It takes careful planning and a lot of preparedness for success during an intervention for a loved one. Although it is the boldest thing to do for someone battling addiction, the outcome could go either way. While the main idea for staging intervention is to motivate a loved one, if not approached properly, it may fail to achieve the desired results. To enhance chances for a successful intervention, avoid doing these eight during one.
Go Scriptless During an Intervention
A script serves as a manual for guiding the intervention. It helps outline what you will say. Emotions run high during this interaction. A mix of anger and care could see you speak for hours on end. To avoid speaking too much and possibly deviating from the main topic, come up with a script ahead of time.
What goes into the script? Define who talks and what they say, the importance of seeking intervention, and the consequences of not seeking treatment. Rank speakers in order of ability to get the attention of the person in active addiction. Rehearse the script in advance.
Play the Victim
Nobody feels worse about their decisions, actions and choices than someone in active addiction. This is not the time to show the person how much damage he or she has had on the family. This clouds everything. You are staging an intervention because you care and because addiction is treatable. When given time to speak, do not use it to impose guilt.
It is okay to talk about how their decisions make you feel, but you should not use your emotions to beat them into submission. It should not be used to belittle and criticize because it misses the point of the intervention.
Recovery is the bumpiest road you’ll ever walk. It is hard to see a loved one struggle with addiction. It comes with so many feelings of despair. Ask for help. It is not enough to have a professional. Go further and ask for help from a spiritual leader if needed.
Admit to yourself that the motivation may or may not work. Do not panic if it fails. Do not be afraid to come up with a Plan B. It is not an admission of defeat, nor does it take away your abilities or efforts.
Allow Emotional Family and Friends to Speak
An intervention is not supposed to be a dramatic family episode. It is a short session that requires people to control their emotions and talk about addiction from a point of love. All family members are allowed to participate, but ensure only those that keep their emotions in check have a chance to speak, guide the discussion or communicate the consequences of not following through with treatment.
Emotional family and friends may say things that will only frustrate the process. These words could be more hurtful and damaging to someone in active addiction. It often becomes difficult for emotional people to communicate their messages calmly and constructively.
Think the Time and Place Isn’t Important
Timing is everything when staging an intervention. Do not hold it when the person is intoxicated. While it may be difficult to catch them at the right time, especially if they are too deep into using, it won’t make sense to talk to them when they are wasted.
Try holding the intervention in the morning. You could also consider approaching them after a drug-related incident such as a hospital stay or after an arrest. Wait for a time when they are likely to be influenced by their consequences.
Do not hold interventions at home. While it may appear comfortable, it might interfere with the seriousness of the process. Find a neutral place to solve the problems. Choose a private and formal spot.
Beat Around the Bush
When you get an audience of with someone in active addiction, be specific. There is no time for generalities. Be specific about how the addiction has affected you and the family.
Don’t go into stories of all the nights they came home high. Talk about one night they abused and the significant impact it had on those around them. Speak about how traumatizing it was. The idea is to create an intense emotional impact.
Staging Intervention Without Treatment Options
Before inviting your loved one to an intervention session, have a clear road map on what treatment options they can join. With the help of a professional and all the family involved ask these basic questions.
What treatment options are available for his addiction? What are the treatment costs? What is the program route – inpatient or outpatient? Is the family ready to support treatment immediately?
Before holding an intervention, research treatment centers, understand treatment options available in the rehab, think about dual diagnosis, and if possible make arrangements to have the loved one join immediately after the successful intervention. Think about travel arrangements as well.
Give up and Lose Control
When you lose control, it becomes difficult to stage a successful intervention. Even after you get a ‘No”, think about how to proceed to the next intervention stage. Earlier, a suggestion was given that there is a need for plan B. When the offer for treatment is declined move to plan B. Talk to your professional on how to proceed to the next stage.
Staging a successful intervention means adequate prior planning to ensure it is the right time, place and team to work with. Since it is a difficult process, you are likely to make many mistakes. These tips will help you see the shaky areas before the foil your intervention plan.