Approaching Family Members – When to Seek Out an Intervention
The idea of an intervention has been made popular by various television shows in recent years.
Is it a viable way to get help for your loved one? It could be.
To be effective, drug and alcohol addiction rehabilitation needs to be something a person wants to do. Unfortunately, chemical dependency limits a person’s ability to recognize the value of such treatment. Their brain is communicating a desperate need to continue to use the substance.
If your loved one is in this situation, they may need you to help them to get help.
When Should You Consider an Intervention?
When a person is making decisions that are negatively impacting their health or the well-being of those around them, it’s time to seek out help. This includes when a person is dealing with alcoholism, illicit drug use, prescription drug overuse, and compulsive behaviors such as gambling or eating addictions. Many people with an addiction deny they need help. They may recognize they have a problem, but still believe they can still stop using if they wanted to.
In these situations, an intervention allows you to communicate your beliefs about your loved one’s health and to present an opportunity to get help immediately. Unlike what you see in television programs, interventions do not always need to involve numerous people. The underlying goal is always to motivate a person with an addiction to get help.
How Does an Intervention Occur?
An intervention is a structured, planned session done with family and friends. It’s best for a Certified Intervention Professional (CIP), drug and alcohol treatment center counselor, or physician to guide the intervention. If a person is religious, having a representative from their faith present is also beneficial. Those there should be personally invested in the wellbeing of the individual with an addiction.
The ideal intervention convinces the person with an addiction that they are engaging in destructive behavior that’s impacting their loved ones and their health. It should offer a direct avenue for seeking help, with a clear treatment plan available for the person to enter. It should also provide a set of consequences which everyone agrees to should the individual fail to get the treatment available.
How Can You Approach a Loved One?
For many family members, the hardest part is just talking to their loved one about what’s happening. In some families, talking about addiction isn’t considered the normal thing to do. In other situations, the problem is obvious, but no one talks about the likely outcome if no treatment is obtained.
If you’re thinking about an intervention, you know:
- Your loved one needs help.
- You don’t want your loved one to hate you.
- You know the consequences of continued use means you could lose them anyway.
Recognizing this, it’s important to simply take the process one step at a time. Here is an example of how to approach your loved one in a time of need.
- Have a plan ready. Before anyone speaks to a loved one about an intervention or treatment, it’s essential to have already spoken to a treatment center. Having a way to get the person into treatment right away—so there is no time to turn back—is important. It’s a good idea to meet with a counselor, talk about the concerns you have, and determine the right treatment plan for your loved one at that moment.
- Bring people together. In most families, interventions should involve more than one person. However, there’s no benefit to bringing in extended family or those who do not have a true relationship with a loved one. This team should gather information and create a plan to speak to the person in a frank, clear way. It’s common for strong emotions to come to the surface. However, they shouldn’t change the focus or the meaning of the event.
- Create consequences. What will happen if your loved one does not agree to treatment? Consequences need to be believable and actionable, such as:- The person cannot remain living in their current home.
– They cannot ask for help, money, or drugs.
– You will not provide them with support in any manner.
- Hold the meeting. It’s best to bring the team together and then to bring a person into the intervention. You want them to understand that their best intentions are at the heart of the meeting. Each person should make a statement about the situation, the way it is impacting their life, and the consequences if the treatment plan is not accepted.
- Follow through. In all situations, the follow-through is critical. To get someone to make a huge decision such as this, you need to hold true to what you are saying.
Interventions are an important tool for getting your loved one to treatment. They shouldn’t be taken lightly. However, if your loved one does not respond to your first attempts, do not give up. There is always hope for recovery.
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