Staging an Intervention: 9 Helpful Tips to Planning a Successful Intervention

Did you know, around 10% of adults in the US will have a drug use disorder during their lives?

Are you are worried about a loved one who appears to be abusing a drug? It may be time to step in and say something. 

In this article, we’ll look at the best way to stage a successful intervention. By doing this, you can get your loved one the help they need.

1. Gather a Trusted Group

You may find talking to your loved one too difficult to do alone. But, this is an important first step. Only when you believe that this person is simply not listening to you should you gather a group of trusted people. 

Choose those who are non-judgmental, care for the person’s well-being, and will be listened to. Don’t overwhelm your loved one with too many people, but bring together just a few of their trusted friends or family members.

2. Hire an Interventionist 

If none of you know what to say, then reaching out to a professional is a good idea. You could contact your local rehab facility for suggestions on interventionists. 

These professionals know exactly what to say and will either be able to coach you into saying the right things or be there to say them. It’s your choice. Having a professional guide you through the process will help you to feel in control of the situation. 

3. Choose the Right Time

Staging an intervention during a christening or party simply isn’t the way to go about it. You need to plan a good time. 

Then, invite your loved one over, and talk to them when they are feeling calm and ready to listen. If they arrive and are angry, high, or drunk, this is not the time to be speaking to them.

Instead, try inviting them over for dinner. You should do this as many times as you need to until the perfect time arises.

Drugs severely reduce a person’s ability to think clearly. They will not be listening to you if they arrive drunk or high.

Consider speaking to your loved one after an incident that has impacted them. As a result, they will be clearly aware of the damage their addiction is causing.

4. Choose the Right Location 

Although you want your loved one to feel comfortable, speaking to them in your home may go awry. Instead, choose a location such as a therapist’s office.

Here, you will have someone to mediate who your loved one, hopefully, will act respectfully towards. Alternatively, an interventionist’s office may also be a good place to meet.

Are you finding that these options are too expensive? Choose a favorite cafe or ask a friend if you can use their home instead.

5. Practice Your Intervention

This may sound ridiculous, but putting in the effort to practice will hopefully result in the real thing running more smoothly. Come up with what you want to say, choose an order of speakers, and try to predict everything that your loved one might say.

A good idea is to practice giving new stories that your loved one might not have heard before. This could be from family and friends, but also from recovered addicts.

Keep practicing alone or with an interventionist until you come up with an intervention that is perfect. Of course, it’s very unlikely to go perfectly to plan, but it will help calm your nerves.

Furthermore, anyone who you have asked to be involved in the intervention that can’t turn up for the practice should not be included. During this time, you need people you can definitely rely on.

6. Keep Your Cool

When it comes to the day of the intervention, you will find that the atmosphere is tense from the start. If your loved one acts angrily or aggressively, this is to be expected. But, remember to keep a cool head throughout. 

Hopefully, they will experience anger but bounce back from this to understand why you have formed an intervention. If you also get angry, an argument may result in a lack of communication for a long time to come. 

7. Focus on Your Body Language 

Throughout the intervention, make sure you are leaning in toward your loved one, listening carefully to every word they say, and not unnecessarily interrupting.

You should offer to hold their hand or touch their arm if this feels appropriate. Make sure you also don’t cross your legs or arms as this can show that you’re closed off to the situation. 

Finally, keep eye contact with your loved one throughout the entire conversation. This is very important.

8. Come Up With a Backup Plan

If your intervention does not go to plan, then you may be feeling disappointed and confused. But, talking through all of the likely scenarios before the intervention can help you figure out what to do next.

If your loved one leaves the house, begins shouting, or starts throwing things, decide how to deal with this. Again, avoid getting angry. But, you may decide to stop your intervention once tensions run too high. 

Instead, try picking back up at a later date, when your loved one has calmed down. Whatever you do, do not give up completely. 

This is a very long and difficult process that seems thankless. But, if you are successful in getting your loved one the help they need, they will thank you in a few years to come. That moment will be worth all the struggles. 

Planning a Successful Intervention Takes Time

Do not rush into an intervention. You need to follow these steps in order to provide your loved one with the necessary support. 

Focus on a plan that you feel comfortable with and make sure that you are also feeling strong enough to approach the situation. Consider reading books on this topic. There are many fantastic books that will help the family of addicts to cope with the situation. 

To learn more about our holistic, dynamic, creative, and mindfulness-based approach to treating addiction, get in touch today.

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