There are times when it becomes painfully obvious to friends, family and loved ones that someone has become addicted to drugs or alcohol. When this happens, it’s important to get the person help as quickly as possible before the addiction spirals even more out of control. Sadly, many people feel they should “stay out of it” or don’t know what exactly to do to get someone the help they need. That’s when an intervention becomes essential. Learn more about what to do when your loved one needs an intervention.

What is an intervention?

The Mayo Clinic provides a clear and concise definition of what an intervention is. According to them, an intervention is a carefully planned process that may be done by family and friends, in consultation with a doctor or professional such as a licensed alcohol and drug counselor or directed by an intervention professional (interventionist). It sometimes involves a member of your loved one’s faith or others who care about the person struggling with addiction.

During the intervention, people confront their  loved one about the consequences of addiction and encourage them to get treatment. The intervention, to be effective, provides specific examples of destructive behaviors and their impact not only the person addiction, but family and friends. It ideally offers a prearranged treatment plan with clear steps, goals and guidelines, or provides information on professional addiction treatment centers to seek help. As this is not always enough to encourage the person to seek it, it should also illustrate what each person will do the person refuses to accept treatment.

Should interventions be done without a professional?

In most cases, a professional should assist in the intervention process. It is absolutely critical that this process be planned and performed by a trained substance abuse interventionist to protect everyone involved. Given the need for family guidance and counseling throughout the process, coupled with the volatile situation that can so commonly arise during the intervention process, it’s important to seek help from a mental health professionals in this regard to make sure the intervention is successful.  An interventionist or intervention specialist is a trained and experienced professional that can help in many aspects of the intervention. Their experience can make the planning more efficient, and their skills can help mediate the session. Typically, an interventionist will increase the likelihood of success and will ease the stress of those attempting to organize the intervention.

Steps to follow for a successful intervention

Though time is of the essence to help the addicted person seek help, it’s important to have a plan when staging an intervention. Below are suggested steps to follow as provided by

1. Create a group. Creating a group will be the formation of the team working together to benefit the target of the intervention. he group can consist of friends, family, coworkers, and others that are currently or formerly in the addict’s life.

2. Collect information. Collecting information is the next step. Consulting trusted sources on the particular drug or drugs can yield helpful tips regarding the best course of action.

3. Formalize the goal. Now that the group is created and everyone is informed, the should be establishing a goal of the intervention. The best goals are specific, clear, realistic, and timely. Goals include next steps, a timeline, follow-up, etc. All should work towards getting the addicted person help.

4. Plan when it will take place. This should include where it should be, who should be in attendance, how you will get the addict there and what will be said by each person. Find a place where the addicted person is calm and safe, while having it at a neutral location.

5. Plan the message. Knowing what to say can be a challenging situation. The tone and the content need to convey the message accurately. The messages should be based in fact with strong emotions tied to them.

6. Plan for the worst. There is a chance that the substance abuser will refuse the message and turn down treatment. Good interventions plan for this scenario and describe to the addict what will occur if treatment is not accepted. Sometimes this will include ending the relationship completely. Other times, it will include limitations or sanctions of finances or housing.

Next steps after a successful intervention

If your intervention is successful (and it may take more than one try), the next step is to get them to addiction treatment services as quickly as possible. In the end, interventions require high levels of attention, effort, and skill. When done well, they can lead to dramatically positive results.

If you have a loved one struggling with addiction and need intervention assistance, contact Scottsdale Recovery Center now to get the help you need. For over a decade, Scottsdale Recovery Center has offered an acclaimed recovery environment that merges upscale and luxury accommodations with affordability, clinical expertise and an unwavering commitment to patient care and aftercare, providing “The Gold Standard in Care” with the Joint Commission Accreditation. 

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.

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