how to do an intervention

How to Do an Intervention and Do One the Right Way

Do you have a loved one who has completely spiraled out of control with their addiction? Are you worried about them constantly, and feeling like they’re never going to realize their problem on their own?

If the answer is yes, then it may be time to stage an intervention.

Oftentimes, an intervention is the best way to get an addict to realize their problem.

In fact, according to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, over 90 percent of people get help after experiencing an intervention.

But, this doesn’t mean that an intervention is easy. Interventions are very delicate situations. If you approach it the wrong way and upset the addict, the addict may decide to sever ties with you and you’ll have lost your shot at helping them completely.

With the stakes being so high, how do you make sure you do an intervention the right way?

Read on to learn how to do an intervention and do one the right way.

What Is an Intervention?

Before we dive into how to do an intervention, let’s first get an understanding of what exactly an intervention is.

An intervention involves planning a gathering with family, friends, and an intervention specialist to (lovingly) confront a loved on about their addiction.

During the intervention, you will typically present your loved one with examples of their destructive behavior, and let them know how these destructive behaviors have negatively impacted you.

You will also offer a solution to their behavior. Usually, this means presenting them with a pre-arranged treatment plan, whether that means inpatient rehab or counseling.

The treatment plan should not be vague. Rather, it should have very clear steps and guidelines. And you should explain the goals of this treatment plan.

Once you have announced the treatment plan, you should let the addict know what each loved one in the room will do if the loved one fails to agree to this plan.

This is the gist of what an intervention will consist of. However, each intervention is different and will vary according to the addict’s needs.

Now, let’s dive into what goes into planning and executing a successful intervention.

1. Select Your Intervention Team with Great Care

When planning an intervention, you need to be very careful when selecting the family and friends who will be present for it.

Only those who have a meaningful and loving relationship with the addicted person should be at the intervention.

If there is someone you know who loves the addict dearly, but is currently on bad terms with the addict, then this person should not be there.

The sole purpose of this intervention is to help convince the addict they need help. This is not a time to mend fences; that can be done later.

Also, make sure the people who come to the intervention are also people the addict is comfortable opening up around.

Once your team is assembled, make sure you keep them in the loop about what exactly will happen during the intervention. They should know who is going to speak first, who will say what, etc. No one involved in the intervention (other than the addict) should come in not knowing what the game plan is.

Having a clear game plan helps keep things organized and increases the effectiveness of the intervention.

2. Hire an Intervention Specialist

There is one member of your intervention team who shouldn’t know the addict very well: an intervention specialist.

Some people work solely as intervention specialists, while others are also social workers, therapists, or doctors.

An intervention specialist can help you form your intervention team, and they can help you put together a plan that will increase your chances of success. During the intervention, the specialist can act as the voice of reason when tensions run high.

3. Choose the Right Moment for the Intervention

Staging the intervention at the right time can make or break its success.

The best time to talk to a loved one about their addiction is most definitely when they are sober. If it’s extremely rare that you encounter the addict sober, then choose a time when they are at least close to sober.

If they aren’t sober, there’s a chance they won’t fully register what’s going on and won’t be able to think clearly. There’s a good chance they may not even remember what is said later on.

Plus, choosing a moment when the addict is sober helps ensures the safety of everyone. If they aren’t sober and become angry, there’s a higher chance of them lashing out in a violent manner.

Oftentimes, staging an intervention in the morning is the best bet. It can also be a great idea to hold the intervention after a big drug-related incident has occurred.

For example, if your loved one has been charged recently with drunk driving, holding an intervention shortly after can prove to be highly effective. This is because the consequences of their drug use will be fresh in their minds.

4. Choose the Right Location

Once you know what time the intervention will be held, it’s time to choose the location.

First and foremost, the location should always be private. You may think it’s “safer” to do it in a public place, but this can cause everyone to freeze up and feel uncomfortable about being overheard or causing a scene.

Also, many people think that having an intervention in their home is a great idea. However, this can often backfire, as the addict can simply retreat to their room or the bathroom if they start to get uncomfortable.

Oftentimes, the office of the intervention specialist or therapist is the best location. Being in this sort of setting usually forces people to be on their best behavior. Plus, an unfamiliar setting decreases the chances of the addict attempting to retreat to another room.

5. Choose a Speaking Order

It’s very important to choose a speaking order for the intervention. Otherwise, everyone will try to speak at once and you’ll end up overwhelming the addict.

Be very strategic about who speaks first and who speaks last. It’s usually a good idea to have the first person who speaks be someone the addict loves dearly and doesn’t have any “beef” with.

Usually, this is a child of the addict, or a niece or nephew. It’s someone who won’t have any bias in the situation and can really just speak from their heart.

