stage an intervention

How to Stage an Intervention for a Loved One with an Addiction

In For Friends by Michael West

 Do you have a loved one who is addicted to drugs or alcohol? Are you looking for ways to help them get treatment? Surprisingly, almost 15% of all American adults battle some form of substance abuse, and only about 10% get treatment.

Staging an intervention is one way to help people with addictions get started with rehabilitation services. An intervention is a gathering of friends, family, and perhaps professional counselors that is designed to help people seek treatment. 

If you’re considering organizing an intervention, this article is for you. We’ll give you insider tips on how to stage an intervention, as well as help you get started finding long-term rehab solutions.

Assemble Your Team

When it’s time to plan an intervention, you should try to find team members with a close bond to the person with the addiction. If they’re close to their children or grandparents, that could be a good choice.

Even friends or co-workers can be members of an intervention team, as long as they have no connection to drugs or alcohol. You definitely don’t want “party buddies” to be on your intervention team.

You’ll need to start planning several weeks in advance and make sure that everyone is available on the same day. You don’t want to tell your loved one about the intervention in advance, because that increases the chance that they won’t attend. 

Practice, Practice, Practice

Emotions can run high during an intervention, so get together with your team a few times to practice. You’ll need to figure out who’s going to speak first, and what everyone’s going to say.

When you’re putting together your remarks for the intervention, try to focus on the person with the addiction. Avoid blaming them, but set consequences for their actions. For example, if they don’t seek treatment, do you need them to find somewhere else to live?

Focus on your feelings and on your vision of their recovery. Be honest about how you feel, watching them use drugs or alcohol, and what you’d like to have happen. It’s important to have a rehabilitation destination ready so they can go there after the intervention.

Pick the Perfect Location

Staging an intervention at home may not be the best idea, because your loved one can easily leave. By the same token, you don’t want to embarrass them in public. One option for an intervention location is the office of a mental health or addiction specialist. 

Figuring out where to host the addiction intervention can be a delicate process. You don’t want to let on that you’re going to be having an intervention, but you have to get your loved one to the location somehow.

If your loved one is depressed, suicidal, or is prone to violent outbursts, you should probably involve a mental health professional or a drug and alcohol counselor. 

Remember, there are also people who are addicted to gambling, computer gaming, and even shopping. It’s important to find the right kind of rehab center for your loved one’s needs.

Find a Good Time

If you’re wondering how to hold an intervention, a large part of it is timing. You should try to have the conversation with your loved one when they are sober, if possible.

The right timing will vary according to the person, of course, and will have to depend on when your group can meet up together. Again, you don’t want to ambush them, but clearly state that you have seen their addictive behavior and that you want to help them get treatment.

If your loved one has a counselor or mental health professional, see if you can contact them before the intervention. They may not be able to give you much information due to medical privacy laws, but they should have some recommendations about how to stage the intervention.

A good time for an intervention might be in the early morning when the person with addiction has just woken up. Or in the evening after work, before they go to the bar. You’ll find the right timing because you know your loved one’s personal habits.

Develop a Rehab Plan

Unfortunately, you might not get a positive response when you begin the intervention. It can be challenging for a person with addiction to confront their habits and make changes.

That’s why it’s important to have a rehab plan in place. You might think that insurance won’t cover it, but you might be surprised by how flexible rehab centers can be. 

You’ll need to choose between in-patient and out-patient rehab options. Depending on the severity of your loved one’s addiction, going into a focused rehab facility could help them with the detox process. 

Keep Trying

If your attempts to stage an addiction intervention don’t work at first, it’s important to keep trying. Being honest with your loved one about their addictive behavior is going to help them change their lives. 

Don’t give up. If your loved one leaves the intervention or declines the chance to attend rehab, wait a few weeks and try again. They’ll thank you for it when they get clean.

How to Stage an Intervention for Teens

If you’re wondering how to stage an intervention for teens, you should contact their school. They may have a counselor or a favorite teacher who could help you talk to them about going to rehab. 

Teen interventions are similar to adult interventions, except that in some states a parent can commit a child to a rehabilitation facility. You’ll need to know the laws in your state and be ready to transport your child to the facility if necessary.

The focus of an intervention should be compassion, but if people get frustrated the tone can shift rapidly. It can be frustrating to watch a child or family member struggle with addiction, especially if they have already gotten treatment several times. 

We have a wide range of blogs that deal with addiction, and a number for immediate help is featured on every page of our website. Give us a call to learn more about local rehab options near you.