If someone you care about is struggling with substance abuse, you may feel unable to help him or her. Many people in your position experience hopelessness and guilt as they struggle to assist their suffering loved ones. Luckily, you can find hope and help by planning a drug or alcohol addiction intervention. An intervention can offer the opportunity for your suffering friend or family member to get addiction treatment!

Thankfully, you don’t have to work alone to help your loved one overcome addiction. With help from a professional intervention team, you can begin the process of assisting the person you love. A successful intervention often requires a group of family and friends to get involved in helping your addicted loved one get treatment. The goal is to show your loved one that continuing drug abuse will have specific consequences. However, if they are willing to seek treatment, they can finally end the cycle of addiction.

In theory, it seems like an easy process however, the person struggling often refuses to accept treatment. This can make your intervention much more difficult and even feel overwhelming. An intervention should be a carefully planned process that will encourage positive change so you’re loved one’s addiction can be addressed. Ultimately you want them to accept treatment.

Why You May Need to Plan Intervention

Undoubtedly, it’s extremely difficult for you to watch your loved one struggle with addiction. Seeing someone you care about battle with addiction is one of the hardest things anyone can experience. 

There’s a lot of uncertainty in these situations. Most likely, you have felt alone and afraid, unsure about how or if you can help your friend or family member consider treatment options.

Whether your loved one is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, the effects on the individual’s life can be very serious. But, as you already know, substance abuse doesn’t just change the life of the addicted individual; it also changes the lives of their whole family and anyone around them.

You and your family have all felt the effects of your loved one’s addiction. You have all been negatively impacted by the issue and things will only worsen with time if your loved one doesn’t get the treatment he or she needs.

But, what can you do about it? If you’re like many others who are in your situation, you probably feel that there’s nothing you can do to end your loved one’s substance abuse problems. Addiction is a disease and you can’t simply talk someone out of using drugs or drinking excessively. So, is there anything you can do to help the person you love?

Simply put, yes!

You can help the individual you care about by performing an alcohol or drug addiction intervention. And, with your help, your loved one can get the addiction treatment he or she needs and work towards living in long-term recovery.

What is An Addiction Intervention?

Addiction Intervention New JerseyAn intervention is when friends and family members gather together to confront a loved one about the consequences of their alcoholism and drug dependence. The goal of a successful intervention is to convince the individual to confront their alcohol or drug problem and seek addiction treatment.

Many times, people feel unsure about what to do for their loved ones who are suffering from substance abuse. It often seems like, no matter what you say, the individual seems to return to drug or alcohol abuse. An intervention is a powerful tool for loved ones to rally against addiction and convince the individual to seek treatment.

Addiction is Not A Choice

The truth is that addiction is not your loved one’s choice. In other words, the person you care about didn’t choose to become dependent on alcohol or drugs. And, most likely, the individual doesn’t want to be struggling with destructive behaviors. But, his or her body depends on substances like drugs and alcohol. And, when the individual doesn’t drink or use a particular drug, he or she experiences extreme discomfort (withdrawal). So, to stop feeling that way, the individual resorts to substance abuse. 

Often, people who struggle with addiction feel trapped. They feel stuck in a lifestyle they never asked for, never expected. Deciding to plan and execute a formal intervention will bring the person struggling with addiction one step closer to attending a treatment center.

Helping Your Loved One Through An Intervention

Of course, the best thing people can do when they’re trapped in the world of substance abuse is to ask for help. But, it’s not always easy to do so. Sometimes, people may not even realize how far their drug abuse problem has gone.

So, it takes a little nudge from people they love and trust to bring the truth to their attention. This nudge comes in the form of an alcohol or drug addiction intervention. If you have a loved one who is struggling with substance abuse you can help him or her by intervening in an understanding, loving, yet serious way.

Interventions are never easy for people to perform. But, sometimes, it’s the best way to help. Your loved one may not see the truth about his or her substance use disorder. The negative effects that substance use disorder has had on the individual’s life may not be evident to the person. This is where you come in.

During an alcohol or drug addiction intervention, individuals select a neutral and comfortable setting where they and their loved ones can meet to talk about the substance use disorder. 

Addiction Intervention Best Practices

There are a few things to keep in mind when planning and performing an intervention. It’s best to reach out to your loved one if he or she is sober, if possible. And a calm, loving demeanor will always get the best reaction. An intervention should never be confused for an attack. 

Essentially, the family members and/or friends gather with professionals to talk to the individual about the consequences of the person’s drug or alcohol abuse. They also work to persuade the person to get professional addiction treatment for their substance abuse issue. 

Signs That An Intervention is Necessary

The idea of performing an intervention may make you feel a little nervous. That’s completely understandable! No doubt, you’re wondering if you need to do this. Well, it might help to know about a few signs that an intervention is necessary. If you do see any of the following signs, it might just be time to contact a professional and discuss the best way to intervene and help your loved one get treatment.

Your loved one may need an intervention if he or she:

  • Has difficulty avoiding drug and alcohol use
  • Struggles to control how much he or she drinks
  • Has become a danger to him- or herself and others.
  • Becomes defensive whenever you talk about his or her addiction
  • Seems unaware of how his or her addiction has affected others.
  • Avoids taking responsibility for his or her behaviors and actions
  • Has experienced major mental health and physical health problems as a result of addiction
  • Has found themself in legal or financial trouble due to the addiction
  • Is no longer employed or no longer enrolled in school
  • Has withdrawn from normal family functions due to addiction

Again, if you’ve noticed any of these signs, then an intervention is likely necessary. Without intervention, the signs and symptoms of addiction will only get worse and worse without treatment. If you’re not sure how to go about planning an intervention, contact a professional treatment center that specializes in interventions. They can help you plan the intervention and help your loved one find the right treatment program!

