It can be difficult to watch a loved one suffer from an addiction. Sometimes, friends and family members want to plan an intervention to get help, but without professional consultation from a trained drug intervention specialist, you could make the situation worse. A drug intervention is not a confrontation where you attack the person. It’s a planned effort to come together and encourage the addicted individual to accept treatment. Here are the steps to planning a successful substance abuse intervention:
- Make a plan with the specialist. This is a highly charged situation that could easily backfire and send the addicted person deeper into the addiction. It’s important to keep this a secret from the addicted loved one until you’re ready to act.
- Gather information. With your specialist, find out about the condition and treatment options that are available.
- Form a team. Family members often have strong emotional responses to the addiction, because they’ve been hurt and wounded. It’s important to get outside help, like clergy and friends, who can keep the discussion focused on the facts.
- Determine consequences. If your loved one won’t get into treatment, you need to know precisely what action each person on the team is prepared to take and carry through. You may have to use some tough-love, and ask the person to move out or not let them have contact with their children.
- Keep notes. The intervention team should make notes about how the loved one’s behavior is affecting each person. It’s hard to argue with facts about specific problems or emotional issues. Learn to use terms like, “I was hurt,” or “I feel,” instead of attacking the person, like saying, “You always,” or “You did this.”
- Hold the meeting. When you’re holding the meeting, don’t reveal the reason you’re coming together until you’re all at the site. Then, you should begin by explaining your concerns and feelings about the addiction. Share the treatment option, and ask your loved one if they’re willing to accept the option on the spot. Don’t make empty threats about the consequences, unless you’re willing to follow through. If the individual is ready to accept treatment, take them then and there.
Once your loved one is in treatment, it’s important to follow up and help them change their patterns of behavior. It’s not easy to change, but it can be done. Recovery support is vital to any recovery plan. A successful intervention from heroin abuse must be carefully planned to get to this place. Identifying a highly skilled drug intervention specialist is the first step in the planning process of a substance abuse intervention.