The last person to speak should also be someone who is very close to the addict and who is directly impacted by their behavior. This is usually a spouse or a parent.

However, it may be the case that family members have already talked to the addict about their problem numerous times, and the addict may be sick of hearing it. In that instance, it can sometimes be best to leave the talking to friends and the interventionist.

Before the intervention, you can role-play different scenarios to find which one works best.

6. Hold a Few Rehearsals

Speaking of role-playing, it can also be a good idea to hold rehearsals before the intervention.

Emotions are going to be running very high during the intervention. This will make coming up with what to say on the spot very difficult. If you know exactly what you’re going to say beforehand, it’s less likely that your emotions will get in the way of you completing your speech as planned.

If someone cannot attend a rehearsal, it’s usually best to ask them to not attend the intervention, as rehearsing is a very crucial step in ensuring the intervention succeeds.

During rehearsals, you may also want to have one person role-play the addict. This way, you’ll be prepared with how to react when the addict tries to counter your statements.

An intervention specialist can be particularly helpful in these moments, as they can help you prepare what to say and coach you on ways to deal with the reactions of the addict.

7. Stay on Script

When planning an intervention, you are going to be spending hours developing the script for it.

This script will detail everything you want to say, how you want to say it, and the order you want to say it in. You will likely do multiple revisions of this script with the interventionist to ensure everything and everyone is included and heard.

When you get to the actual intervention, you may find your emotions taking over and therefore feel tempted to ad lib.

This is not a good idea, so try to stick to the script as best as possible. Don’t plan any sort of surprise speech. Catching other participants off-guard can easily derail the whole intervention.

8. Be Warm and Keep Tempers Controlled

It is never the point of the intervention to belittle the addict so they just feel awful about themselves.

If someone is an addict, their self-worth is already pretty low, and your goal should never be to make it lower.

Therefore, it’s very important to let the addict know that the intervention comes from a place of love and concern, not anger and spite. You can display this best through your body language and tone of voice.

Make sure your body language is warm and open. Do this by keeping your legs and arms uncrossed, leaning in and making eye contact with the addict when your speaking, and keeping your hands unclenched.

Your script will contain words of love and understanding, so make sure your body language matches that sentiment.

Tensions can flare up easily during an intervention, but it is absolutely necessary that everyone keeps their tempers under control. If the addict attempts to pick a fight or bring up old grievances, do not engage. Make sure the conversation always steers towards helping them and loving them.

9. Always Have a Plan B

In a perfect scenario, the addict will calmly and carefully listen to what everyone has to say and then agree to the treatment plan in place.

However, we all know that things are rarely perfect. Therefore, you need to come into the intervention with a backup plan in the event that things don’t go well.

When someone is in the throes of addiction, you never know how they are going to respond. The addict might yell and scream at everyone, leave the room, hysterically cry, or even say horrible, vulgar things that they don’t mean.

Having a backup plan in place will help you be best prepared for this scenario.

Be prepared to wait out the addict’s aggressive behavior. Make sure you are prepared to not cave into it. If the addict gets aggressive and someone else gets aggressive back, then you’ve entered a situation where you are trying to fight fire with fire.

Make sure everyone is prepared for the addict to lash out. Everyone acting in calm solidarity will help the addict calm down and re-engage in the conversation.

10. Never Give Up and Prepare for the Journey Ahead

There’s a chance the first intervention will be a complete fail.

But this shouldn’t stop you from staging another intervention in the near future. It may take multiple interventions and conversations to finally get through to your loved one.

As we said at the beginning of this article, 90 percent of people who undergo an intervention seek treatment after.

However, this doesn’t mean that the same 90 percent who seek treatment stick with their treatment and come out the other end healed. The percentage who do that on the first try is likely much lower.

Therefore, while getting the addict to agree to treatment is a great success, it is only the first step in the journey to recovery. Be grateful for this big victory, but also be prepared for the ups and downs that lie ahead.

How to Do an Intervention: Wrap Up

Now that you know how to do an intervention, it’s time to plan and execute your own.

Remember, you shouldn’t try to do the intervention alone. Check out our intervention specialist page to learn about hiring a qualified interventionist.

Out interventionists will be in your corner every step of the way!

what's an intervention

What’s an Intervention and How to Effectively Stage One for a Loved One

According to Pew research, almost half of all people have a family member or close friend suffering from addiction. Watching a loved one deal with substance abuse issues can be heartbreaking, to say the least.

If you’re tired of watching someone you care about lose their life to drugs or alcohol, you may consider staging an intervention.

But despite how common addiction is, most people know shockingly little about what an intervention is or how to stage an intervention that delivers results.

