Addiction is never a fun topic to discuss, but it's very important. If someone you love is unable or unwilling to acknowledge their addiction, you may need to stage an intervention. Here is your guide on how to stage an intervention.
Form the Intervention Team
An intervention team is a group of loved ones who care for the addict and wish to offer their help. The intervention team should comprise of people the addict respects and values their opinions. Do not include people that the addict tends to argue or fight with, as this can raise tensions even more during the intervention.
The intervention team must gather information about the addict's behaviors and how they have affected other people. Make sure everything you have is factual and can be backed up with evidence because the addict will try to deny everything you say during the intervention.
Make a Plan
The team needs to decide on the best place and time for staging an intervention. The locations should be private and should not be in the addict's home or anywhere they can easily hide away. The location should be in a place that does not induce negative emotions in the addict. Make sure everyone in the intervention team agrees on the time and place.
Write Individual Statements
At the beginning of the intervention, each person should have a prepared statement of impact to say to the addict. These statements should be well thought out and written down so it isn't forgotten during the intervention. The statements should be powerful and induce emotion in the addict so they can begin to understand that they do have an addiction problem.
Discuss Ways to Offer Help
Before the intervention, each person needs to figure out a way to offer help to the addict. For example, you could drive the addict to NA or AA meetings every week. If the addict is accepting of the intervention, you need to respond by being supportive and helpful in their recovery.
Rehearse What You're Going to Say
Emotions can run high while staging an intervention, so it's important to rehearse what you're going to say beforehand. Try to be prepared for different responses the addict may have so you can deal with them in proactive ways instead of being reactive.
Stage the Intervention
Now that you've learned how to stage an intervention, it's time to act. Understand that your loved one may not be accepting of your help. They may get angry and defensive. It's important to stay calm and minimize the emotion in the room. Most importantly, do not get discouraged if the intervention is not successful. It is common for addicts to be in denial when first approached.
Whether your loved one is accepting of your help or rejects it, you need to follow-up. Follow through with what you said during integration. If you said you would help if your loved one made steps to get sober, then help. If you said you would no longer enable your loved one's addiction, you must follow through. Most importantly, if your loved one continues to use drugs/alcohol or suffers a relapse, don't give up on them.