Confronting a loved one about their addiction can be scary. Interventions, popularized by reality TV, are common approaches to drawing boundaries with a loved one who is addicted or a last-ditch effort to get someone into a treatment program. However, like anything else, interventions don’t happen like they’re shown on TV. But, properly approached, they can be an effective way to help someone when you’ve exhausted all other options.
What Is an Intervention?
Interventions are a planned process created with an addiction professional and directed at a loved one struggling with addiction. It’s a meeting where friends and family of the addict gather and state consequences for the addict if they don’t seek treatment, such as ceasing financial support or not allowing them to be around minor children.
- Addresses specific examples of destructive behavior and the impact of those actions on others
- Offers a treatment plan with clear goals and guidelines, often ready for the addict to enter immediately
- States what each participant will do or stop doing if the addict refuses treatment
Typical Steps For an Intervention
For an intervention to be successful, it must have a goal – getting the person into addiction treatment – and a set plan to achieve that goal. A family can consult with a qualified counselor or intervention specialist to help organize an effective intervention and to facilitate the meeting, so it stays directed at changing the addictive behavior – notcondemning the person addicted. These are highly emotional situations, and a professional counselor can be a cool head to keep everyone focused.
The end goal is addiction treatment for your loved one, but their level of addiction will determine the intensity of treatment. Some people may need medically supervised detox before entering a program, so you will need to gather more information about the extent of your loved one’s problems. Once you’ve determined that, you can work with your intervention professional to find treatment programs that address their needs and make sure that a place for them is readily available.
The intervention team is those people personally participating in the intervention. They will meet, without the knowledge of the addict, to present a structured plan and a united, consistent message. The intervention team focuses on shared solutions and support, not strong emotional responses.
Each participant will need to decide on their own specific consequences and be prepared to follow through, no matter how painful. Those providing money to the addict may opt to stop giving them money or stop giving them rides to places they suspect the person may be producing drugs or alcohol. Make notes about what you will say, including the toll the addict’s behavior takes on each participant.
After the Intervention
A successful intervention results in the addict entering the treatment program. It’s important to support them as much as possible while they are in treatment and as they continue with aftercare, therapy, or step meetings.
Unfortunately, even with the best planning, some interventions result in the addict refusing help. They may become angry or feel betrayed by the people closest to them. Or, they may deny that they need help. “I can quit at any time” is a common response. Be prepared for this outcome. Participants in the intervention may rely on each other to remain strong about enforcing the consequences for not accepting treatment.
Compassionate Addiction Help is Here
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, Hickory Treatment Centers can help. We offer several levels of addiction therapy, including family therapy, to help you rebuild elationships. Contact us today for a confidential assessment of your needs.