An intervention is a strategy put in place to coax an individual into changing their actions. When loved ones hold an intervention for someone suffering from an alcohol or substance use disorder, it’s done in hopes that the person will discontinue their ways. However, confronting people on a sensitive, stigmatized topic such as substance addiction can go wrong very quickly. Fortunately, we’re able to offer intervention tips on how to avoid an emotionally charged scenario with those struggling with addiction.
Before the loved ones of addicts decide to forcibly get them into rehab, it’s best that they think about how to plan an intervention. Oftentimes, people struggling with an addiction don’t understand how much people care about them and how their addiction wounds others. An intervention can be the difference between convincing someone to get help and spiraling further into addiction.
10 Intervention Tips On What Not To Do
- Don’t enable people with an alcohol or substance use disorder.
- Don’t ask them to attend the intervention if they aren’t sober.
- Don’t come to the intervention without a planned statement.
- Don’t hold the intervention in a public setting.
- Don’t invite too many people.
- Don’t shame the person with an alcohol or substance use disorder.
- Don’t go off the script.
- Don’t go into the intervention without the next steps.
- Don’t neglect to follow up after the intervention.
- Don’t forget there are professional interventionists to help.
1. Don’t enable people with an alcohol or substance use disorder.
Those suffering from a substance or alcohol use disorder have people that deeply care for them. While it may not feel like it at times to those with addictions, it’s true. Sometimes loved ones of those suffering from addiction want to help, but don’t know how to do it without enabling.
Enabling is giving someone the ability to do something. In this case, it would be allowing the person with an addiction to skip out on the intervention. Another way to enable addicts is to not try to get them to seek help. While it can feel harsh, tough love is better than a worst-case scenario.
2. Don’t ask them to attend the intervention if they aren’t sober.
Another intervention tip is to avoid asking the people who need help to attend an intervention when they aren’t sober. It’s likely that they won’t remember that they were asked to attend an intervention in the first place.
Plus, individuals that are currently struggling with addiction might agree to receive an intervention just because they aren’t in the right state of mind. Ultimately, loved ones of addicts can’t gauge a true reaction of whether or not they are open to receiving interventions if they aren’t sober.
It’s best to present an intervention for substance addiction when people have just woken up after a full night’s rest. That way, loved ones can make sure that the people that they are giving an intervention to aren’t drunk or high. It’s best to know the signs of addiction to confirm that people aren’t drunk or high at that time.
3. Don’t come to the intervention without a planned statement.
One of the most important aspects of how to plan an intervention is coming up with a statement. An easy way to think of a statement is a script. People, aside from who the intervention is for, should prepare a brief speech describing how they are hurt by the addict’s actions.
Reasons should be along the lines of how it hurts to see the person they care about whither away due to drugs and alcohol. Neglecting to prepare a statement can end with an intervention that lasts way too long and is unproductive.
4. Don’t hold the intervention in a public setting.
Opening up about an alcohol or substance use disorder can make people vulnerable and defensive. Therefore, many people don’t want to announce to the whole world that they suffer from addiction. For this reason, avoid holding the intervention in a place surrounded by strangers.
On the other hand, it’s also important to avoid choosing a place for an intervention that is too private. It can benefit everyone who is a part of an intervention for a person with a substance addiction to hold the intervention in a neutral setting. Examples of neutral intervention settings include a church or therapist office.
Again, interventions can be highly uncomfortable to everyone involved. It can be especially so for the subject of the intervention. Don’t invite people to the intervention that won’t make an impact on the addict and will just embarrass him or her.
It’s best to choose people to attend an intervention that are already aware that the person is struggling with an alcohol or substance use disorder. It will make it easier for everyone to speak freely, while still staying on-script.
Having people that are already aware of the addictions that a person is facing at an intervention can also make the intervention much longer than it needs to be. Ultimately, it’s best to keep the invites to interventions to close family members and friends.
