When people’s lives are being ruined by substance abuse or they refuse to get help for their mental health issues, you want to do more than just observe. Instead, you and your loved ones can hold an intervention for this person. An intervention is a structured conversation between loved ones and someone struggling with addiction. It is important to remember that the goal of an intervention is about motivating that person to get help and not to lecture about all of the wrong they have done to you.
What Elements Make Up an Intervention?
An intervention consists of giving specific examples of destructive behaviors and the effect it has had on your friends and family. It can be for substance abuse, behavioral addictions, eating disorders, and mental health problems. It is also about educating that person on the potential resources that you have researched for them to get well.
You may be feeling a lot of negative feelings toward this individual. An intervention is not the time or place to ambush, scold, or shame the person. Doing these things will make them continue further and further with their substance abuse patterns.
What is the Best Way to Begin?
Instead of saying what is at the top of your head, develop a plan and stick with it to focus on the task at hand. Create a time and date that works well for everyone involved. You should also see what role everyone will play in the intervention like the leader, the one who speaks about the treatment options, the one speaking of the consequences without help, etc.
Schedule a rehearsal about what will be discussed and whether what is being discussed is important and to the point. If you express your feelings first to those leading the intervention compared to the one who needs help, you can let all of your big emotions out first to these people so that you will be in more control when the real intervention is done.
What Roles Should Each Person Play?
When the real intervention occurs, you can each tell a small number of stories related to the destructive behaviors that the person in need has demonstrated in a scripted matter. If it is scripted, then it will prevent you from rambling and you will be able to better organize your thoughts. Give the person some information on:
- What you have learned about their condition
- How medical detox will do wonders for their body
- Why rehabilitation programs can help them
You can all say what part you all are willing to take to ensure that the person has a successful recovery. For instance, one friend will provide transportation to therapy, one will prepare meals, one will babysit for you, etc. You can also let that person know about the heavy consequences that can come if that person does not get help like divorce, not being able to see your children, refusing financial help, and more.
Styles of Intervention
There are many different styles of interventions. There are ones where you can do it yourself where your family and friends make a script and hold the meetings themselves with multiple planning sessions. Another way is to hire a professional interventionist to plan and host the event. Furthermore, this person can even escort that person to treatment after the intervention is over.
There are many ways you can find a professional interventionist. The easiest method is using one that a trusted family or friend has heard of or knows. You can get a referral from a doctor or therapist or look for local options online. In some cases, it may be easier to hire a professional who is not emotionally involved. This individual will be able to maintain his or her emotions and get right to the point of the importance of treatment.
A spiritual leader can speak about how substance abuse can be against religious philosophies. A doctor can be there as well to speak of the health consequences and show tests and diagnosis. Social workers or counselors can give a short intervention that normally lasts less than an hour. They can speak of the dangerous behaviors that a person has exhibited and health consequences that may follow. These interventions normally occur at the hospital after an overdose, in school if that student is suspected of drug use, court-ordered educational programs, and vocational rehab programs.
How Will Your Loved One React?
It is hard to know how your loved one will react with an unexpected intervention. If it happens where that person’s reaction will put those in the intervention group in danger, call the police immediately. It’s important to provide a calm and peaceful environment where no one is screaming at each other.
In order for an intervention to be successful, you need to remember that an intervention is about the person who needs help. It’s not an opportunity to vent about the harm they have done to you. Instead, the content of this meeting should only be about education and love. If you are too emotionally involved in this and feel like you cannot talk without breaking out in tears, that is the time to call in a professional. Moreover, an intervention will express to the person in need how much you love them and that you are rooting for them to succeed.
Get Help For Your Loved One Today
If you’ve been successful in your intervention, the next step is finding treatment. At Bayview Recovery in Tacoma, Washington, we offer several substance abuse disorders, such as:
We also treat mental health disorders, such as anxiety and depression. In our treatment programs, we use cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, trauma therapy, yoga therapy, and more. For more information, please call us at 855.478.3650. We are happy to take your call at any time. We are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.