drug intervention specialist

Intervention Tips from a Drug Intervention Specialist

According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, over 90 percent of people seek treatment after an intervention. Interventions allow families to reach out to their loved ones struggling with addiction, but what exactly is the key to a successful drug abuse intervention?

Holding a drug abuse intervention sounds more daunting than it actually is. For an effective drug abuse intervention, follow the following tips from a drug intervention specialist when reaching out to the person who needs care.

1. Choose Your Time (and Participants) Wisely

When loved ones come together to persuade someone struggling with substance abuse to get help, it is known specifically as a drug abuse intervention. The people you choose to participate in this crucial moment need to be chosen wisely and with care. 

It’s best to select those who have a meaningful relationship with the person struggling with drug abuse. Any drug intervention specialist would recommend asking individuals who don’t have a good relationship with the addicted person to stay away.

The point of a drug abuse intervention is to encourage the addicted person to seek help, and only those who wish to motivate and provide support should be invited to attend.

2. Find the Right Time to Talk

The best time to talk to your loved one is when he or she is sober. Drugs impair a person’s ability to react calmly, think clearly, and truly comprehend and process as well as remember everything that’s said.

Someone who is high, drunk, or coming down from a drug-induced high is more likely to respond with out-of-control actions or words.

It is best to ask a drug intervention specialist for help to protect everyone’s safety.

3. Use a Private and Formal Location

Holding a drug abuse intervention in the family home may seem like a good idea, especially if you want your loved one to feel comfortable.  However, the home can be too comfortable for the intervention.

It’s best to hold the intervention in a private and neutral space for an effective conversation.

A drug intervention specialist or therapist’s office are examples of good places to discuss concerns. You can also reach out to your community centers or church for assistance. Your loved one may be more willing to be on their best behavior in locations like these.

4. Pay Attention to the Order

The key to a successful and immediate end to an intervention is often the order of the speakers. Meaning to say, the right person to speak at the right time may be what it takes. 

For example, if the person struggling with substance abuse has a loving relationship with their spouse, it would be a good idea for the spouse to speak towards the end while the person feels most emotionally moved to make a change.

Hearing from friends, spiritual advisors, or anyone with a fresh perspective may be more effective, especially if the person struggling with addiction is tired of constantly hearing from family members.

5. Hold Rehearsals 

Emotions can run high, especially during a drug abuse intervention and addressing someone you love who is struggling with addiction. It is also common for people to easily and quickly lose their train of thought when their emotions take center stage.

You could have planned out exactly what you’re going to say and how you’re going to say it, but during an intervention, all that planning can go out the window once you are face-to-face with your loved one.

Holding rehearsals help make the drug abuse intervention run more smoothly and will help everyone keep a calm and cool head. Practicing will also help make a speaker’s thoughts and words come out a bit more comprehensible and clear.

6. Stick to the Script

It may be tempting to adlib during an intervention, but our drug intervention specialists warn against it. Detail everything you want the individual to know and be careful with the words you use. 

When you go rogue, you add an element of surprise to the intervention that may throw everyone off their course and make some feel uncomfortable. Adlibing what you say to the individual is understandable, especially if your emotions get the best of you, but it may undo all the practice done leading up to the intervention.

7. Use Warm, Open Body Language

While what you say to your loved one is essential, our drug intervention specialist says how you talk to your loved one is just as important. Warm and open body language while delivering lines is the best way to get your message across in a loving way.

Here are some tips to remember:

  • Maintain eye contact with the person you’re speaking to
  • Avoid crossing your arms and legs
  • Keeping hands unclenched
  • Face your body toward the person you’re speaking to

Your script will likely be filled with support, understanding, and love. It’s important your body language and motions convey the same message as your words. When your words and body match, your message will be clear, and you reduce the chance of confusion.

8. Keep Tempers Under Control

Drug intervention specialists note that science recommends avoiding the use of punishment, negative confrontation, or altercation. The goal is to be compassionate, kind, and most importantly, effective.

Keeping a cool head can be difficult, especially when your emotions cloud the situation. Do not allow the person struggling with drug abuse to change the subject, start a fight, or drop the drug abuse intervention altogether. Fighting fire with fire never works, so resist the temptation to blame, launch counter-attacks, or blame.

9. Have a Backup Plan in Place

Sometimes, people struggling with addiction respond in unpredictable ways when confronted, even more so during a drug abuse intervention involving family members or loved ones.

During a drug abuse intervention, they might:

  • Cry hysterically
  • Leave the room
  • Say hurtful things that aren’t true
  • Yell and scream

10. Don’t Give Up

To ensure the success of drug intervention programs, never give up on your loved one. While it may only take one conversation for some individuals to make a change and accept treatment, it may take multiple for others.

It may be hard for some to see and understand how their addiction hurts not only themselves but others as well.

Intervention Tips From a Drug Intervention Specialist

Holding a drug abuse intervention and reaching out to someone that needs care may seem daunting, but with our tips from a drug intervention specialist, it doesn’t have to be.

If you know someone struggling with addiction and you’re looking for a North Carolina rehab center, contact us today at Oasis Recovery Center.

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