6. Don’t shame the person with an alcohol or substance use disorder.
Deep inside, most people with an alcohol or substance use disorder are ashamed of their actions. For this reason, it makes no sense to add to the self-hatred. Loved ones should speak to people that are suffering from addiction constructively during an intervention instead of speaking harshly.
In general, avoid making statements that are fueled by anger during an intervention. It’s alright to cry, but shouting and shaming will only make a person with an addiction shut down. The point of an intervention is to encourage someone to get addiction treatment.
7. Don’t go off the script.
An intervention should only take a couple of hours at most and as little as 30 minutes. Drawing an intervention out too long can make it lose its meaning. Also, it can derail the entire intervention and lead to an emotionally charged situation or a flat-out dismissal.
Everyone participating in an intervention should have a turn to talk. Therefore, no one should speak out of order. Thay way, each person gets a chance to speak and won’t have enough time to get overly emotional. Intervention participants should have around 10-20 minutes to speak depending on how large the group is.
8. Don’t go into the intervention without the next steps.
Often, a part of why people don’t get the addiction treatment that they need is because they don’t know where to start. Make it easier on them by providing a list of addiction treatment centers in the area.
Even better, call local addiction treatment centers beforehand to make sure that they are the right match for your loved one. Doing this means choosing the path of least resistance. The only thing the person with a substance or alcohol use disorder needs to do at this point is agree to get help.
9. Don’t neglect to follow up after the intervention.
One of the most important intervention tips is to follow up. Just because the subject of an intervention initially agrees to get help, doesn’t mean that he or she will.
5. Don’t invite too many people.
One reason is that the person that is suffering from addiction feels guilty that people are worried about him or her. It’s never a good feeling to know that you’ve hurt someone’s feelings who you deeply care about.
Another reason to follow-up with people with addictions after interventions is that they might say it just to appease the participants of the intervention. A way to avoid this reason from causing a loved one to not attend rehab is to set a deadline for your loved one to seek treatment.
If that person isn’t in rehab by the deadline, it will be noted on the follow-up. There’s also always the option of getting outside help if it’s too difficult to make this person attend addiction treatment.
10. Don’t forget there are professional interventionists to help.
If all else fails, it may be time to get outside help from a professional interventionist. It’s a difficult feat to convince people to attend addiction treatment when the nature of the disorder convinces its victim otherwise.
Professional interventionists are trained in the best practices on how to plan an intervention. This makes interventionists much more effective than a family member or friend at attempting to stage an intervention.
Unfortunately, hiring an interventionist isn’t always an option due to budget restrictions. If this is true for you, don’t fret. Interventionists might be able to still offer a bit of advice or work on a sliding scale to patients.
Harmony Ridge Recovery Center Is Here For Your Loved Ones
Dealing with an alcohol or substance use disorder is incredibly isolating. But what most people might not realize is how isolating it is for family and friends affected by a loved one’s addiction. Harmony Ridge Recovery Center is there for our patients as well as the people closest to them who are rightfully concerned.
Know that we here at Harmony Ridge offer a vast variety of addiction treatment programs that are catered to your loved one’s needs. For instance, we offer dual diagnosis treatment. Dual diagnosis treatment helps individuals overcome a mental illness and addiction simultaneously.
Also, we here at Harmony Ridge also offer residential treatment in West Virginia as well as some structured forms of outpatient treatment. Both of these forms of treatment often include family therapy, which can mend broken bonds.
We here at Harmony Ridge even complement our traditional forms of addiction therapy with holistic therapies. Doing this creates well-rounded, personalized addiction treatment plans for all our patients.
Examples of holistic therapies that we offer here at Harmony Ridge include nutritional therapy, exercise therapy, and art therapy. Patients will take these skills with them when they leave Harmony Ridge, ready to reengage with the world.
If you are interested in learning more about the addiction treatment programs and therapies that we offer here at Harmony Ridge contact us now. You can also contact us to learn more about the power of interventions.