So you’ve got someone in your life that has been struggling with addiction and you’ve been thinking about holding an intervention for them … but where do you even begin? Interventions can be a difficult thing to stage and it can be hard to actually produce good results out of one. Typically, if you are holding an intervention for someone, it is because they have gone so far down the hole of addiction that it almost seems hopeless to get them out. So, how do people often handle this sort of situation? By bombarding the person with cold, hard facts and emotions in hopes of helping the addict see how their behaviors are affecting those around them. However, this is not the right way to go about this.
When you stage an intervention, you need to carefully select what you’ll say, who else is going to be there, and what you will discuss with the person struggling with substance abuse. If an addict feels attacked, they may adopt some form of resentment towards the people who are confronting them, making it even harder to help pull them out of addiction. Today, we’re going to discuss how to properly hold an intervention so that you get the best results possible.
Tip #1: Understand Addiction Beforehand
Something that people often forget to take into consideration is their education on addiction. Many people do not fully understand addiction; they may feel as though they do, but oftentimes they do not. Most of us were raised believing that addiction is a choice, but it isn’t. Now, you may argue that the initial first decision to use a substance is a decision and that would be correct. However, what happens after that is not entirely up to the person. Someone who experiments with drug or alcohol abuse is likely to develop an addiction and, thus, a dependency.
If a person has a dependency, they are essentially no longer in control of what they are doing because their dependency is telling them what to do. If the people who hold an intervention go into it with the knowledge that addiction is a disease and not a choice, they could have a better chance of understanding the addict’s struggles and how best to help them.
Tip #2: Bring in the Right People
This tip is absolutely essential for people to follow when staging an intervention. Make sure you bring in the right people to the intervention, the last thing you would need is someone that may enable the addict. Make sure to have a group of family, friends, and loved ones of the addict that want to see them get better. Some people may want to see the addict get better, but may lack the strength for confrontation or may even enable the addict with too much sympathy. It’s important to have sympathy, but it’s important to not coddle the person with an addiction. It’s also wise to not bring in someone who may be easily manipulated.
Tip #3: Map Out All Possibilities
There’s really no telling how someone will react to a staged intervention, so mapping out every possible outcome is important. Some people may be receptive to the intervention while others might not. If you go into an intervention with actions mapped out for every possible outcome, then you can have a better possibility of positive results.
Tip #4: No To Negotiation
Addicts have a habit of being selfish and manipulative through their habits. This means that they oftentimes only do things if it benefits them in some manner. They can also become manipulative and use others to benefit their own desires. What we often see is people who lie, cheat, or steal from their loved ones. If an addict has had a history of these kinds of behaviors, it’s important to say no if they try and negotiate terms of recovery. Interventions are staged in an effort to get an addict to attend some kind of addiction recovery program. What they may try and do is come up with exceptions to please the interveners, but it’s vital that you do not let these happen. This is an addict’s last-ditch effort to try and keep using, but only at a rate that would set their loved one’s worries at ease.
Tip #5: Use Intervention Only If You Need To
It’s important to consider the facts when thinking about staging an intervention. Yes, interventions can be effective, but they can also have negative and unintended side-effects. Classic interventions have a success rate of about 30%. Another thing to consider is the feeling back into a corner. This kind of feeling can cause a person to be more reluctant to change since it almost feels forced upon them.
Another alarming fact about interventions is the fact that they can actually cause a person to become less engaged in their addiction recovery treatment programs. A huge part of recovery programs is engagement and being open about struggles. If a person is backed into a corner and feels forced into rehabilitation, this may cause them to feel some sort of resentment towards their loved ones and their treatment programs. This can cause them to become even more closed off and isolated, making it difficult for therapists and rehab specialists to properly help the individual.
Intervention is considered an external motivator, meaning the motivation behind recovery treatment is not their own, it is coming from someone else. This is essentially what intervention is, someone else showing motivation to help change a person. If your friend came to you and said “you really need to try and lose some weight.” you may start to feel self-conscious and even a little apprehensive towards interacting with that person again for fear of judgment. If a person truly wants to change, they’ll need to find their own motivation for change.
Interventions can be difficult to stage and they can be difficult to get good results out of, but if you consult with a professional you could help a seemingly helpless person. It’s important to be educated and prepared if you do decide to stage an intervention. There is a lot to consider before staging something like this, but it can be done.
Talk to Someone Who’s Been There. Talk to Someone Who Can Help. Scottsdale Recovery Center holds the highest accreditation (Joint Commission) and is Arizona’s premier rehab facility since 2007. Call 602-346-9142.