focus on his or her interests or the most important elements of his or her life that is not substance related.
Selecting consequences is only part of the process, but it is an important step. A loved one needs to recognize that his or her behavior is impacting several lives and that it has long-term consequences.
5.) Writing and Rehearsing
Writing down the message is an important part of ensuring all of the details and concerns are covered during the intervention. When writing down the message, the team should determine which message each individual will convey and then practice together to avoid any missed details.
Individuals who are participating directly will need to carry the message from those who are not participating in the intervention. In some cases, it is appropriate to write a message down so that it is given to the substance abuser. A letter or note can be read by those who are participating and is a powerful tool when it comes from the right sources.
When the written aspects are completed, taking time to rehearse the message will ensure every individual is ready to move forward with the intervention. Rehearsal will provide the opportunity to work out any kinks in the message, determine when each individual will speak and focus on ensuring the most important concerns are identified and provided during the intervention. Rehearsal will also make it a little easier to maintain composure during the actual intervention because it is an emotional message.
6.) Meet With a Loved One
The actual intervention meeting needs to take place as soon as it is possible to prepare and making final arrangements. In most cases, a loved one is asked to come to the meeting without revealing the reason. In some cases, a family member might bring a loved one to the location, but a loved one is never told the reason for going to that location before the meeting.
During the meeting, family members and loved ones take turns to tell about concerns. Since it is an emotional time, it is possible for individuals to cry or feel very upset while presenting the concerns.
When all of the concerns are addressed, the members who are participating in the meeting will ask a loved one to get treatment. Having a treatment facility or a few options available will make it easier to ensure discuss the option of treatment. After asking a loved one to get help, the individuals involved in the intervention will give consequences for a refusal.
7.) The Follow Through
The final step of an intervention is following through. When a loved one enters a treatment facility, family members should visit or go to family therapy to provide continued support and love. The support of family and friends can play a vital role in the recovery of a loved one.
If a loved one refuses to get help, then family members need to follow through on the consequences that were presented during the intervention. Following through will show that the family is serious and might be enough to push a loved one into treatment.
You Can be the Difference
Hosting an intervention for a loved one is an important part of addressing concerns and helping that individual overcome an addiction. Substance abuse can ruin lives, but taking action to get a loved one into a treatment program and back on track will have positive benefits for every member of the family. It is hard to give up drugs or alcohol, but with family support and the help of professionals, it is possible.