The Addiction Intervention Process: What to Do and What Not to Do

During a drug or alcohol intervention, several people that are close to a struggling individual come together to confront the person about their concerns. This should be done with love and kindness because a person struggling with addiction will not respond well to criticism and anger. The goal is to get the individual to see how many people are concerned about them and to see for themselves how harmful their addiction has become.

With that being said, it’s important to be aware of the correct way to hold an intervention. There are specific things you may want to avoid to have a successful process. But, some things are encouraged! Being mindful of these things can help you to properly prepare for the addiction intervention.

Staging an Intervention

What to Do During an Intervention

Make Sure to Have the Right Intervention Team

When holding an intervention, be sure to gather family members and/or friends that your suffering loved one trusts. These should be people who make the individual feel comfortable. These should also be people that can remain emotionally stable throughout the meeting. After all, things may become challenging as you all speak about this serious and sensitive topic. The individual who is struggling with addiction may become very emotional. But, those who are holding the intervention should avoid letting their loved one’s behavior hinder them from doing and saying what is necessary.

Choose the Right Addiction Intervention Site

Another thing you should do is choose the location wisely. When you meet with your loved one, you should do so in a neutral atmosphere. Be sure that it is not an environment that makes the individual feel uncomfortable. 

Rehearse the Addiction Intervention

Finally, it’s a good idea to practice and rehearse before holding the intervention. This entails discussing who will speak and when. During the rehearsal, you should also discuss what should be said and what should be left out of the conversation.

Consider Hiring a Professional Interventionist

Professional Addiction Interventionist New JerseyIf you’re struggling with how to plan and execute an intervention then you’re not alone. This is a common issue as dealing with a loved one’s drug addiction can feel exhausting. Allowing a professional interventionist to step in and oversee the process that can help you focus on what’s best for your loved one’s life.

Hiring an addiction professional can also help mitigate changes that your loved one will be able to avoid treatment. A skilled professional will have lots of experience with individuals struggling with addiction and will know how to keep the conversation moving and focus on treatment for the substance abuse problem. Overall, an addiction professional is an excellent option if you feel that getting your loved one into a treatment program will be difficult.

What To Avoid in An Addiction Intervention

As you plan to hold an intervention, you should keep in mind the things that might prevent the meeting from being successful.

Intervention Preparation is Crucial

Firstly, you should avoid holding the meeting without preparation. While it might seem somewhat spontaneous or unexpected from your loved one’s point of view, it should be extremely planned on your part. In other words, your loved one will likely not expect to be addressed about his or her substance use. But, you and your intervention team should be ready for the meeting so that the meeting goes smoothly.

Don’t Place Blame On Anyone

Another thing you should avoid is the “blame game.” Your suffering friend or family member will already feel uncomfortable or uneasy as you discuss his or her addiction. Blaming the individual or making the person feel guilty will not help the matter.

It will also prevent you and the individual from reaching a healthy solution for treatment options. Also, introducing blame to the situation will only heighten negative emotions, causing the conversation to be unfruitful and, in most cases, hurtful.

Act Quickly to Begin the Recovery Process

Finally, avoid moving slowly. It’s important to act quickly when addiction is in the picture. It’s not likely that there will never be a moment when it “feels right” to intervene. The idea of approaching your friend or family member about their addiction may make you feel awkward or nervous. So, it’s natural to feel inclined to wait. But, the longer you wait, the more difficult it will become. 

Make Sure Your Addicted Loved One Isn’t Intoxicated

Simply be sure that you do not hold the meeting when your loved one is intoxicated. This can be extremely difficult when someone is struggling with addiction as finding times they are not intoxicated is rare. However, to have the best chance that your loved one will accept treatment they need to be in their right mind.

Once you have the right team and location, it’s time to prepare for the intervention. Although it may be challenging, the intervention will prove to do more good than bad!

Getting Help From Drug and Alcohol Intervention Programs

At Discovery Institute, we realize how difficult it can be to get a loved one to agree to go to treatment. For this reason, we encourage and support interventions.

Discovery Institute offers guidance to those who are working to perform an intervention. From the planning process to helping with intervention best practices, we can help give you bring your loved one to recognize the severity of his or her addiction and agree to get help.

Our staff can also recommend people to assist with your intervention process. Many doctors, therapists, and even religious leaders are specially trained in alcohol and drug addiction interventions and can be present to help facilitate the conversation.

At our treatment facility, we offer resources that can help both you and your loved one. We know that the addiction your family member is facing is serious. It is necessary for him or her to get treatment right away. But it is also important for you to have support and guidance throughout this time. So, allow us to provide all that you and your struggling loved one may need, including individual therapy, group therapy, and family counseling. 

Here at Discovery Institute of New Jersey, we work to help each person who comes to us for help. We also walk right alongside the families that are dealing with the effects of addiction. So, reach out to our staff today to get the treatment you need! We will do everything possible to help your family member or friend to recover from addiction. Our team of compassionate and certified substance use counselors is ready to assist! Contact us today!

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Dr. Joseph N. Ranieris D.O.

Dr. Joseph Ranieri D.O. earned his BS in Pharmacy at Temple University School of Pharmacy in 1981 and His Doctorate Degree in Osteopathic Medicine at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1991. He is Board Certified by the American Board of Family Medicine and a Diplomate of the American Board of Preventive Medicine Addiction Certification.