Is your loved one of the many victims of addiction?
If they’re still in denial then you’ve probably thought about staging an intervention for them but we all know that it can go very badly if you’re not careful about your approach.
A light touch and a lot of care are going to be needed if you hope to stand any chance of success.
Read on and we’ll give you some tips to help better the outcome as much as possible?
Choose Your People With Care
The people who you bring with you during an intervention are key to ensuring a positive outcome.
Make sure that you’re careful when choosing them, bringing in only those who are able to be careful with words and articulate their feelings during such an emotionally charged moment.
Each person should be able to bring something to the table and it shouldn’t be anything negative at this point. It’s not the right time to try to make wrongs right or dig into someone about the behavior that has presented during the course of their addiction.
Everyone involved needs to care, leave out those who are overly angry or might engage in an unpredictable fashion.
It’s also important to make sure that you choose people who the addict or alcoholic is likely to listen to. If someone has already dug into them repeatedly about their addiction in a negative fashion then exclude them.
It’s a time for being open, caring, and direct rather than to give in to the often volatile emotions which surround an addict’s behavior.
You may also want to consider bringing in a specialist at this stage in order to moderate the discussion. Interventions are actually evidence backed provided that they’re done properly, which means having someone who knows the ropes is essential for any lasting change.
Make A Script… and Stick to It
Everyone involved should get together a few times before the actual intervention happens and discuss what will be said.
Stick to what you’ve decided on when you’re heading into the intervention. It’s tempting to just let the words fly, and some people will swear that it’s more authentic to just let things fall how they may but disaster can happen quickly.
Addicted people, when confronted with their addiction, might react in a seriously negative way and everyone involved needs to be aware of that going in.
If everyone sticks to what was planned on being said then you’re likely to have a smoother experience, regardless of the outcome.
This is another reason why having an interventionist or therapist involved is so important. They can help revise what’s going to be said multiple times before you say it.
And once you have the script in place it’s extremely important that everyone sticks to it.
It should be a compassionate speech bringing up specific behaviors, rather than bringing in an accusatory tone and being vague around the edges of things. All of this is extremely important due to the fragility the addicted individual is feeling at the time of the intervention.
Stage a Rehearsal or Three
You need to understand, especially if you’ve never confronted an addicted person before, that things may go any number of ways.
These may not all be in your behavior.
It’s also going to be an extremely emotional moment for everyone involved. Rehearsing beforehand can help get through the emotions in the actual intervention and will also enable you to do some roleplaying to understand the ways the addict may respond during their intervention.
Go through the entire thing a few times before you begin the intervention. It will help a lot when the time comes.
The Right Time and Place for Staging an Intervention
You should confront the individual while they’re not under the influence, and preferably in a neutral but safe environment. While it’s tempting to do it in the home you’ll be better off using somewhere like a church or a therapist’s office.
Someone can flee from the confrontation far too easily if they’re in an entirely familiar environment. They’ll be less inclined to listen as well.
It’s important that the environment be non-threatening, safe, but not too familiar for the person who is going through the intervention.
Evidence has found that, in the unfortunate instance where someone is hospitalized for problems relating to their addiction, it can be a very effective measure to get them into treatment voluntarily.
If that is the case for your loved one then you may not be able to prepare as well as you would otherwise but it will also mean that specialists are on hand.
If you’re in a medical setting when you speak with your addicted loved one, you may wish to start light. Recommend they go through a detox program afterward, if just to feel a little bit better.
Be Prepared for the Worst
Interventions don’t always go the way that we hope they do.
Expect insults, hysteria, and even the confronted individual storming out.
It’d be nice if every intervention on an addict had a resounding effect, got them into treatment after they realized people care about them, and then they went on to lead a new life.
That isn’t always the case.
The evidence is clear that a psychosocial intervention is one of the most effective front-line treatments and it’s an excellent way to help an individual begin their journey to recovery.
It’s important to remember that addiction itself is an insidious disease and if the individual is still in denial about their drug or alcohol problem then you’re going to have a rough road on your hands no matter what.
In your rehearsals before the intervention, you should go through scenarios. Everyone needs to know how to react if the person becomes abusive, violent, or completely evasive when the time comes.
Watch Your Body Language
An intervention is a fairly formal affair when done properly but those in the room should be aware of their body language during the intervention.
Be open, don’t cross your arms and legs and cut yourself off from the person. After all, you’re there to convince them to get help and not to demean or anger them.
If you’re approaching with honest care this will come naturally, but there are many times when everything begins to feel uncomfortable during an intervention. Remember that you’re confronting one of a person’s biggest issues head-on. It’s not going to be comfortable for anyone involved.
Frankly, if you think it will be then you need to assess your own reasons for the intervention.
A quick study of “open” body language can go a long way, especially since many addicts have become increasingly sensitive to how people react to them as their addiction wears on their body and psyche.
Don’t Give Up
Depending on the person in question, the depth of their addiction, and too many factors to simply list almost anything can happen after an intervention.
Ideally, the person will immediately agree to go into treatment after seeing how their addiction is affecting their loved ones. This is a best-case scenario, of course, and reactions can be almost anything.
Remember that not only can you not control the other person but that they’ll have to make the choice to see their problem for what it is and do something about it.
Interventions are about showing the person the truth about their addiction, not about forcing them into treatment.
If they react negatively the first time, don’t give up hope. Many addicts and alcoholics react negatively to the intervention but soon come around. Some may even begin to seek residential treatment on their own.
Be persistent but not pushy. Soon your loved one will begin to seek the help they need.
What to Do After
After the intervention has taken place a course of action needs to be decided upon.
If a person’s addiction has progressed to the point where staging an intervention is a viable option then they’re quite likely to need more treatment than just twelve-step meetings or their willpower.
Finding the right rehab for your loved one is just as important as making sure they end up in one. Everyone is different and when treatment is needed it should be both personal and effective.
Before you begin, have an idea for where you’re going to go from here.
Contact us today, and see if our facilities might be the right place for your loved one to recover from the ravages of their disease.