You've probably seen interventions portrayed in the movies or on television shows. Some shows may even make light of this very serious interaction. A lot of what you see on television does not accurately depict what a real intervention looks like. An actual intervention is a carefully planned out and executed process. It involves those close to someone struggling with addiction coming together as a group and approaching this individual together about their substance use disorder (SUD).
As a group, these individuals will go around and address how this individual's behavior has impacted them personally. They will then encourage this individual to seek professional treatment for their SUD. An intervention isn't always done to help someone struggling with alcohol or drug abuse. They could be struggling with a mental health disorder or a different type of addiction.
The Beginning Stages of Planning
An intervention is not something that should be done on a whim. Careful thought and preparation should be put into it. In many cases, it can be helpful for whoever is going to be leading the intervention to work with an addiction specialist. They can guide you through the process and help you know the right way to prepare and ensure it goes as well as possible. You'll then want to gather up the group of people that will be participating in the intervention. These should be people that the individual is close to and knows well. They should be people who don't have a SUD and will support what you're trying to accomplish.
There are some people that you probably should not include in this group. For example, anyone who is prone to lashing out, getting angry, or raising their voice could hinder the process. You want this whole event to be as calm and go as smoothly as possible. You don't want emotions to get so high that the individual becomes defensive and storms out.
After you have selected your group of people, you'll want to choose a time and a place. It's best to do this during a time when the individual will not be currently under the influence of drugs or alcohol, if possible. Choose a private place where everyone will be as comfortable as possible, and you won't have to worry about being interrupted or overheard. Make sure that everyone knows exactly where to be on the day of the intervention and when to be there.
Choose Your Words Wisely
It's important to carefully plan out what you're going to say ahead of time. This way, you'll be less likely to say something you will regret later. Journaling is a great way to process how you feel and come to a conclusion about what you want to say. It can be helpful to write it out on a notecard, so you'll have it ready to go on the day of the intervention. Remember not to blame this individual or try to guilt-trip them. Instead, state clearly how you feel and how this person's actions have affected you. Make sure that everyone else that will be participating knows to prepare a statement as well.
Carrying Out the Intervention
Arrange for the individual struggling with SUD to arrive at the pre-determined time and location. You won't want to tell them what this meeting is about beforehand because it may cause them to refuse to attend. When they arrive, it is best for everyone to stay seated while the person leading the intervention gives a brief introduction explaining why everyone has gathered to talk. Then, one by one, go around the room and allow each person to share their statement.
When everyone has finished, allow the individual who the intervention is for a chance to speak and share their thoughts. They may be struggling with battles that you are entirely unaware of. Ideally, they will be receptive to what everyone has said and will agree to seek treatment. Let them know that you will be supporting them throughout the entire process. Be sure to follow up with them in the weeks and months to come to ensure that they follow through with their decision. Reach out to them and ask if there is anything in particular that you can do to support them during this time.
In the case that the intervention does not go smoothly or the person refuses to get treatment, don't blame yourself. This doesn't mean that you've done anything wrong. At the end of the day, it is up to the individual to get the treatment that they need.
A real-life intervention looks a lot different than it is often portrayed on television. An intervention is a carefully planned out and executed process. It involves a group of people coming together with one goal in mind. This goal is to confront an individual that is close to them about their substance use disorder and encourage them to seek professional treatment. A location and time should be decided ahead of time, and the group should all arrive before the individual for whom the intervention is for. You should plan out what you're going to say ahead of time. At the intervention, go around the room and give everyone a chance to speak. Finally, give your loved one an opportunity to share how they are feeling. If you are struggling with a substance use disorder, The Ho Tai Way can help. Call (714) 581-3974 today to learn more.