Experts estimate that over 21 million Americans need some type of substance abuse treatment. Sadly, only about 10% of these people actually receive the treatment they need.
Do you have a friend or family member who needs help with an addiction? If so, you’ve probably thought about staging an intervention.
Of course, for it to be successful, you’ll need to proceed with caution and tact. Here are four expert tips to successfully stage an intervention for someone you care about.
1. Gather Your Team
Your list probably includes family members and close friends who love the individual and have been personally affected by their addiction.
However, this doesn’t mean you should invite every person on the list. Anyone with a quick temper or strained relationship with the recipient is better off staying at home. The same goes for young children or anyone currently battling their own addiction.
You may also wish to bring in a professional interventionist to increase your chances of success. A neutral third party can do wonders to keep everyone calm and prevent the recipient from feeling attacked.
2. Write Impact Statements
It’s very important to prepare what you want to say in advance. Emotions often run high during the actual intervention, and it’s easy to feel frustrated or overwhelmed.
Encourage everyone who will be there to write down exactly what they want to say ahead of time. Avoid “you” statements that put the blame on the recipient. Instead, focus on “I” statements that help you explain how you feel and how you’ve personally been affected by their addiction.
As much as possible, try to keep the message upbeat and positive. Strive to be open and warm and focus on positive changes in the future rather than everything that’s gone wrong in the past.
3. Set the Stage
Staging an intervention in a public or unfamiliar place is a recipe for disaster. This is a very private and personal event, so it should take place where the recipient feels comfortable.
Their home or the home of a nearby friend or family member are good choices. If you’re hiring a professional therapist, you could stage the intervention at their office.
Make sure to choose a time when the recipient is unlikely to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Your best chance of reaching them with your message is when they’re clearheaded.
4. Have a Followup Game Plan
Of course, the intervention is only the first step towards recovery. Hopefully it will produce the desired result and motivate your loved one to take action.
It’s best to have a treatment facility or program in mind so your loved one can take immediate action. If you’re still researching substance abuse rehab programs, this article can give you some insight.
You’ll also want to consider what you’ll do if the intervention doesn’t go as planned. What if your loved one gets angry, storms out of the room, and refuses to get help? Discuss with your team (in advance) how you’ll handle a negative reaction, including any ultimatums.
Staging an Intervention: Now You’re Ready
Staging an intervention for a family member or another loved one is not easy. It takes tact and careful preparation to make the intervention a success.
Use the tips outlined above during the planning process to ensure you stage an intervention that benefits the recipient.
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