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29th February 2024

by maxweb

Min read

Tips for Staging an Intervention

Watching a partner or family member suffer with their addiction, day in day out, can be an extremely tough time. No matter how many comments you make about their unusual behaviour or attempts to stop their substance use, it can be difficult to persuade an addict that they have an addiction issue and require professional help. Staging an intervention is a vital part of a person’s recovery journey and if performed correctly, can convince your loved one to take steps in the right direction. We explain why an intervention is key for recovering from a drug or alcohol addiction and how you can stage a successful intervention.

What is an intervention?

An intervention is the first part of the recovery process and involves a planned meeting between family members or partners and the individual with addiction issues.

The main purpose of a staged intervention is to discuss their behaviour and how it a problem, how they can offer their support and how the individual can benefit from professional help.

The meeting is referred to as ‘intervening’ as it to prevent the individual’s drug or alcohol habit from becoming worse before it’s too late. An intervention is usually performed as a last resort for stopping a loved one’s substance misuse to improve their overall health and wellbeing.

Why is an intervention important for recovery?

An intervention is a vital part of the recovery process as it allows an individual to avoid the denial of their addiction and take construction criticism from people close to them.

It is common for people with a drug or alcohol addiction to deny that they have an addiction issue. This is usually the case as addicts don’t want to take any responsibility for their substance misuse or they feel a sense of shame that they don’t want to come to terms with.

Speaking to a family member about their issues in everyday situations can be looked over or forgotten about, especially if they are in brief or one-on-one environments where an individual is able to excuse their behaviour.

An intervention provides a safe space where a group of people can validate their shared opinions and experiences with the individual and provide constructive criticism that will help them take steps in the right direction for recovery.

Steps for a successful intervention

Speaking to your loved one during an intervention can be a difficult process, which can be made easier if you know what to do and what to say.

It’s important that you prepare the day, what you’re going to say and how you’re going to say it, as well as what the outcome will be.

Preparation for the intervention

To create a successful intervention for a loved one, it’s important to make sure that you are prepared beforehand.

Interventions can often be an emotional process, so it’s important that you plan ahead to avoid forgetting anything you want to say or approaching the situation the wrong way.

1. Make a plan – plan out important things that you want to say and make notes that you can refer back to during the intervention.
2. Speak to your family members or friends for support – speak to your family members or friends for support before the intervention. Ask them what they think and if they want to be at the meeting to speak.
3. Speak to a professional counsellor or therapist for assistance – speak to a professional counsellor or therapist to see if they have any advice or support about staging the intervention. Some may be able to sit in on the intervention to be a part of the process.
4. Find a rehabilitation centre and treatment programme – it can be helpful to identify a rehabilitation programme at a centre going in to the intervention, to mitigate any sort of discussion about rehabilitation and speed up the process after the intervention has completed.

During the Intervention

1. Use notes to plan out what you have to say – use the notes that you’ve planned before the intervention to remember key things that you want to say.
2. Let everyone at the intervention speak about their experiences – allow family members or friends to speak about their thoughts.
3. Reassure them that you’re on their side – reassure them that you’re not there to single them out and that you want the best for them.
4. Don’t be forceful – don’t talk to them like you’ve made the decision for them, as this will encourage resistance.
5. Ignore confrontation – interventions can spike anger or confrontation. Avoid retaliating at all costs and highlight that this behaviour is a contributing issue.

Prepare for the worst

Interventions aim to move towards getting the help that they need for their addiction issue; however, this isn’t always a guarantee.

It’s important to prepare for the worst outcome of the intervention to avoid disappointment or feeling like a failure if they don’t want to receive help. It’s common for individuals with addiction to refuse help during the first intervention processes as it is as scary for them as it is for you.

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