7 Tips for Staging an Addiction Intervention

Posted by on April 22, 2020 in Health with 0 Comments


As difficult as it is to watch a loved one struggle with addiction, sometimes it can be even more difficult to determine when, how, and if you should intervene. This might leave you feeling completely helpless.

Hosting an intervention is often a great way to communicate your concern to an addicted loved one, however, doing so effectively requires a lot of careful consideration and planning.

If you have decided to host an intervention for an addicted loved one, here are seven important tips.

1. Maintain realistic expectations.

Many well-planned interventions are successful and end with the addicted person agreeing to go to an Austin drug rehab program. However, this is not always the case. Unfortunately, sometimes even very well-planned and executed interventions are not successful and the addicted person may continue in their self-destructive ways.

It’s important to mentally prepare yourself and understand that the outcome of your intervention may not be what you’d hoped for. Of course, you’d likely do anything to help your addicted loved one or friend, but they are ultimately responsible for their health and well-being, not you.

2. Consider the timing and location.

A successful intervention requires careful planning regarding specific details such as where and when it will be hosted. Most professionals recommend hosting it in a private place, but preferably not at the person’s home. If the addicted person is too comfortable in the environment, he or she is unlikely to take the intervention seriously or respond appropriately. Many places within their home may also act as triggers. For example, their bedroom could be a mental reminder of drug or alcohol abuse.

It’s also ideal to host the intervention when the person is sober (or as close to sober as possible) such as first thing in the morning. That way, he or she will be clear-headed and more apt to listen to what you have to say. This may also help ensure your safety, especially if the person is prone to violence while high or drunk. Hosting an intervention immediately following a drug-related incident, such as an arrest, may be more likely to yield positive results as well.

3. Be wise about who to include in the intervention.

Inviting anyone and everyone to participate in the intervention is not a wise idea. Instead, limiting the group to a small number of immediate family members and very close friends is likely to have the most impact on the substance abuser. When considering who to involve, you may want to include anyone who has a relationship with the addicted person and has been directly affected by his or her drug abuse.

4. Create a clear communication plan.

Before you host your intervention, you must make a plan to determine who will say what. An intervention is an ideal time to be open and honest with the addicted person and calmly express how his or her addiction has negatively affected you. Since all members of the intervention group will have different experiences and relationships with the person, taking the time to plan clear communication will make everything run more smoothly.

While you create your plan, remember that it is best to avoid placing blame on the individual and instead, use phrases like, “When you blow off plans with me to get high, it makes me feel like you don’t care about me or our friendship.” or “When you ask me to cover for you at work, I feel confused and used. Putting me in that situation also puts my job in jeopardy.”

5. Be prepared to present an ultimatum.

Once you and the rest of the members in the intervention group have presented a case, you all must be prepared to present an ultimatum by clearly stating what you will do if the addicted person decides they don’t want to get help or go to treatment. Examples could be:

  • Not allowing him/her to live at the family home
  • Not supporting him/her financially anymore
  • Not letting him/her use the family vehicle

Of course, no one wants to have to follow through on these ultimatums, but if your loved one refuses to seek help for his or her addiction, you must be prepared to do so. Determining ahead of time exactly how you will carry out those actions may help you stand firm.

6. Choose a few potential addiction treatment centers.

Having an Austin drug detox center or rehab center picked out before hosting the intervention can make enrolling in treatment a much faster and easier process. It’s not uncommon for someone who is addicted to admit that they need help but then procrastinate and use every excuse in the book for not going to rehab.

To avoid this issue, do your homework ahead of time and have two or three great treatment options ready to present to your loved one. That way he or she can enroll in treatment right away and start working toward a sober life in recovery.

7. Work with a professional.

Most people are not intervention experts by nature. If you find yourself at a loss for where to get started, you are much more likely to plan and host a successful addiction intervention if you work with a professional. Whether you choose to work with a professional interventionist, qualified counselor, addiction treatment professional, or social worker, you won’t regret it.

Hosting an addiction intervention takes a lot of planning, effort, and courage, but it can often be the turning point for addicted individuals who have lost their way in life. All the time it takes to carefully plan and execute a successful addiction intervention is well worth the work. You can always help people with addiction risk.

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