It can be extremely challenging and painful trying to have a relationship with someone struggling with addiction or substance abuse, especially if you have made numerous attempts to help them. An intervention may feel like the last resort, and it’s a good option for many family members, friends, and loved ones. However, knowing how to organize an intervention is never an easy undertaking. There are certain factors that every person should consider, and here are a few.
From an outside perspective, addiction may seem overwhelmingly obvious, but to your loved one who is struggling, they may feel as if you’re overreacting. In fact, denial about substance abuse is extremely common and keeps many from seeking the help they require. Admitting there’s a problem is usually the first step. Coming to a place of reckoning with addiction is not just for the person in recovery, but for family, as well.
An intervention may be the next step in guiding your loved one to recovery before things escalate and relationships break down further. If you need help organizing an intervention, contact AspenRidge Recovery directly for direct support at 855-281-5588.
What Is An Intervention?
An intervention is a formally planned and structured conversation between someone struggling with addiction and their loved ones in the presence of an interventionist or professional who can mediate the situation.
In an intervention, members of the group will present examples of how the loved one’s problems with addiction are negatively affecting them and provide consequences if they do not get the help they need. In most circumstances, family members or friends will prearrange a treatment plan for the loved one to enroll on with specific goals they must reach.
What Examples May Warrant An Intervention?
Often those struggling with addiction don’t recognize the effect their behavior and actions have on their own lives and relationships around them. Which is when the need for intervention becomes more paramount. An intervention may be needed for the following conditions:
- Alcohol Addiction
- Prescription Drug Abuse
- Opioid Drug Addiction
- Street Drug Addiction
- Gambling Addiction
Over 20 million people have damaged their lives, hurt family members, lost custody of their children, lost jobs and destroyed finances due to drugs and alcohol. According to the American Addictions Center, each day, more than 100 people die from drug overdose, while even more die from illness or injury resulting from their addiction.
Substance use disorder (SUD) can easily take over a person’s life from their work, social circles, energy, ambition, and other goals. It’s difficult to watch a loved one struggle with substance abuse and recovery issues. Intervention offers a solution that may be beneficial in certain situations. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 96% of people who are actively addicted to substances and not seeking help don’t believe they need to get treatment for help.
Formal Interventions & Long-Term Recovery
An intervention is more than just a serious conversation between someone struggling with addiction and those closest to them. It should not be initiated spontaneously without prior thinking and planning by those involved.
Sometimes a heart-to-heart with the person with addiction and another person may initiate change and put them on the right path to recovery. However, it can be difficult to keep emotions under control in most circumstances and be strategic with what you are trying to put across, often resulting in an argument or your loved one walking away from the situation – leaving you back to square one.
The Addiction Center states that successful interventions can help an addict’s loved ones express their feelings constructively.
A formal intervention that has been carefully planned with selective members (i.e., those closest to the person with addiction) and occasionally with the help of an interventionist can help motivate someone to seek help by sharing how their addiction is negatively affecting theirs and other surrounding people’s lives in a calm but focused manner.
Interventions can bring about change while also helping to maintain or establish the current and future relationships between the person dealing with addiction and their family and friends.
According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, around 90% of people seek treatment or help after an intervention with their loved ones and a professional.
A preliminary investigation (a sample of 51 recovering individuals) held by Alexandre B. Laudet, Robert Savage, and Daneyal Mahmood into the pathways to the long-term recovery of addiction reported that support from peers/friends/family (including an intervention) was the second-highest (30%) significant experience that helped them start and maintain their recovery process.
How To Organize An Intervention
- Make A Plan
It may be advised to speak with a qualified interventionist or addiction specialist to offer guidance on how to stage a successful intervention – they may also provide their presence on the day you plan to do the intervention for mediation purposes. You’ll need to contact family and friends and those closest to the person with addiction regarding your plan to intervene.
- Form The Intervention Team
Choose the people you would like on your intervention team. Ideally, it should be no more than 10 people and made up of family and friends who have a close connection with your loved one.
Any person struggling with current addiction should not be on the team, and you avoid having anyone on the intervention team that your loved one dislikes.
- Research & Gather Information
You can’t go into this intervention blind, so you’ll need to research and gather information on your loved one’s substance abuse or addiction to be able to know what they are going through.
Research treatment and recovery services that would be best for your loved one’s needs, so if the intervention is successful, you’ll be able to take the next step more efficiently.
- Agree On Your Consequences & Back-up Plans
Each person on the team may need to agree on what specific action they will take should your loved one not accept treatment. For example, if the partner and loved one share a child, then you could request the loved one to move out, so their addiction does not affect the welfare of the child.
At this point, you may want to create some backup plans should your loved one not agree with your intervention. Prepare for all outcomes and agree on backup plans, so you know what to do should the situation arise.
- Make Notes/Write A Speech & Practice Together
Each person in the group will need to prepare notes or a speech on how the person’s addiction has affected them personally and in their relationship, whether mentally, emotionally, or even financially.
You should be emotionally honest about your experience but do not make personal attacks on your loved one. You should relay what help you are willing to offer your loved one during your speech.
Practice your speeches/notes together and decide what order you will speak in. Ideally, the most impactful speech should come last and from the closest person to your loved one.
- Hold The Intervention
You’ll ask your loved one to meet you at a specific time and place but do not reveal the reason you are meeting. Make sure to choose a private and neutral meeting spot and pick a time when your loved one is most likely to be sober.
- Follow Up
If the intervention is successful, you should follow up with your loved one through the entire recovery process so they are not alone. Remember that the intervention could be unsuccessful, but you will need to follow through with the consequences that you set out during the intervention, so they hopefully turn down the road of recovery eventually.
Our care centers in Colorado offer effective programs and recovery services to help those struggling with substance abuse or addiction on a variable spectrum.
What can offer:
- Intensive Outpatient Programs (5-Day IOP)
- Partial Hospitalization Program (Day Program)
- Dual Diagnosis Treatment Program
- Outpatient Treatment
- Alumni Support
- Online Intensive Outpatient Program
If you’d like to speak in confidence to one of our compassionate members of staff, then call 855-281-5588 to find out more on how you can help someone close to you who is struggling with alcohol or drug addiction or any other occurring disorders that you’re worried about whether that be through enrolling on a recovery program or taking the first step by initiating an intervention.