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When someone you know and love is putting their life at risk due to drug or alcohol addiction, waiting until they reach a crisis point or "rock bottom" before intervening to get them some help is not the right answer although many people think so. You can help someone you care about right away with an intervention, and the sooner it happens the better. An intervention's ultimate goal of course is to get someone into a drug rehab program, but there are other things accomplished in the process that are also very important not just for the addicted individual but for loved ones as well. An intervention effectively disrupts the unhealthy enabling and denial that family members and friends often find themselves participating in, so that they can also establish healthy boundaries and put a stop to the negative impacts that the person's addiction is having in their lives. So when someone goes to rehab as the result of a successful intervention, everyone wins.
Any intervention can be successfully accomplished with or without the help of a professional interventionist. This is something that you can decide upon with the help of a treatment professional who can assess the circumstances and determine if having a professional interventionist will be a necessity. Interventionists most often work directly with different drug rehab programs, so they are accustomed to working hand in hand with treatment professionals throughout the entire process from getting participants familiarized with the process, to being present at the intervention itself to be a mediator and unbiased participant, to getting the person actually arrived at the drug rehab program of choice and started. So this is the first thing you will want to decide based on the complexity of the situation at hand and how difficult it might be to convince someone to get help on your own.
Preparing For An Intervention
The first step of preparing for the intervention is to decide who the participants will be. This is very important and can make or break the intervention. You want to have a team of participants who want to help, are on the same page in terms of the goal of the intervention, and those who are willing to confront the addicted individual without any hesitation with the facts and reality of their situation so that they can get lifesaving help. Participants cannot fall short in this regard, and must also be willing to enforce penalties and repercussions when someone isn't readily accepting the help offered, because in the end this could be the tipping point that actually gets them into rehab in the end. Participants must be strong-minded about what is trying to be accomplished and agree to not back down when it comes to doing anything and everything possible to get the person they help they need. Ultimately, a successful intervention will also help participants get their loved one back and their quality of life back so it will be well worth it. So is a person isn't willing to do any of the above or is even slightly hesitant about doing so, it is a good idea to leave them out of the process.
Once the participants for the intervention have been carefully chosen, they can then start preparing exactly what it is they will confront the addicted person with at the intervention itself. Every participant should have a written list prepared with the facts and evidence which describes and proves beyond a doubt that the person does in fact have a drug and/or alcohol problem. This should include distinct and factual examples of the negative impacts this has had in their lives and the lives of others as well as their relationships with others (particularly participants who are present), and any other facts that can be presented to show the addicted individual why there is so much concern for their well-being and their lives. One of the reasons it is so important to point out the problem itself and give facts and examples specifically about the substance abuse is because many addicts live in a constant state of denial, and an intervention is a very effective way to bring someone out of this so they can see clearly that they have a problem that needs to be addressed immediately. It is common to remain in denial as well about the consequences they experience and the negative impacts their addiction has on others, so too is it important to highlight these instances so that the truth is on the table. After all, the truth will set you free.
Holding An Intervention
When holding an intervention and presenting an addicted individual with the truth about their addiction, it is important for participants to be prepared for any number of emotions and responses including anger towards the participants even though all they are trying to do is help. This is the drugs talking, and this must be worked through in the most composed and compassionate manner to accomplish what must be accomplished at the intervention. This could be the one and only chance to save the addicted person's life, and the chance to intervene may never again be possible. So it is important to not become angry, frustrated or display any other negative emotion in response, but persist through these challenges and continue confronting the person with care, concern, love and ultimately present them with lifesaving answers.
During an intervention and when being presented with factual information about their addiction and an opportunity to get help, addicted individuals can respond in number of ways all of which there is a proper and appropriate response for from participants. There is always the ideal response, which is the acceptance of the fact that they have a problem and the agreement to get help for it right away in a drug rehab program that has already been chosen well beforehand. But there is also the possibility that the addicted individual responds with arguments that prove they are still in a state of denial, and while this can be disheartening for loved ones it isn't necessarily an indication that all hope is lost. As stated earlier in this article, participants must be prepared to enforce undesirable consequences if their loved ones doesn't readily accept help. Depending on the circumstances, these consequences should be gruesome enough to make the person realize treatment and a better life for themselves is a much better choice than jail time, being homeless, losing their family and friends, or other alternatives to accepting the help being offered them at the intervention. Again, participants must be willing to actually enforce these consequences, not just weakly threaten them.
Ideally of course, once someone makes a commitment to get help the process of actually getting them into a treatment program starts immediately without any hesitation. This is something that can be planned out well ahead of time, so there is nothing logistically stopping them from leaving for a drug rehab program as soon as they say "yes". So too does the enforcement of alternative consequences begin if the person doesn't say yes, because when they choose their addiction of their health and well-being this doesn't only affect them but their entire family and anyone else who has been impacted by their addiction.
If you would like any more guidance regarding the intervention process, speak with a professional drug treatment counselor in your area who can help with any questions regarding an intervention and also help make preparations for the person's eventual arrival to rehab.