If someone you love is battling an addiction, it can be painful to watch, as the choices they make hurt friends, family, and even the future. While the ultimate decision to get help rests in the hands of the addicted individual, you can help make that choice easier by planning an intervention and treatment program.
I have witnessed the positive outcomes an intervention can bring. It is often used as a last resort before breaking off enabling actions and choosing a final ultimatum. With preparation and the help of a professional, I know an intervention can be the key to treating an addiction.Here are 11 tips to a successful intervention.
This is the most important step; without proper preparation, I can guarantee that the entire intervention will fall apart. Plan when to do it, where it should be held, who should be there, and what professional to use.
2. Use a Professional
Getting help from a professional who understands drug abuse and addictions will make a big difference. I know that when someone tries to give me advice in an area that they are unfamiliar with, I don’t take them seriously. Having a counselor during the intervention will help the individual recognize the seriousness of the situation.
3. List Positives About the Individual
Compliments can go a long way and are a great way to start. Explain your love for them along with their good qualities.
4. List Negatives They Have Caused
Write down every single thing you can think of. Everyone present during the intervention should speak about the pain and harm caused to them. Many addicts justify their actions with the false belief that they are only hurting themselves. Getting clean for someone else is empowering.
5. List Future Outcomes and Ultimatums
This is one of the hardest steps for friends and family. Most addicts have enablers, but cutting off help or ties is the only way an addict will be forced to get help. Decide what the ultimatum will be, and work together to follow through with it. If you say you will no longer allow them to live in your home, then you must do the hard thing – lock doors, keep them out, and cut off any money supply.
6. Write a Script
When you are in the moment of an intervention, your emotions can take over. Writing down exactly what you want to say will keep you on the right track while ensuring that everything that needs to be said is said.
7. Practice, Practice, Practice
Writing down your words will help you remember what to say, but practicing will help the words flow naturally. Having your script present to guide you through it is important, but being able to look the individual in the eyes is critical.
8. Prepare for Every Variable
Even with a professional and all of the preparation in the world, things might not go how you planned. Be ready for anger, screaming, hurtful words, and even failure. Remember, after you have done your part, the final choice is out of your hands. Be ready to follow through on your ultimatums. If the person is no longer allowed in the house, for instance, have their belongings packed up and ready to go.
9. Arrange Treatments in Advance
Have the treatments ready to go the second the intervention is over. Do not wait a week or even a day. I cannot express enough how critical this step is; waiting even a few hours can mean the waste of an intervention.
10. Prepare Intervention Space and Individuals Who Are Coming
Have the chairs ready, the room cleaned, and everyone present before the starting time. Try to create a welcoming and safe environment.
11. Choose a Spokesperson
When the intervention has started, it helps to keep things flowing if there is a designated speaker. This person should be levelheaded and is typically a counselor or professional. Starting the intervention with “I” statements instead of “you” statements will help the addicted individual not feel attacked. No matter who is the chosen spokesperson, everyone present should offer love and support throughout the entire process.