What Is an Intervention?
When family and friends are concerned for the health and safety of a loved one, it may be time for an intervention. An intervention is a structured conversation, usually facilitated by a professional, where loved ones can have an honest conversation with an addict and voice their concerns in a productive manner. The goal of these interventions is to serve as a wakeup call for an addict, and hopefully change their harmful behavior for good.
A successful intervention occurs when both parties are able to speak constructively and openly about their feelings and the addict will change their behavior and take tangible steps towards a healthier life.
An intervention is staged by a carefully planned team, consisting of family members and other loved ones, in addition to a licensed intervention specialist, sometimes called an interventionist. During the actual Intervention, it is important that the addict is made aware of specific examples and details of their destructive behavior in the past and how it affected any loved ones, a plan for treatment consisting of clear steps goals and guidelines, and any consequences that will occur if an addict refuses to accept the treatment offer.
The hardest part of an intervention is often starting the conversation, especially when it is very common for an addict to downplay or deny any semblance of a problem to loved ones. Because of this, there is often no “right” time to stage an intervention. However, if someone is constantly lying about their whereabouts and engaging in secretive behavior, becoming financially irresponsible and often borrowing money, ignoring their personal hygiene and overall appearance, and exhibiting destructive behaviors, it might be time for an intervention.
What Does an Intervention Typically Look Like?
Interventions should be tailored to best fit an individual’s personal needs. However, most interventions do follow the same general structure. An intervention for an addict should include the following steps:
1. Establish a plan with an Intervention Specialist
Because intervention may lead to intense emotions and high tensions, it is best to contact an intervention specialist to serve as a mediator and unbiased party. Because an intervention specialist is specially licensed and trained to deal with these types of situations, they can help facilitate communication between parties. It is extremely vital to have an unbiased opinion 2 mitigate these emotional responses. Also, intervention specialists will know the best plan of action and how to introduce this intervention to the addict.
2. Form an intervention team to decide on the action items and consequences
The intervention team usually consists of spouses or partners, parents, siblings, co-workers, children and close friends. After gathering information about the addict specific to his or her his or her condition, the intervention specialist will help to decide on the specific steps an addict will need to take towards recovery and the consequences if these actions aren’t followed.
3. Practice the intervention
It is important that the intervention team makes notes on what they’re going to say. Nothing about the intervention should be spontaneous, it is important that time and effort are put in beforehand so the intervention can be successful. By staging a rehearsal intervention, the intervention team can practice when to speak so the real thing will run without any issues. It is important that the team educates themselves about addiction in the recovery process, so they can talk to the individual with knowledge and compassion.
4. Hold the actual intervention
It is important that the intervention is held in a familiar and neutral location so that the addict can feel as comfortable as possible. During this time, the team will take turns speaking about how they are affected by the addict’s actions and their personal feelings. There is no perfect amount of time for an intervention, but most will last about 30 to 90 minutes. Also, the addict will be presented with the concrete treatment steps and any consequences for not taking action. It’s important to be prepared for anything because you are not sure how the individual will react.
5. Follow Up
Following up may be the most important step, because it is vital the addict is held accountable for their actions and must face any consequences. The support from a family member or loved one is what can prevent a relapse for an addict.
If your loved one is struggling with an addiction, we are here to guide you through an intervention. An addiction specialist at Desert Rose Recovery is waiting for your call.