Drug and alcohol addiction can be crippling not only to the sufferer but to the people that love him. There are many times when the person who is addicted cannot see how their addiction is destroying their life and the lives of the people who are around them. They simply are not able to help themselves get clean. In these cases, it may be necessary to stage an intervention. Understanding how this process works is key to helping your loved one make the changes he needs to fix his life.
What is an Intervention?
Many people have heard about interventions but few people understand how they actually work. An intervention is a process in which loved ones of an addicted person step in to demand that they get help or treatment. Interventions are meant to empower, not to shame the person. They are often necessary when a person cannot understand the extent of their problem and how it is affecting their life.
How to Stage an Intervention
There are several things that you should and should not do when staging an intervention.
Practice what you will discuss
This is one of the most important factors in hosting a successful intervention. It is easy for the discussion to get derailed and turn into an emotional blame-fest. By making an outline of what you will talk about and what you will not, you can keep the conversation on the topic at hand.
Be concrete and specific with what you want from your loved one. Don’t just say, “we think you need to get help.” Say things like, “we have found a list of Houston drug detox centers and we want you to enroll in a program by next month.” This will make your intentions clear and make it more likely that your loved one will follow your advice.
Involve the Right People
An intervention is not an opportunity for you and your family to gang up on the person and humiliate him. Struggling with drug addiction is a challenge in itself, and it can be hard for the sufferer to face reality. Involve only those people who are absolutely essential to the conversation such as a parent, spouse or child. Don’t advertise the intervention or mention it to others who are not involved. The key is to preserve the person’s dignity while attempting to help them with their addiction.
Stage it in a Neutral Place
Avoid having the intervention in a place where the person will feel trapped or intimidated. Choose a neutral place that will allow for privacy and give the person the means to leave, if necessary. The last thing you want to do is to make the person feel cornered or attacked.
Hire a Professional
The best way to conduct an intervention is to hire a professional who specializes in staging these types of events. Interventions are deeply personal, and if they are not handled correctly, they can destroy relationships. A professional will be trained in how to handle these situations with grace, and they can give you guidance on how to proceed. Interventions often get emotional and can devolve into screaming, tears and arguing. A professional is a neutral third party who can keep the atmosphere calm and make sure you stay on the topic at hand.
There have to be real consequences in order for your loved one to take action. An intervention is not just a simple chat. This is a serious effort on your part to change the course of another person’s life. Deliver real consequences and be prepared to act on them. Some people tell their loved one that they will have to move out if they don’t enroll in drug treatment. Other people tell them that they will lose their relationship with their children or spouse. Still others withhold financial support if the person does not get help for their addiction. Remember, however, that the addiction is a real medical condition that requires professional care. Most people who are addicted sincerely want to quit but find it challenging to do so.
Staging an intervention is an effective way to force a loved one to get treatment for their substance abuse problem. There are professional intervention companies that will step in and help you to plan and execute your intervention with your family member. They have years of experience and offer trained professionals who can make the process run as smoothly as possible.
If your loved one is addicted, don’t wait to take action. His life depends on it.