When you recognize that a loved one is suffering from substance abuse, knowing exactly what to do and how to go about doing it can be very difficult. One word that often springs to mind is intervention.
When an addict refuses to admit that he has a problem, an intervention is commonly held. Essentially, it is a planned meeting or confrontation with family and friends and the one suffering from the addiction.
There are many benefits and several risks of holding an intervention. It is often a necessary step, however, because the addict may not otherwise come face to face with his problem. What must be kept in mind when both planning and holding an intervention is to keep things from getting negative. It is important not to seem too confrontational, judgmental or hostile. If not held properly, an intervention can present the risk of sending an addict further into the addiction.
Holding an Intervention
When planning the intervention, try to only include people who are important to the addict’s life and people that he cares about and relates to. This can be a combination of family and friends, old and new, young and old. Treatment options and approaches should be discussed in a meeting prior to the intervention. This should not be a large gathering, since the addict might feel he is being ganged up on and become defensive.
The spokesperson of the event should be chosen carefully and should be a person who the addict trusts and does not find threatening. Choosing a time of day when the person is less likely to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol and trying to hold the event in a place where the addict feels comfortable can also be helpful. The addict’s comfort should be kept as a central thought in the planning process.
It is helpful to concentrate on love, hope and how powerful it is that a community came together to help the individual with his problem. Remember to not think negatively of the addict but see the potential of recovery and success in his life.
Make sure each person is prepared to speak about how the addiction has affected his life and what the addict means to him. Also, remember to listen to what your addicted loved one has to say. Above all, be supportive, loving and respectful.