It can be incredibly difficult to witness a loved one struggle with substance abuse and/ or addiction. Addiction is characterized by compulsively engaging in rewarding stimuli despite harmful consequences. An individual that struggles with addiction will prioritize satisfying his or her drug cravings above all else. This can affect not only the individual’s physical wellbeing, but also have adverse consequences in all areas of his or her life (e.g. legal complications, relationship issues, financial strain, difficulty maintaining employment, etc.). It is not uncommon for the loved ones of an individual that actively struggles with substance abuse to feel helpless. The only effective way for an individual struggling with substance abuse and/ or addiction to get help is to come to a realization that help is needed, and be open to receiving it. An intervention is a carefully planned process that can motivate an individual to seek help.
What Are The Steps?
The purpose of an intervention is for the family members and/ or friends present to share how the individual’s substance abusing behaviors have negatively impacted their lives, in hopes that the individual will agree to begin treatment. In order to properly prepare for an intervention consider the following steps:
- Gather information: figure out the extent of the individual’s problems, and research the condition and treatment options
- Make a plan: propose an intervention and form a planning group, which could include family and friends and consulting with a mental health professional, an interventionist, and/ or an addiction specialist
- Decide who will be present: usually an intervention group is comprised of a facilitator and between four to six participants (often a mix of family members and friends)
- Schedule the intervention: select a date, time and location for the intervention to take place that enables each member of the intervention group to be present
- Decide on clear consequences should the individual refuse treatment: to be discussed during the intervention
- Write out notes: in order to remain pointed and on topic, it is helpful for each member of the intervention team to write down ways the individual’s substance abusing behaviors have adversely affected each participant, providing specific examples
- Hold the intervention meeting: interventions often remain undisclosed to the individual until he or she arrives to the meeting at which point each member addresses the notes written and verbalizes the specific changes that will occur should the individual refuse treatment.
It is important to note that ultimately the decision of whether or not to seek treatment lies solely with the individual. There is only so much loved one’s can do to help an individual struggling with substance abuse and/ or addiction. If the individual refuses treatment, each person present must commit to following through with the specific changes referred to during the intervention. If the individual accepts treatment those present can help support him or her in the recovery process by changing necessary daily living patterns to avoid destructive behavior (e.g. no longer drinking alcohol in the presence of the individual), and knowing what to do should the individual relapse.
For Information and Support
If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one in regards to substance abuse and/ or addiction we recommend reaching out for help as soon as possible. If left untreated, substance abuse can result in long lasting and potentially life-threatening consequences. Keep in mind: you are not alone! There is an entire network of professionals that are available to help and support you and your loved one throughout the recovery process. The earlier you seek support, the sooner your loved one can return to a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life.
Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions regarding our specific program at Haven House Addiction Treatment and/ or general substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment related information. Our highly trained staff is readily available to discuss how we might best be able to help you and your loved one. We can be reached by phone at 424-258-6792. You are also welcome to contact anytime us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.