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Orange County Drug & Alcohol Intervention Specialists

About 164.8 million people ages 12 and up were substance users within the past month. That includes about 139.8 million alcohol users and 43.5 million marijuana users.  Unfortunately, many people don’t realize they need to seek help until it’s too late.   Are you watching a loved one lose themselves to alcohol or drug abuse? Consider learning how to stage an intervention. Addiction intervention could help them recognize it’s time to seek help.

Learning how to confront someone with an addiction isn’t easy. With these tips, you can help your loved one before it’s too late.  If you need professional assistance in intervening with a loved one’s substance abuse issue, New Leaf Detox is here to help.  Our addiction treatment center in Orange County, California offers professional drug and alcohol intervention services.

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Drug and Alcohol Intervention Specialists

What is an Intervention?

Interventions require careful planning. Otherwise, friends and family members who rely on spontaneity might say the wrong thing. How you approach the topic of alcohol or drug abuse treatment is important.  Otherwise, you might struggle to remain on-topic. You don’t want to say anything hurtful or make any accusations. Placing blame could lead your loved one to refuse help. 

It’s important to plan an addiction intervention that focuses on the positive. Help your loved one see their addiction is impacting your emotional and mental health without placing blame. Instead, you can use an alcohol or drug abuse intervention to help your loved one understand the situation.

They can see how their addiction causes negative changes in their usual behaviors. Then, they can recognize that a solution is within reach.  Learning how to stage an intervention can help your loved one schedule a detox or rehabilitation treatment.   You can either plan your addiction intervention alone or with a professional interventionist.  By planning the intervention’s structure, you can improve the likelihood of a positive outcome. 

Steps for Planning an Intervention

If you don’t want to hire an interventionist, that’s okay. Here are a few tips that can help you learn how to confront someone with an addiction. With these tips, you can plan for a successful intervention. 

Get Help

First, it’s important to note that you don’t have to go through this alone. You can call on a professional’s help. Working with a professional third party might work to your advantage.

For example, you might want to consider calling a social worker, doctor, or professional interventionist. 

Consider calling friends and family members, too.

It’s important to find support for both your loved one and as the person organizing the intervention. Otherwise, the stress could become too much. The subject could benefit from realizing people love and care about their wellbeing, too.

Start forming your invention team. For example, you might want to include:

  • A professional interventionist
  • Close family members
  • Close friends and coworkers

Try to limit the number of people you include. You don’t want your loved one to feel outnumbered or attacked. Instead, focus on the people who can provide care and support.

Don’t include anyone who is struggling with their own substance abuse issues.

Draft a Plan

Before scheduling the addiction intervention, it helps to have a plan. Work with your intervention team to determine the:

  • Date
  • Time of day
  • Location
  • Guestlist

It’s also important to outline how you want the process to work. Will everyone get a chance to speak? How much time will each person have?

You don’t want the intervention to last hours. Considering the schedule ahead of time will help you guide the event. You can stay on schedule and give everyone the chance to speak.

You can use this time to gather the information you need, too.

For example, what type of addiction or substance abuse problem does your loved one have? What side effects can it cause? What recovery process should you discuss?

Gather information about local detox and rehabilitation programs, too. Which programs will suit your loved one’s personality? Which treatment will fulfill their current needs?

Write Impact Statements

Before the alcoholism or drug abuse intervention, each person would prepare an impact statement. What does each person on your intervention team want to say?

Impact statements are personal statements that outline how the addiction has harmed the person they loved. Have you noticed how their addiction is impacting their health? Maybe they’ve started becoming more reckless.

Substance abuse can have a major impact on relationships. Not everyone realizes how their addiction impacts others, though.  Writing impact statements will help them recognize your point of view.  Otherwise, your loved one might not realize everyone involved is struggling.

The impact statements should sound emotionally honest. Try to focus on the love you have for the person struggling with addiction.   Don’t use impact statements to make a personal attack.

Offer Help

Once each person gives their impact statements, focus on offering your support. How can you help? Will you help your loved one find a detox, rehab, or long-term recovery option?

