How Do I Stage A Drug Intervention?
The goal of any addiction intervention would be to motivate an addict to seek the help that they need to overcome their substance abuse and addiction. In many cases, these meetings turn out to be successful. However, this is only because they follow certain laid out procedures and rules.
It is important, to this end, that you learn how to stage a drug or alcohol intervention even before you consider having one. If you are unable to do so, you should consider getting a professional interventionist to help you organize the meeting. Read on to find out more:
Addiction is now classified as a debilitating and recurring condition of the brain and body. It involves the use of certain intoxicating substances, including but not limited to illegal drugs like heroin, prescription medications such as Xanax, and legal drugs like tobacco cigarettes and alcohol.
Irrespective of the substances of abuse, the end result is always the same - an unrelenting and ceaseless effort to acquire these substances and abuse them. Over time, addiction starts taking over.
If you have a loved one struggling with this condition, you may already have tried to talk to them about it. More often than not, these efforts would have failed. It is for this reason that you may even be reading this article.
Luckily, there is always hope in the knowledge that many interventions tend to succeed. However, this will only happen if you are quite sure - without any doubt - that you loved one is an addict and not just struggling with another condition that you do not know about.
You can also make sure that your intervention succeeds by following the process outlined below:
1. Get a Professional Interventionist
Like with any other project, the first step would be to get as much help as you can. Addiction is a serious condition that you should not take lightly. Although you might assume that you can host the intervention on your own and achieve successful results, it would be much better if you improved the odds of this meeting succeeding. You can do so by getting a professional to work with you.
You should look for an addiction interventionist who is highly qualified, experienced, and knowledgeable about the entire process. Their expertise will ensure that they are able to help you improve your understanding of everything that you need to do, when you need to do it, and exactly how you have to do it.
Even if you may choose to not have them at the actual intervention meeting, the professional services they provide could go a long way in ensuring that you have all the resources and tools that you are going to need at the meeting.
These specialists are also trained and highly experience. This means that you can count on them to help you overcome most of the obstacles that are likely to arise during the actual meeting. For instance, you will learn how to deal with the addict in case they deny that they have a drug or alcohol related problem.
Unless you are guided by a professional interventionist, it might be difficult for you to ensure that the meeting is successful and that you are able to break through their stubbornness and denial.
2. Gather Loved Ones
After connecting with the professional, you then need to bring together all the people who will be taking part in the intervention meeting. Suggestions of people you may want to include are close friends, colleagues, siblings, cousins, spouses, and parents of the addict.
In some situations, you can also get children to participate in the actual intervention meeting. However, this may turn out into a terrible idea particularly due to the fact that these meetings are often emotional charged and some of them do turn out to be replete with physical violence and aggression.
After forming the team, you need to start planning and preparing for what is going to happen during and after the actual intervention meeting - including what people are going to say.
3. Planning an Intervention
Most interventions turn out to be combative and emotionally charged. This is why it is of utmost importance to ensure that you are well prepared even before the actual meeting takes place.
You should work with the professional you chose in step 1 above. They will help you create your ideal intervention team, choose people who are closest to the substance user, as well as learn more about the communication that is going to take place during the meeting.
4. Gather Information
Then, you will have to get all the information ready to use before the meeting. First, you can consult the entire intervention group so that people can share their own stories and ideas about what should be said and done during the meeting.
You can also find out as much as you can about the particular types of drugs that the addict has been using, the treatment methods available, and how they stand to benefit by choosing addiction rehabilitation over continued substance use.
5. Set Boundaries
After the information has been gathered, you should work with the rest of the intervention group to set the boundaries that are going to be put in place should the addict refuse the help that the group is offering.
These boundaries should include the consequences that are going to befall the addict. If possible, you need to ensure that these consequences are specific. They should also be agreed upon by the entire group - so that no one ends up enabling the addict while the rest are trying to get them into a drug rehab program.
For instance, you could inform the addict that they are no longer going to sleep in the home that night or any other night after that unless they complete the addiction treatment program that the group decided upon.
It is recommended that the entire group writes individual letters or one group letter that will be read at the intervention meeting. Then, members should meet to rehearse the actual meeting.
During this rehearsal, the group members should talk about all the negative effects of the loved one's substance abuse and addiction. They should also narrate how the addiction has been impacting relationships and the wellness of the group.
It would also be a good idea to choose the venue and time of the actual meeting. This decision should be made based on the substance abuse patterns of the addict - so that it falls on a day and time when they are highly likely to be sober.
7. Host the Meeting
After all these preparations, the final step would be to stage the actual intervention meeting. During this meeting, members present should talk about their own specific experiences with the addict's behavior as well as how these experiences have affected them in negative ways.
The meeting will also provide an opportunity for people to outline all the boundaries that they are going to set, the behavior that they are going to stop enabling, as well as the consequences that will be put in place against the addict should they refuse to check into a professional drug and alcohol rehabilitation program.
The intervention is a good place for participants to express their compassion and concern for the welfare of the addict. They can do this by writing letters that will be read during this meeting. This will allow everyone present to express and share their feelings without necessarily blaming or threatening the addict.
For instance, the gist of the message would be that the entire group loves and cares about the addict but is also concerned about the ongoing substance abuse and addiction problem.
People would get the opportunity to tie their feelings to all the statements that they made during the intervention. For instance, they could give specific examples of all the times that the addict hurt them. A child could, for example, speak about the time their father came home drunk late at night and woke up the entire family for a sing-along that later affected their performance at school the next day.
Ensuring the Success of an Intervention
Although following the outline above could help improve the chances that the intervention will turn out to be successful, there are other things that everyone can do to ensure that the meeting attains its exact goals - getting the addict into a rehab program. These steps include:
- Every participant should inform themselves about addiction as a disease and what it entails even before the meeting
- The intervention meeting should be hosted in a neutral location, such as the home of the addict
- The intervention meeting should not last longer than 60 to 90 minutes because longer sessions may lead to anger and declining compassion
- The letters that were written should be concise and well-rehearsed while also accentuating all the positives
- The meeting should be followed by an addiction evaluation from a professional drug and alcohol rehabilitation center
- The meeting should only include people who are very close to the addict, including close friends, family members, employers, colleagues, and other people that the substance user deeply respects and/or holds in high esteem
In the long term, learning how to stage a drug intervention is one of the most important steps that you can take before actually organizing this meeting. Follow the steps above to ensure that the next intervention you host turns out to be successful.
Addiction counselors are familiar with the many types of programs offered and what is available in your area. They also can do an assessment with you and determine what treatment would be best for you or your loved one.
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