What is an Intervention?
An intervention is a process, not an event, which culminates in the loved ones getting together—often with a specialist–to express their wishes for the addict to go into treatment. Alcoholics often try and do whatever they can to avoid getting the help they need. Studies have shown that interventions have a 90 to 95 success rate in getting the person to go to treatment.
Before holding an intervention, it is important to do a lot of pre-intervention work with the specialist and if you don’t have a specialist, then the family member who is going to act as moderator. Interventions can be intense and the family needs to have a real, firm plan about how to go about it before going into it. The addict has become a master of manipulation and disguise in a lot of ways. They have learned to hide and deflect the help for this long so it isn’t going to be easy to get them to choose a life of sobriety.
One of the most important components to a good intervention is making sure that the environment is very loving and supportive. Any combative environment can forfeit the goals of the intervention and push the addict into greater degrees of shame and abuse.
A lot of abuse and addiction is fueled by shame and neglect in the first place, so triggering that within your loved one who is addicted to alcohol can make them much worse. It’s important to remember that the alcoholic is an addict and addiction is a disease. The person who is addicted literally doesn’t have control over their urges and cravings and needs serious help.
The goal of the intervention is clear: to get the addict help. It is not about helping the family heal from the hurt inflicted on them from the addict or a group therapy session. The goal is to heal the addict. Interventions are very successful if they send the person to rehab.
Tips for an Intervention
One of the most important things is to choose an intervention team that is going to be the most effective in getting the addict help. This list should include spouses, adolescent or adult children, siblings, parents or close friends. You should make sure that you aren’t choosing family members that are going to trigger the addict. You don’t want to include someone who the addict has an abusive past with or someone who isn’t going to be cooperative. Not everyone in the family should be included.
Timing is an important component to holding an intervention. Making sure that the intervention is held when the person is sober is one of the most important, albeit, obvious thing. Also, trying to schedule an intervention after an incident may be good as well since the person might be more receptive to getting help.
Picking a location is an important decision as well. You’d think that the best route is holding the intervention in the home, but sometimes there are negative memories associated with the house that might make it ineffective. The best spaces to hold an intervention are more formal in nature, such as therapy offices or conference rooms. Interventionists can also be of assistance in finding a good spot to hold an intervention—one that is neutral.
Holding a rehearsal is another important component to an intervention as the heat of the moment can create a lot of emotions that might rattle the people causing them to forget what they were going to say.
Creating a script and making sure that it is adhered to is of vital importance. Sometimes during an intervention, people can meander and shoot from the hip but this can derail the process. It’s important for the whole team to be on the same page and sticking to the script helps with that. It’s already an emotional event and trying to improvise could add fuel to the fire of emotions already at a fever pitch.
The most important dynamic, however, is to make sure that the environment is loving and supportive.
Interventions are not the Final Step
An Intervention is just the first step in a long process of recovery. But it is one of the most important steps. Not a lot of people admit they have a problem because it is scary and they are worried about other people’s judgement. Some people are okay with self-sabotage to a degree, but not a lot of people wish to hurt other people with their drug use. With an intervention you are helping the addict reach into their empathy as a means to heal themselves. It’s a win-win situation.
Hold an Intervention Today!
If you are looking to hold an intervention the time is now. Waiting till someone hits rock bottom could be too late as rock bottom could mean death. If you care about your loved one, then the best thing you could do for them is be honest with them. The short term discomfort associated with holding an intervention is definitely worth the long-term happiness affiliated with sobriety. If you are looking for resources for your intervention call (520) 288-8484.