In 2017, there were over 70,000 deaths caused by an overdose in the United States. That number has grown astronomically over the last twenty years.
Seeing someone you love fall into the arms of a harmful drug addiction is extremely painful. You want to help them recover, but sometimes they don’t even realize they have a problem, and they have no desire to stop using.
If that’s the case, you may need to hold an intervention. It just might save your loved one’s life.
Read on for all you need to know about how to do an intervention for someone you love
Before the Intervention
An intervention is not something you haphazardly throw together at the last minute. If you want it to be a success, you’ll need to carefully plan your intervention in advance. Here’s what you should do before holding an intervention.
Create an Intervention Team
The first step to an intervention is creating the “dream team”. Your intervention team will consist of people who the addict respects and loves. These are the people who will be sitting in the intervention circle, talking with your loved one.
Choose people who can relate to the addicted person and who can share how their addiction has affected them.
You’ll want around four or five other people on the intervention team, but most importantly, they each need to serve a purpose. Don’t invite people to the team who don’t have anything to offer during the intervention.
Determine When and Where the Intervention Will Happen
Figure out a time that will work for each person on the intervention team, and a time where the addicted person will not be able to make an excuse to avoid it. After that, you’ll need to find the perfect place to hold the intervention.
Avoid holding the intervention in places that will be triggering. If the addicted person has bad memories in their parent’s home, don’t hold the intervention there. You’ll also want to avoid holding it at the addicts home, because they may lock themselves in their room or bathroom.
Try to find a neutral, private location for the intervention. Perhaps a close friend’s house or a relative that the addict has a good relationship with. Make sure the location is private and you won’t be interrupted.
Have a Rehearsal
Before the intervention, it’s important to rehearse the order you will each talk, and what you will say. Each person should say something unique, so it doesn’t get repetitive.
Do a full run-through of your script and order of speaking. It’s important to be confident in what you’re saying before the intervention takes place.
During the Intervention
No matter how much you practice for the intervention, you’ll need to perform well during the actual intervention if you hope to be successful. Here are some tips to keep in mind during the intervention.
Stick to the Script
Have you ever prepared for a speech, but when you get up there you completely forget everything you rehearsed and start babbling about nothing? Yeah, we’ve all been there. But don’t let that happen during the intervention.
Bring a notepad and put bullet points with each of your talking points. You shouldn’t just sit and read off a script, but use the notes to keep you on track. That way, you know you’ll touch on each point you intended to talk about.
Don’t Let Your Emotions Take Over
Interventions can get heated, especially if your loved one has trouble holding back emotions. They may get angry, defensive, and even combative.
But it’s extremely important that the intervention team stays calm. This is especially important if your loved one has a coexisting mental illness, such as depression or bipolar disorder.
If you react to their emotional outbursts in an equally emotional way, the intervention will quickly fall apart. Let your loved one have an emotional response, and remain calm and open.
Once they calm down, return to your talking points in a non-emotional way.
After the Intervention
After the intervention takes place, your work isn’t done yet, especially if the intervention fails. Here’s what you need to do following the intervention.
Have a Backup Plan
If your intervention is successful, you need to have a plan for detox and recovery. Look into local rehab programs and have one set in stone ready for your loved one to be admitted to after the intervention. Don’t give your loved one the chance to change their mind.
It might be difficult to think about, but there’s a good chance your intervention will fail. This is especially likely if your loved one is not ready to admit they have an addiction problem.
If your intervention fails, determine what you’ll do next. One option would be to regroup and plan another intervention. You could use different team members and touch on different talking points.
Don’t Give Up
Most importantly, if your loved one chooses to ignore what is said during the intervention, you can’t give up on them. Keep trying to reach out to them and help them understand their addiction.
Even if your intervention is successful, it’s important to know recovery is a life-long journey. Be aware of common signs of impending relapse, and make sure you reach out to them when you fear they are using again.
Learning How to Do an Intervention Is Easy…
But holding a successful intervention takes hard work and dedication. You may not be successful on your first attempt, but never give up on your loved one.
By learning how to do an intervention the right way, you’re already on your way to helping your loved one and potentially saving their life.
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