An intervention can be a powerful tool in the attempt to help a loved find help for substance abuse or dependency. When carried out properly, a crisis intervention can provide the motivation a person needs to stop using drugs or alcohol for good. However, when hosting an intervention, there are certain dos and don’ts that you should keep in mind.
A poorly planned intervention can prove disastrous. A bad intervention plan can raise tensions and potentially alienate loved ones from one another. Following the do’s and don’ts of an intervention will set the foundation for a successful meeting and help pave the path toward sobriety.
The Do’s of Interventions
When it comes to planning an intervention, organization is of utmost importance. If possible, contact a professional interventionist who can help moderate the meeting and organize an effective intervention plan. Several people may attend the crisis intervention, so long as they are individuals who are in close relationship with and have the best interests of their loved one at heart.
Have a Prepared Statement
Those who choose to attend the intervention should come with a prepared statement that conveys a shared message of love, concern and support. Take turns speaking, and if possible, rehearse statements ahead of the family intervention to ensure the discussion is focused and success-oriented.
Delivering an Ultimatum
The crisis intervention should lead to the delivery of an ultimatum, or a choice the loved one must make between seeking help or facing consequences. Every person in attendance should decide what action he or she will take if a loved one declines to accept treatment.
Continuing to abuse substances may lead to a loss of relationships, employment or financial support. Most importantly, each person must commit to upholding those consequences regardless of how painful or difficult they may be.
The Don’ts of Interventions
There are also some things that never belong in a crisis intervention and should be avoided at all times. To start, an intervention should never be performed in a one-on-one situation. Tensions often rise during these types of confrontations, and handling it alone may lead to terrible outcomes.
Keeping the Intervention a Secret
It is also important to avoid letting a loved one know about an intervention in advance, as they may be tempted to make excuses, fabricate defenses and not show up altogether.
Preventing Emotions from Taking Over
With regard to the statements and discussion that occur during an intervention, never allow the conversation to be controlled or manipulated by emotions, negativity or speculations. While it is acceptable to talk about the personal toll a loved one’s addiction has taken on each individual, statements and responses should never be charged with emotion.
Similarly, it is important to avoid conjecture or accusations, regardless of how true they may be. A loved one cannot argue with facts, but he or she may be more likely to reject comments that are not substantiated with proof or one-on-one experiences.
Hold a Successful Intervention
Crisis interventions can be painful and difficult experiences for all involved. By following the do’s and don’ts of confronting a loved one’s substance abuse, it is possible to hold a successful intervention that sets the foundation for recovery.