How to Stage an Intervention

In For Friends, For Parents by Rebecca Flad

A loved one’s life can slowly, but surely, diminish if they are not aware of their alcohol or drug addiction. Although, there are times when that loved one’s addiction is personally acknowledged and accepted to the point where they do not wish to quit. The pain from watching your loved one struggle with addiction, however, does not go away so long as they are still using drugs or alcohol. It can be an extremely hard thing, confronting someone about their addiction. Thinking about the many ways to approach the topic is one thing, and actually going through with the talk can be even more nerve-wracking. It’s often necessary to discuss the issue of addiction outwardly rather than holding it inside. Being able to stage an intervention the correct way it the most effective way to discuss your loved one’s addiction.

What is an Intervention?

Firstly, an intervention is a carefully planned conversation. This conversation consists of family and friends as well as the loved one suffering with the addiction. There may also be a qualified professional present as well. This can include an intervention specialist or a licensed drug/alcohol counselor. Those who care for the suffering addict, including people of their religion, school mates or colleagues, may also be present during the intervention.

During the intervention, the group gathers to discuss and confront the loved one’s addiction outwardly. They also present facts that discuss how their loved one’s addiction is affecting themselves, their friends and their family. The root of the problem is also attempted to be reached, although finding the cause is not also possible within the timeframe of the staged intervention.

The goal of an intervention is to get the addicted to admit to their addiction and accept the help that is being presented to them. Family and friends want to help their loved one, but in order for that to happen the person being intervened must want and accept it.

When to Stage an Intervention

As time goes by an a loved one’s addiction worsens, it can become harder and harder to speak up and approach the situation. You may not know how to approach your loved one, and the words may be hard to find. However, an intervention should occur if your loved one does not admit to their problem or want anyone’s help. Speaking to someone who does not want help is never a good conversation, but staging an intervention with those who care for the addicted can give them an idea of the effects their actions cause.

You should stage an intervention when the following situations and struggles become apparent:

  • Depression
  • Secretive behavior
  • Aggression or constant anger
  • Health issues
  • Extreme changes to physical appearance
  • Lack of motivation
  • Tiredness
  • Problems at work or school

How to Stage an Intervention

1. Form Your Group

Finding an intervention specialist should be the first thing on your list. They will be a vital aspect of your intervention group and can safely keep an eye on the situation while effectively moderating discussions. They will also be able to guide you to find the people needed in the intervention group. This includes a spouse, family and friends, neighbors, colleagues, school mates and more. Anyone who truly cares for the loved one suffering from the addiction will greatly help.

An intervention specialist or counselor will be able to strategize with you in finding the right people who can tackle and address their loved one’s needs.

2. Gather Information

The members of the group, not matter who it is, should all gather information and do their research to find out the root of the problem. The intervention specialist could facilitate who looks for what information and who has the most information. Any information that can lead back to the loved one’s addiction is helpful and should be presented to the group.

3. Discuss the Plan

How the intervention will play out depends entirely on the personality of the one suffering from addiction. Their personality should be discussed and conveyed to the intervention specialist. They will help you formulate the plan on how the intervention will take place and which topics will be talked about. Compassion and understanding for the loved one are top priorities for all intervention groups.

Discussions on how the loved one’s addiction affects the group can greatly impact the outcome of the intervention. All discussions should be rehearsed and played out to ensure effectiveness.

4. Planning the Meeting Grounds

The place and time for the meeting should be discussed and well developed. All situations should be considered at this point. You don’t want to catch your loved one at a bad time because an intervention will only anger them. Considering all meeting places and times is optimal for the intervention to be effective enough to make a lasting impact.

5. Consider the Outcomes

If treatment is necessary, it should be discusses. It should also be discussed as to how the loved one could possibly reach when confronted with an intervention. They may feel attacked and storm out, or they may also feel empathy and accept treatment. No matter the outcome, there should always be a fallback plan.