Knowing how to react when a loved one develops an addiction is incredibly difficult. Unfortunately, many families across the country choose to do nothing. Of the more than 22 million Americans in the country dealing with a substance abuse problem in 2014, less than one-fifth of those individuals entered addiction treatment programs.
A lack of communication surrounding a loved one’s addiction has a clear cost. That’s why it’s so important for families to understand how to arrange an intervention. After all, a family’s ability to guide their loved one into treatment on their own is limited, making the services of a professional interventionist all the more important.
Families are more likely to help their loved one get into the right treatment program if they rely on a knowledgeable expert. Use this guide on how to arrange an intervention if you suspect that a recovering user needs immediate help with addiction issues.
1. Contact a Professional
Before you and your loved one do anything else, you’ll want to connect with a professional interventionist. That’s because an expert can assist you at every stage of the intervention process, from educating and planning to execution and travel.
It’s important that proper planning goes into the intervention. A failed attempt will make further efforts less likely to succeed.
It is also important to speak with a professional about how to arrange a successful intervention and avoid common pitfalls. Families who stage an intervention without considering how their own behavior has contributed to the problem risk pushing their loved one farther away from the help they need.
2. Understand Family Roles
A common phenomenon across families dealing with a loved one’s addiction is the adoption of specific roles. A father who feels guilt concerning a son’s addiction, for example, may obsess about getting the child into a rehab center to seek addiction treatment. Similarly, a spouse who feels responsible for enabling his or her partner’s substance abuse may become distant once more family members become aware of the problem.
Typically speaking, these roles are assumed in direct response to the addiction. When family members play into these roles, it can greatly help or hurt their dear one’s chances of going into treatment.
By working with a professional interventionist, your family can ensure that any pre-existing emotional baggage won’t interfere with the intervention process. Likewise, the interventionist can help family members identify how their own issues could undermine communication during the intervention. When family members fail to recognize and address family roles as part of the process, they make the interventionist’s job that much harder.
Do you have more questions about why people assume family roles or how these roles can help or hinder an intervention? Check out this informative eBook to learn more:
3. Establish Your Plan
Data have shown that it is much more difficult to get multiple family members to participate in an intervention than it is to convince a loved one to enter treatment. This trend underscores the need for a detailed plan when deciding how to arrange an intervention.
The experience that a professional brings to the table will make it much easier to manage the logistics of an intervention, including working with family members to ensure that multiple people can attend. The more people in the addict’s life who can attend the intervention, the better. In many cases, encouragement from a large enough support network is enough to convince them to take the next step toward sobriety and seek treatment.
A professional interventionist will also prepare each family member for the unexpected – for example, if the addicted family member turns hostile or attempts to negotiate his or her way out of treatment. A detailed plan provided by an interventionists helps family members to stay calm and collected throughout the entire process.
4. Don’t Delay Treatment
One of the biggest mistakes that families make when helping an addicted loved one is putting off treatment. They may choose to delay treatment because their loved one seemed very open to the idea of treatment programs or asked for “one last hurrah” before being sent off to a rehab facility or treatment center of some kind.
The reality, however, is that addicts will say whatever they need to in order to continue using. This may include telling family members what they want to hear during the intervention process.
A professional will ensure that there is a plan for getting the addict directly into treatment before agreeing to schedule the intervention. An experienced interventionist can even streamline this part of the process by selecting an ideal treatment center ahead of time. They will finalize financial and travel arrangements prior to the intervention to make sure the addict can head directly off to treatment once the intervention has finished.
5. Continue Learning
At Northbound Addiction Treatment Services, our goal in reference to interventions is to help families get all the information they need to plan a successful intervention. Review our free eBook, “Ego & Addiction: Why Families Enable Addicts and Derail Interventions,” if you have more questions about family roles and how they impact an intervention.