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The Step-by-Step Guide to Staging an Intervention

Feb 8, 2023
Alex Cable

When someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, an intervention may be the best way to get them the help they need to recover.

But what is an intervention? And what are the steps you need to take to make it successful?

In this blog post, we'll guide you through everything you need to know about what goes into a intervention. We'll cover what an intervention is, how to prepare for one, and what to avoid. We'll also touch on different types of interventions and how effective they can be.

Hopefully this will give you a better understanding of interventions so you can be better equipped to help your loved one get the treatment they need.

What is an intervention?

An intervention is a process where you attempt to get someone to accept help with a problem, usually addiction. It is a structured conversation between the addict and their loved ones, facilitated by a professional. The aim is to get the addict to see how their addiction is affecting themselves and those around them, and to convince them to seek treatment.

Interventions can be incredibly difficult, both emotionally and logistically. But they are also often successful in getting people into treatment and on the road to recovery. This guide will give you an overview of what you need to do in order to stage an intervention for a loved one.

Before you proceed with an intervention, it is important that you have a good understanding of what addiction is and how it works. Addiction is a chronic disease that changes both the brain and behaviour. It is characterized by compulsive drug-seeking despite negative consequences. Drug addiction can lead to severe social, financial and health problems.

If you suspect that someone you love is struggling with addiction, it is important to act quickly. Addiction often progresses rapidly and can easily get out of control. The sooner you intervene, the better the chances are of your loved one getting the help they need.

What are the steps to perform an intervention?

If you're reading this, you may be considering staging an intervention for a loved one. This is a big decision, and one that shouldn't be taken lightly. But if you're sure that an intervention is the right step to take, then this guide will help you to plan and carry out the process.

  • Step 1: Get help. This usually involves contacting a professional interventionist, social worker, or doctor. You may also want to involve other family members and friends. Support for the process is important, and it is important not to do all the work alone.
  • Step 2: Form the intervention team. In most cases, this group of people will include family and friends who are familiar with the patient's situation and history. Close family members, friends, and coworkers can be included. If a person is struggling with their own substance abuse, they should not be on the team.
  • Step 3: Make a plan. ¬†Schedule a specific day, time of day, and location. Also create an outline of how the process will work and what everyone will say. Having a plan is very important, and an intervention professional can be a key resource for this process.
  • Step 4: Gather information. Learn about the substance of abuse, addiction in general, and the recovery process. Look into detox and rehabilitation programs, especially ones that match the person's personality and needs.
  • Step 5: Write impact statements. Everyone at the intervention should have something to say about the person's struggles with addiction. These statements should show how the addiction has hurt the person they care about. Relationships can be deeply hurt by substance abuse. Written statements about the impact on relationships can help the person understand that their disease does not impact them alone. These statements should be emotionally honest and focus on love. There is no place for personal attacks in these statements.
  • Step 6: Offer help. People attending the intervention should be willing to support their loved one during detox, rehabilitation, and long-term recovery. For example, offer rides to support group meetings once a week, or offer to attend family therapy sessions with the person.
  • Step 7: Set boundaries. If the person refuses treatment, relationships with friends and family must change. Everyone present should commit to ending codependency and enabling behaviors. Be clear that there will be consequences if the person refuses help.
  • Step 8: Rehearse. Emotions run high regarding substance abuse and addiction. Practice the intervention with everyone at least once before it happens. This way, you won't take too much time, blame the loved one, or feel sorry for yourself.Then, each team member will have an idea of what to say, when they will speak, and when to cede the floor.
  • Step 9: Manage expectations. Even with a well-executed intervention and loving offers of support, the individual may not accept help for a variety of reasons. If they do not, then follow through on the outlined consequences.
  • Step 10: Follow up. Whether or not the person accepts help, it is important to uphold boundaries and offers made during the intervention. Staying in close contact with the person, continuing encouragement, and supporting them in ways that help their recovery will be important to their success.

What to avoid at an intervention

There are a few things to avoid during an intervention in order to increase the chances of success. One is to avoid ultimatums, as this can make the person feel like they are being attacked and will likely lead to them becoming defensive. Another is to not make promises that you cannot keep, such as promising to never bring up the addiction again if they seek treatment. It is also important to avoid enabling the person's addiction by continuing to support them financially or otherwise. Finally, it is important to avoid getting emotional during the intervention, as this can make the person feel like they are being manipulated and will likely lead them to shut down.

How effective are interventions?

There is no one answer to the question of how effective interventions are. It depends on a number of factors, such as the severity of the addiction, the level of support from family and friends, and the willingness of the person with addiction to seek help. However, interventions can be a powerful tool in getting someone with addiction to seek treatment. A study published in 2012 found that interventions led to a significant increase in the number of people with addiction who sought treatment. The study also found that interventions were more likely to be successful if they were conducted by professional interventionists.