Staging an intervention can be an emotional and delicate experience for both you and your loved one. If your friend or family member has turned down a dark path of drug and alcohol abuse, an intervention may be the only way that you can reach this individual. The important piece is that the intervention is well planned out and not done on a whim. At The River Source, we’ve learned from our patients and their families which factors make an intervention successful. By taking the time to prepare for the intervention and have a strong network of family or friends in place, you too can hold a meaningful intervention.
Choose Family or Friends to Participate
More isn’t better in this case. Instead, choose the family or friends who are most significant to your loved one and ask them about the idea of an intervention. Keep the number of people under 10, as you want to create an intimate setting that will have an impact on your loved one. Another important factor is that everyone at the intervention is on the same page. Your efforts could backfire if not everyone agrees with your intentions.
Decide How You Will Share Your Feelings
During an intervention, you must be prepared to share your feelings, and so should everyone else. A common, effective way to do this is to write a letter to your loved one ahead of time so that you can think clearly before your emotions take over. Everyone can then take turns reading their letters. The goal is to get down to the core of the addict and help them see how they’re affecting their family and friends.
Seek Professional Help
You don’t need to have a professional therapist or counselor to lead the intervention, but this person could really help make the intervention most successful. A therapist will serve as the moderator, able to lead the intervention and keep the meeting running smoothly. If you’re unsure of whether or not you can lead this type of experience, it’s best to have a professional who is well versed in these types of delicate situations.
Rehearse and Have an Ultimatum
An intervention should never be done as a last minute effort. Instead, it should be well prepared for, and you should practice the meeting with your family. The River Source encourages families to look at a few factors when practicing the arrangement of the intervention. First, rehearse what you’re going to say, and make sure that it does not include blaming the addict or using harsh language. Everything should be loving and encouraging. Second, there needs to be an ultimatum that pushes the addict into seeking treatment.
Create a Positive Atmosphere
It can be difficult to keep things positive when there are so many emotions running freely during an intervention, but you must continue to keep a constructive environment. Addicts tend to be very defensive and in denial about their disease, so you must know how to control your own anger or frustration. Don’t point fingers or issue blame to anyone; instead, concentrate on the way you feel using “I” statements.
Have a Plan of Action
Your plan of action should match the ultimatum that you are giving your loved one. Most families decide that seeking treatment at a rehabilitation center is that choice; either the addict seeks treatment or they need to move out of the home or their family will no longer be involved in their life. When addicts see that the people they care about most are willing to walk out on them, this will have a significant impact.
Many families choose to pack their loved one’s bags and have all the arrangements made before holding the intervention. Others promise to find a treatment center with their loved one. While both approaches are constructive, The River Source believes that arrangements should be made as quickly as possible. You can call our facility prior to the intervention for information regarding our policies and whether or not our therapies will help your loved one.
We can also schedule same-day pickup from the airport and start treatment immediately. With this approach, there is no delay and little risk for backing out of treatment. Remember that if you choose this route, be sure to have everything else in place, such as notifying your loved one’s school or work or arranging childcare. We tell our patients to bring five to seven outfits; comfortable, weather-appropriate clothes. To learn more about how to stage a successful intervention and work with The River Source to start treatment immediately, call 866-294-9331.