Tips on Staging an Intervention

The Lake Oconee Boomers Team

Updated on:

Seeing a loved one go on a downward spiral because of substance abuse is heartbreaking. Oftentimes, family and friends are shut out of their lives, and are seen as opposition for trying to get them to stop the bad habit. 

For individuals who are far too deep into their addiction, no reasonable or logical conversation will suffice. If you want to stop watching from the sidelines and actually do something, staging an intervention to get them the help they need is the best way to go.

But carrying out an intervention is a highly sensitive operation with serious risks involved. At best, your loved one will acknowledge their problem and willing to go with your plan to get treatment at institutions like Infinite Recovery (click here). At worst, they will cut you off completely, leaving you with no access to ever reach them again. 

Here are some things you should consider before pushing through with an intervention.

Gather Intel

As with any other type of operation, the first thing you should do is gather as much information as you can. Only then will you be able to come up with a solid plan for a successful intervention. You have to do this carefully, though, otherwise you might spook the candidate, and they can turn the tables on you by giving false information.

Substance abusers can be very keen about such efforts, and they will exert as much effort to try and deceive you into thinking that all is well with them. Ultimately, their goal is to reassure you that they do not have a problem, and so no action is needed. Be careful about what they show you and make sure to look into other sources of information. 

It might entail you interviewing friends from the past, the ones that were there before the addiction, to help you identify any other changes in behavior. You should also be more observant about the things they bring into your home, tell-tale signs of needle use on the body, and other microexpressions. 

Form the Team

Once you’ve determined how severe the situation is, it’s time to identify the team. Who makes up the team is just as important as what goes on in the intervention itself. A substance abuser would have serious trust issues at this point, and so could easily become suspicious, confrontational, or even aggressive depending on who they see in the group.

Ideally, it should be a mix of close family members and trusted friends to maintain balance and objectivity. Anticipate that subjects will try their hardest to convince that all is well and that no intervention is necessary. It’s important that each and every one in the team will stay on message firmly. Oftentimes, interventions fail because enablers take part in them. Your team must be solid and determined in your goal to get your loved one the treatment they need, no ifs and buts. 

Give Clear and Specific Consequences

This is an important piece of the intervention puzzle. You should be able to clearly show the subject of the intervention clear consequences for their failure to cooperate. It could be that they will no longer be welcome in the home, they will no longer receive financial help, or in severe cases, being cut off completely, especially to the ones they are closest to.

It can be anything really, as long as you make sure you can follow through with it as well. Alongside the consequences, however, is your statement why you feel they need to get treatment. Hopefully, it will get through and they will consider your feelings in all of this as well.