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Six Things to Know When Planning an Intervention

Six Things to Know When Planning an Intervention

Planning an intervention for an addicted loved one can be difficult. There are many things that someone planning an intervention needs to be aware of before going through with one. Listed below are six things someone planning an intervention for her addicted loved one needs to know and prepare before going through with one.

Only Certain People Should be Allowed at the Intervention

InterventionSupport.com suggests that if an addicted loved one sits through an intervention with even one person that they do not know well, trust and love, the intervention will likely fail. Simply because a person is a family member does not make them the right choice to be present at an addiction intervention. The addict may have been hurt or mistreated in the past by some family members. It is important to choose an intervention team who loves the addict and simply wants to encourage them to get better through treatment.

An intervention should not be used as a place to share grievances or complaints with the addict. People with an agenda other than helping the addict to accept treatment and get better should be asked to stay away from the intervention. People who can successfully help motivate the addict to change should be present at the intervention. It can also be important to ensure that certain people are present to help maintain the safety of all people present, including the addict. Safety is especially a concern if the addict has a history of violence or mental illness.

A Neutral Meeting Space may Work Best

When people think about an addiction intervention they often picture people sitting in a circle surrounding an addict inside someone’s family room. In fact, it may often be the family room where the addict lives. While holding an intervention at home where the addict is comfortable may seem like a nice gesture, it may actually hinder the addict from paying attention. If an addict is suddenly surrounded by people inside his house, he may try to lock himself in his room, bathroom or simply try to leave. Finding a more neutral space that is new to everyone may help an addict pay attention and be less likely to escape.

A formal therapy office, conference room or other meeting room can all be conducive to a successful intervention. It may also help to have the addict arrive with one of the people involved in the intervention so that the addict cannot simply take off in his own vehicle.

If People Lose Their Tempers, the Intervention Will Likely Fail

Controlling emotions can be difficult when dealing with an addict who has likely caused a lot of pain and hardship for everyone present. However, it is essential for everyone involved to stay calm and focused even if the addict retaliates with harsh words. The addict will likely realize the seriousness of the situation when he cannot derail the conversation.

Interventions Works Best When They are Presented in a Warm and Loving Manner

Media has portrayed interventions in a negative light and made it seem like yelling, screaming and presenting ridiculous ultimatums to an addict is normal. In reality, interventions are successful because everyone involved presents facts in a loving and warmhearted manner. People should not let emotions get the best of them as it will only hinder the addict from accepting treatment. The addict needs to know that everything that is being said is true and coming from a place of genuine care and concern.

Having and Following a Script Will Increase the Likelihood of Success

The Mayo Clinic explains that an intervention can easily and will likely get off course numerous times throughout the process. Even when a professional interventionist is present, the addict will try to steer the conversation toward something else. This makes it important to have a written script prepared for what each person is going to say. It can also be helpful to have speakers lined up in a certain order so people know when it is their turn. Implementing a rule where speakers have the floor and no one else is allowed to talk or respond until the speaker is finished can also help the conversation stay on track.

Everyone present will likely have a lot to say and share with the addict but it is also important to ensure that the addict has opportunities to talk and respond to what is being shared.

Consequences Must be Implemented for not Accepting Treatment

When people go straight into an intervention without much planning they often forget to have fair and easily implementable consequences in place if the addict does not accept treatment at the end. Consequences should only be ones that can be immediately enforced. It is best to calmly explain the extent of all consequences and give the addict one last chance to accept treatment before they are implemented.

If the addict lives with the family, one of the first consequences should be making the addict find his own place to live by removing him from the family house. Cutting off any and all financial support is another easily implementable consequence. As these consequences are implemented, the addict will hopefully realize that accepting treatment is easier than dealing with the consequences of continuing to abuse drugs or alcohol.

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