If a spouse, child, family member, partner or close friend is struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, it can be difficult to know what to do to get them the help they so desperately need. If you’ve tried to address the issue with your friend or loved one and they seem to be “in denial” or resistant to seeking help for their addiction, it is time to take some serious steps towards finding a solution. One of the most powerful ways to do this is an intervention. You may have seen this tactic on television, on the popular TV series “Intervention.” Essentially, an intervention is a gathering of close friends, family and colleagues who meet with the addict as a group and express their concerns in a safe and controlled setting. The purpose of an intervention is for an addict to see just how their actions are affecting the people closest to them – and also offer support as they seek treatment for their addictions.
If you’re considering holding an intervention, there are a few key steps you can take to increase your chance of success and make the process run more smoothly. Here are some intervention tips from the addiction counseling experts at The Hills Treatment Center, a top drug rehabilitation center in Los Angeles.
Tips for Successful Interventions
1.) Make sure the right people are involved: Everyone involved in the intervention process should be an important person in the addicts life. Keeping the group small and intimate will help the addict feel at ease and more likely to be comfortable with the message being given to them. It is important that every person involved is not an enabler in the addict’s life – that “great friend” that also goes out drinking with the addict is not a good choice for involvement in the intervention.
2.) Write it down: When participating in an intervention, emotions can get the best of people. It can be hard to express yourself clearly when you are overtaken by the emotions associated with loving an addict. Writing everything down in a letter and reading it helps you keep your thoughts clear and allows you to express exactly what you want to say to your loved one
3.) Practice the intervention: Running a practice session before the intervention might be helpful in overcoming nerves and getting feedback from other participants. The more prepared you are, the better the intervention will go.
4.) Enlist the help of a professional: Interventions can quickly go off the rails. Hiring a professional addiction counselor to run the intervention will keep the process on track. A trained interventionist knows how to handle all of the common issues that arise during an intervention and can help keep the addict calm and eliminate feelings of unease and fear.
5.) Choose the right location: An intervention should be private. This is not the time to meet at a restaurant or other public place. A neutral site, such as a home that is not extremely familiar to the addict is a good idea. An intervention in the addict’s own home may make them feel attacked, or as if their personal space is being violated.
6.) Avoid negative words: Try to focus on the positives about the addict and try not to blame. Explaining that they are a wonderful person who is deserving of recovery is much more effective then shouting at them about what they have done wrong. The point of an intervention is to set a person on a new path, not re-hash old hurts.
A successful intervention should end with an addict committing to getting help at a drug rehabilitation center. The Hills Treatment Center is one of the nation’s most respected inpatient drug rehab, offering dual diagnosis treatment and a private detox center in a luxury drug rehab setting.