What is an Intervention?
If your loved one has serious substance problems, you may wonder how to stage an intervention, or what an intervention is.
Addiction specialists use this term to describe a carefully planned, helpful confrontation with a person abusing drugs or alcohol.
Interventions rely on the positive effects of peer pressure.
The idea is that the sincere concern of friends and family can convince people caught up in substance abuse to seek treatment.
Among other things, people conducting interventions attempt to:
- Show substance abusers how their actions affect those around them
- Provide specific examples of those adverse effects
- Layout the consequences of failing to seek help and continuing to abuse drugs or alcohol
Do Interventions Work
Do interventions work?
Evidence shows that an intervention can increase the odds that your loved one will enter treatment.
However, this does not mean that your loved one will necessarily complete treatment.
In addition, it does not always mean that your loved one will establish a lasting pattern of sobriety.
By being realistic about potential outcomes, you can make it easier to cope with the aftermath of intervention.
When doing an intervention, it helps to prepare well in advance.
Experts recommend that you follow a series of steps to increase your odds for success.
The essential steps in an intervention template are:
1) Creating Your Intervention Plan
Effective interventions usually begin with solid planning.
Start by gathering a group of interested people. This group can include other loved ones, as well as close friends. It can also include psychologists, addiction counselors, and other trained professionals.
Why plan in advance?
Interventions tend to be very emotional for all parties involved.
In many cases, the intervention person will react with anger or accuse you of betrayal.
In turn, these strong expressions can trigger negative responses in the intervention team.
When you work from a prearranged plan, you’ll know what to do next, even when tensions run high.
This will help you keep the intervention moving forward.
It will also help you steer clear of some of the major pitfalls of interventions, including:
- Yelling at your loved one
- Criticizing or attacking your loved one
- Trying to shame your loved one into changing
- Getting off-topic and letting the meeting lose its focus
2) Educating Yourself and Others Involved in Planning
Not everyone on your planning team may be fully aware of your loved one’s substance problems.
It will help if you fill them in and explain why you think an intervention should happen.
It will also help if everyone involved learns more about the realities of addiction and addiction recovery.
This means researching the specific effects of the substance your loved one is using.
In addition, it means researching the available treatments and treatment programs for your loved one’s specific form of addiction.
3) Setting Up Your Team
At this stage, you can begin to set up your actual intervention team.
This team won’t necessarily include everyone involved in the planning stage.
In fact, certain people should not play a direct role in the intervention.
That includes people who are :
- Currently dealing with uncontrolled substance problems
- Dealing with uncontrolled mental illness
- Involved in serious social problems with your loved one
- Not going stick to your established intervention plan
- Possibly going to take active steps to interfere with the intervention
4) Determining the Consequences of Not Seeking Treatment
Consequences are crucial to a successful intervention.
Your loved one must know that they face unwanted actions if they fail to get help.
As the person organizing the intervention, you should have specific consequences in mind, not just general threats.
It also helps if other intervention participants also come up with their specific consequences.
This group approach will reinforce the seriousness of the situation.
However, you must be willing to follow through with the consequences you propose.
5) Deciding What You’re Going to Say
Instead of thinking up what to say on the spot, prepare yourself before the actual drug intervention.
Make your statements on the harm you have experienced as direct and specific as possible.
Focus on the emotional toll, not every last detail.
This will help you stay away from factual arguments over the events you’re describing.
6) Beginning the Intervention
Your loved one should not know in advance that a drug intervention is about to begin. Instead, ask them to come to your chosen place at a chosen time.
Once the meeting starts, you should:
- Get all team members to outline their specific concerns to your loved one (one at a time, not all at once)
- Using your previous research, give your loved one options for seeking treatment
- Get all team members to explain what they’ll do if your loved one doesn’t seek treatment
7) Taking Follow-Up Action
The last step is following up on whatever happens during the intervention.
If your loved one fails to get help, this will mean enforcing the consequences you laid out in the meeting.
If they do get help, it means providing the support needed to increase the chances for a positive treatment outcome.
How to Plan an Intervention for a Drug Addict or Alcoholic
When planning or staging an intervention, you must pay attention to the source of your loved one’s substance problems.
This is because you will need to research the substance in question.
You will also need to find treatments and treatment programs that help people addicted to that substance.
However, the seven necessary steps in an intervention are the same for all forms of addiction.
That’s true from the planning stage to the follow-up stage.
Just make sure to keep the source of addiction in mind at the appropriate times.
What Is an Interventionist
When planning your intervention, you may decide to get help from an interventionist.
This is the term used to describe specialists trained to provide effective intervention help. People trained as interventionists can provide the knowledge you need to create an effective intervention team.
Interventionists can also help at later stages of the process.
For example, if your loved one enters treatment, you can take advantage of interventionists’ professional connections for continued support.
You can also continue to use this support after your loved one finishes treatment.
The best interventionists hold verifiable certification and have significant practical experience helping others.
Get More Information on How to Stage an Intervention
Interventions can be crucial for convincing your loved one to enter treatment for substance problems.
However, effective interventions don’t just happen spontaneously.
As a rule, they’re the result of careful planning and preparation.
When considering how to hold an intervention, follow established guidelines.
These guidelines provide a step-by-step roadmap of what to do.
By paying attention to them, you can avoid some of the potential pitfalls of interventions.
You can also boost the odds of getting the results you seek.
Interventions are known to increase the chances that people with drug or alcohol problems will enter treatment.
However, they don’t necessarily affect the outcome of treatment.
Awareness of this fact will help temper your expectations.
When planning a drug intervention, you must consider the type of substance your loved one is addicted to.
You must also put together a team of people willing to participate fully in the process.
Several kinds of professionals can help you plan a successful drug intervention.
That includes social workers, psychologists, and addiction counselors.
It also includes specialists called interventionists.
Need more information or advice on how to stage an intervention?
Just contact our experts today at 844-326-4685.