You can offer to attend family therapy or support group sessions. Maybe you can help them by giving them a ride to treatment each week.  About 9.5 million people experience substance use disorder and a mental illness. For example, your loved one might use alcohol to cope with anxiety or depression. Perhaps your loved one needs treatment for their addiction and mental health condition. 

Make sure they choose a treatment option that suits their specific needs.

Let your loved one know you’re there to help by specifying how you’ll help.

Set Boundaries

What happens if your loved one refuses treatment? It’s likely their relationships with friends and family members will need to change. Otherwise, someone might unintentionally enable addictive behaviors.

Everyone in the intervention group should commit to ending enabling and codependency behaviors. It’s important that everyone remains on the same page.

Make sure your loved one understands that they’ll experience consequences if they refuse help.

Practice Beforehand

Don’t rush to use these tips on how to stage an intervention yet. Instead, schedule a practice run with your intervention group beforehand. 

It’s normal for emotions to run high during this process. Practicing beforehand can help you:

  • Avoid taking too much time
  • Falling into self-pity
  • Blaming the subject

Try to rehearse the entire intervention at least once. A rehearsal will help your intervention team determine what they want to say. You can help everyone determine when they’ll speak as well.

Make sure to schedule a moment when you’ll cede the floor, too. Give your loved one the chance to speak.

Manage Your Expectations

About 23.5 million adults in the US need substance abuse treatment. Unfortunately, only 11% ever receive treatment (about 2.6 million people). That’s a treatment gap of over 20 million Americans.

It’s important to manage your expectations before scheduling the addiction intervention. Remember, not everyone will accept what’s happening. They might deny their addiction and substance abuse outright.

Other people might refuse treatment.

Even if you plan, rehearse, and schedule an intervention, the individual might not accept help. If they don’t, make sure to specify the consequences.

Follow Up

Once you outline the consequences involved, stick with them. 

Give your loved one the chance to decide what they want to do. If they refuse treatment, show them you’re serious by following up with the consequences.

Know What to Avoid

Before scheduling your drug abuse or alcoholism intervention, it helps to know what to avoid. You don’t want to say or do anything that will make your loved one feel attacked. They could refuse treatment outright as a result.

Here are a few actions to try and avoid:

  • Using words like “junkie,” “addict,” or “alcoholic,” which can sound accusatory
  • Inviting too many people
  • Getting upset during the intervention
  • Scheduling the intervention while your loved one is intoxicated
Drug and Alcohol Intervention Specialists

Try to use neutral terms instead. Don’t define your loved one based on their addiction.  Instead of inviting too many people, consider your intervention team beforehand. Try to stick to the people who are most important to your loved one’s life.

It’s normal for emotions to run high during an intervention. Try to find ways to manage your personal feelings. Otherwise, you might say something without thinking it through.

Make sure your loved one is sober during your intervention. Otherwise, they might not take your concerns seriously.  Make sure the intervention doesn’t feel like an ambush. Avoid sound coercive or placing blame as well.

Drug and Alcohol Intervention Specialists

Consider Working With a Professional

While learning how to stage an intervention, you might decide you need help. Consider working with a professional interventionist. They’ll ensure emotions don’t impact the situation. 

A therapist or counselor can lead the intervention or simply seek guidance. You can decide how much help they’ll provide. You can leverage their experience and expertise to organize an effective intervention.

You might want to consider a professional if your loved one has a:

  • Serious mental illness
  • History of violence
  • History of suicidal attempts, talks, or self-harming behavior
  • Polysubstance abuse

They can guide you through the process or help you build a solid plan.

Orange County Interventionists
We're here to help

Now that you know how to stage an intervention, don’t hesitate. The sooner you plan your addiction intervention, the sooner your loved one will get the help they need. You can help them avoid an overdose or other problems in the future. 

Remember, you don’t have to go through this alone.

Help your loved one seek the help they need.

Discover how to help a loved one through recovery today.

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