An intervention is a highly stressful, yet important event for all involved. Family and friends get together to help the person they love see that they need to get help. The person struggling needs to know that the people around them love and support them but need something to change in order to continue the relationship. For the most part, the supporting cast to an addict is their friends and family. They each usually have a small role at least in helping enable the addict’s lifestyle. Let’s go over how to do an intervention with a drug addict.
The Process Of An Intervention
An intervention can be an intimidating event for those who want to organize it. Emotions are at an all time high and the result can be heartbreaking. These are the key steps to take when planning an intervention.
Educate yourself – Before you jump into this process, educate yourself on how to go about it. This guide is a great start but you can even reach out to professional interventionists. Even if you can’t afford their help, you can surely reach out to get their professional advice on how to go about it. Research possible destinations for detox/treatment, make sure if the person accepts help, you have a place lined up already.
Create Your Team – This is an important step, carefully go through the people you want to pick for your intervention team. Interventions are typically done with a small group of people, not just one or two. The idea being the addict sees people from all different places in their life all coming together because of their concern. Think of family members that have a connection with the suffering one as well as friends who truly want the best for the addict. If you are unsure about somebody you are better off passing on them.
Make a plan – Once you have formed your intervention squad, congregate and decide the best day to do it, the best time and location as well. Also go over what your plan of attack will be as far as who will say what and when. Make sure absolutely everyone is on the same page.
Write your statements – As you are learning how to do an intervention with a drug addict, this is one of the most vital parts. Everyone on your team clearly has or at least had a strong relationship with the person you are intervening with. Make sure each person goes in-depth on how much their relationship means to the addict. This is the part where you want as much emotion, love and healthy concern as possible. Absolutely, positively do not make any attacks or negative statements. It is simply not the time to criticize the person you are trying to save.
Establish boundaries – In the unfortunate event that your loved one refuses treatment, you must inform them that things have to change from hear on out. That can even mean cutting off contact, you want to end the enabling behavior. Whatever that is to each person is for them to figure out.
Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse – This is no different than practicing for a play, you want to make sure everyone knows what the overall script is. Make sure to establish the overall intention and things everyone should avoid. In such a tense, emotional time, things can go bad quickly if somebody says the wrong thing.
The Day of the Intervention
Once the day finally arrives, check in with everyone to again make sure you are on the same page. Learning how to do an intervention for a drug addict is not an easy task, but with the correct preparation it can be effective.
A key element on the day of the big event is to manage your expectations. Many people have watched interventions on TV and while a beautiful thing to watch, makes it seem like they always go well. Go in with the understanding that your loved one may storm out right away or simply say no thanks.
What happens when that occurs? Well, remember when you wrote out your boundaries? You stick to them. The hardest part for those who have a relationship with an addict is that the more you love them the more you are killing them. That means, because you love them you help them out but in turn it keeps them from hitting bottom and getting help.
For most addicts, they will not turn to help until they see that they have no other option than to get help or be homeless and have zero friends or family talk to them. That’s generally speaking but you get the idea. If they turn down treatment, you must stick to the plan in hopes of ‘elevating their bottom’.
If all goes well, be grateful and encouraging to the addict getting help. A key thing to note however is that inpatient treatment is not the solution, it is just the beginning. As a family member or friend, there are roles you need to learn and things you need to change as well.
Work On Yourself
No matter the result of an intervention, having a close relationship with an addict can do a lot of damage to you psychologically. Especially for family members. Take your own measures to work on yourself for the inevitable damage that was done while living or being close to someone with an addiction problem.
For family members, co-dependency is usually the top issue and when the addict finally does get sober, the family member does not know how to react or deal with them anymore. After being so used to being lied to and manipulated, it can be hard to go back to a regular, loving relationship. Of course it matters depending on the result of the intervention and afterwards. Either way though, even though you were not the one with the drug problem, chances are you could use some professional help for your mental health to some degree.
These are the core principles and steps of how to do an intervention with a drug addict, take every step necessary to ensure you are confident at least in the plan and pulling it off before trying it. Just remember, this is all about saving someone’s life, someone you love. Put your heart and soul into it and the rewards can be beautiful.