Take Action Against Addiction: Strategies for Holding a Successful Intervention

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Addiction is a complex and challenging issue that affects not only the individual struggling with substance abuse but also their loved ones. Often, it can feel overwhelming to see someone you care about fall into the grips of addiction. In these situations, holding an addiction intervention can be an important step toward guiding your loved one on the path to recovery. What’s it like to hold an intervention, and are there ways to ensure success? Let’s take a look.

What Is an Intervention?

An intervention is a structured and compassionate approach to confronting someone’s addiction and encouraging them to seek help. The main goal is to help the individual recognize how serious their addiction is and motivate them to take the necessary steps toward recovery. Common types include:

  • Alcohol addiction intervention
  • Drug addiction intervention
  • Heroin addiction intervention
  • Opioid addiction intervention

The key to a successful intervention is to bring together a group of individuals who have a meaningful relationship with the person struggling with addiction. These gatherings typically involve people who have witnessed firsthand the impact of the individual’s addiction. Their presence can lend credibility and support to the intervention process.

Helping Your Loved Ones with Addiction

Whether it’s an intervention for a family member or an intervention for a friend or colleague, participants are often guided by a professional interventionist or therapist to address the harmful behaviors associated with the individual’s addiction. It serves as a pivotal moment where the concerned express their love, support, and concern. However, a professional interventionist is not necessary to hold an intervention for a friend or family member. 

Interventions are conducted with empathy and understanding, focusing on expressing love and concern rather than judgment or blame. They provide a safe space for participants to share their observations, feelings, and experiences related to the individual’s addiction. The ultimate goal is to guide them toward acceptance of help.

Interventions typically last a few hours, although the exact length may vary depending on the complexity of the situation and the dynamics of the group. The process typically involves pre-planning, rehearsal, the intervention itself, and follow-up discussions about treatment options and next steps.

Studies show that interventions work 80-90 percent of the time. Over eight in 10 individuals choose to go to drug and alcohol treatment when family members and friends present this life-saving gift.

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How Does an Intervention Happen?

An addiction intervention is a carefully arranged process that unfolds in several key stages, beginning with thorough pre-planning and extending to post-intervention support and follow-up care. You may think you know what to expect because of an interventionist TV series with famous interventionists like Jeff VanVonderen and Candy Finnigan. However, what happens at an intervention is dependent on the individual and their personal struggles. 

Here is a general rundown of how they work:

  • Pre-Planning: This initial phase involves careful preparation and coordination among concerned people. Participants work together to gather information about the individual’s addiction, select the best intervention team, and establish how the intervention meeting will unfold. During this stage, participants may also research treatment options and make arrangements for post-intervention care.
  • Rehearsal: With the intervention date set, participants engage in rehearsal sessions to practice what they want to say. These rehearsals provide an opportunity for participants to work on active listening, maintain a compassionate tone, and anticipate potential challenges or emotional reactions that may arise.
  • Confrontation: During the intervention, each participant takes turns expressing their observations, feelings, and hopes for the individual struggling with addiction. The facilitator maintains focus and order, guiding the conversation and emphasizing the importance of seeking help.
  • Offer Treatment: Following the intervention, the individual is presented with alcohol and drug treatment options and encouraged to accept help for their addiction. This may involve immediate enrollment in treatment programs, attendance at therapy sessions, or participation in support groups. The intervention team helps the individual make informed decisions about their recovery journey.
  • Follow-up: After the meeting ends, the intervention team stays actively involved, providing ongoing support and encouragement. This may include assisting with transportation to treatment facilities, coordinating family and friend involvement in therapy sessions, and providing emotional support during the early stages of recovery. Follow-up care aims to reinforce the individual’s commitment to treatment and provide a supportive environment for long-term success.

Tips for a Successful Intervention

A successful intervention is often when the person with a drug or alcohol addiction seeks treatment following the intervention. Some tips to get to this point include:

  • Express Love and Concern: Start the intervention by expressing your love and concern for the individual. Emphasize that your intentions are rooted in a desire to see them recover and lead a healthier, happier life.
  • Stick to Facts: During the intervention, focus on presenting concrete examples of the individual’s behavior and its impact on themselves and others. Avoid making accusations or engaging in blame, as this can lead to defensiveness and resistance.
  • Use “I” Statements: When sharing your observations and feelings, use “I” statements to convey your own experiences and perspectives. For example, say “I feel worried when I see you struggling with addiction” rather than “You make me worried because of your addiction.”
  • Avoid Judgment and Criticism: Approach the intervention with empathy and understanding, rather than judgment or criticism. Avoid using language that is accusatory or shaming, as this can undermine the effectiveness of the intervention.
  • Offer Support and Encouragement: Let the individual know that you’re there to support them on their journey toward recovery. Offer to help them explore treatment options, accompany them to appointments, or provide emotional support as they navigate the challenges of addiction recovery.
  • Set Boundaries: While offering support, be sure to set boundaries to protect yourself from the negative consequences of the individual’s addiction. Communicate your boundaries and stick to them, even if it means including consequences for continued destructive behavior.
  • Remain Calm and Composed: Emotions may run high during the intervention, but it’s essential to remain calm and composed. Avoid escalating conflicts or becoming defensive if the individual reacts negatively. Instead, focus on maintaining a respectful and supportive tone throughout the intervention.
  • Avoid Ultimatums: While it’s important to communicate the seriousness of the situation, avoid issuing ultimatums or making threats. Instead, focus on the potential consequences of continuing destructive behavior and the benefits of seeking help and entering treatment.
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What If Someone Resists Getting Help?

It’s not uncommon for someone to resist the idea of seeking help. If your intervention for a loved one gets heated and they refuse help, here are some steps you can take:

  • Educate Yourself: Learn as much as you can about addiction and treatment options, so you can provide informed support and guidance to your loved one.
  • Offer Support: Let your loved one know that you are there for them and willing to support them in their journey towards recovery. Offer to accompany them to therapy sessions or support group meetings.
  • Set Boundaries: While it’s important to offer support, it’s also crucial to set boundaries to protect yourself from the negative consequences of your loved one’s addiction. This may involve limiting contact or seeking support from a therapist or support group.
  • Seek Professional Help: If your loved one continues to resist getting help, consider enlisting the support of a professional interventionist or therapist who can provide guidance and support in navigating the complexities of addiction.

Help with Interventions at Aliya Health Group

 If you’re planning to hold an intervention, finding the right professional interventionist can feel overwhelming. Aliya Health Group has relationships with some of the most effective and experienced interventionists, and we can connect you with them. Remember, addiction is a treatable condition, and with the right support and resources, recovery is possible.

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