Are you ready to take action to save your loved one? The sooner you act, the better.

Read on as we answer what is an intervention and give you a complete guide on how to stage one.

What Is an Intervention?

An intervention, defined in the broadest sense, is a meeting of people with the intention to stop an act or assist with something.

Many times people stage an intervention with the intention of inspiring their loved one to seek professional treatment. But this isn’t always the case. Sometimes an intervention may be called a method of catharsis.

Whether you’re gathering to convince your loved one to find help or just need to get some things off your chest, the intent behind holding an intervention is always the same: to help.

At the end of the day, an intervention is first and foremost for the addict’s benefit.

When Is an Intervention Necessary?

It can be difficult to know when to intervene in an addict’s life. You may feel that you’re overstepping your boundaries or that their drug or alcohol use may be more of a recreational activity than a dependency.

So how can you be sure it’s time to step in and assist your loved one?

The biggest sign it’s time to stage an intervention is that you’ve become concerned with their behavior. You may feel like your addicted loved one is a danger to themselves or others.

Often, this is caused by an addiction’s behavior becoming more and more uncontrollable. Perhaps they’re lashing out or seem to be struggling at work.

Here are a few signs that your loved one is dealing with a serious addiction.

Secretiveness

While you may feel a sense of anger at your loved one, know that they’re every bit as unhappy about the circumstance. In fact, many addicts feel a sense of guilt and remorse over their actions.

As a result, they may become more secretive and hide their actions.

It can be tough to pinpoint whether an addict is lying, so this will largely depend on your knowledge of the addict. With that said, there are a few physical indicators that your loved one isn’t telling the whole truth.

They may look around a lot, for instance. Refusing to make eye contact is a classic sign of lying and may tell you more than your loved one’s words.

They may also answer in a vague manner or dodge your questions as a whole. If you ask the person in question about their plans, for example, they may reply in short, less detailed sentences.

Strange Sleep Patterns

Substances such as drugs and alcohol are known to affect brain chemistry. As a result, it may become difficult for an addict to sleep. They may even develop insomnia and find themselves unable to sleep for days on end.

If your loved one seems tired on a constant basis or starts developing bags under their eyes, their substance of choice may be interfering with their natural sleep cycle.

And though this may seem like an innocuous sign, it can lead to a vicious cycle. The more tired an addict is, the more likely they are to turn to a substance to aid sleep.

An Increase of Risky Behaviors

As addicts become more desperate to find their next fix, they may engage in risky behavior.

Things, like stealing, overspending, and engaging in unprotected sex are quite common among those dealing with addiction. These behaviors can lead to legal troubles as well as lifelong health conditions and STDs.

Compulsory Behaviors

Finally, pay close attention to your loved one’s body language. See if they develop any strange new tics.

Twitching and arm scratching are common signs of methamphetamine and heroin use, for instance.

Their speech patterns may become altered as well. They may speak in a slower manner or start to trail off mid-sentence.

How to Stage an Intervention

With a baseline understanding of what an intervention is and when it may become necessary to stage an intervention, let’s now turn our focus on the intervention itself.

How you stage your intervention is a determining factor in your overall success. As a result, you’ll want to be careful about the process lest you risk ostracizing the afflicted loved one and sending them further into their addiction.

Here are a few tips to help you develop your intervention plan.

Research Addiction

The good news is that you’re already doing a great job simply by reading this article. While movies and TV shows such as A&E’s Intervention like to portray interventions as shout-filled confrontations, this is a poor source of research.

Instead, consider reaching out to a healthcare professional or addiction specialist.

Ask for resources to help you develop a plan for your intervention. They’ll likely be able to point you in the direction of helpful articles, books, and contacts that you can use to stage the most effective intervention possible.

You’ll also need to research your loved one’s substance of choice. Educating yourself on the most abused substances can give you a better idea of what your loved one is dealing with.

Who to Include

Determining who to include in the meeting can be challenging. For the addict, seeing their friends and relatives gathered together to discuss their addiction can be quite embarrassing.

As a result, it’s a good idea to include only who is necessary. As a general rule of thumb, it’s best to keep the gathering as small as possible.

Therefore, your group should consist of those most directly affected by the addict’s behavior. Friends and family are two of the most common attendees though it isn’t unheard of to include close colleagues from work.

Consider Enlisting Professional Assistance

While your intervention should be kept as small as possible, it may be a good idea to enlist the aid of an intervention specialist.

These trained professionals have experience working with those struggling with substance abuse and can help you maximize the efficiency of your gathering.

Furthermore, they can help you learn more about what your loved one may be going through. Since they go through rigorous training, they’ll be able to provide plenty of details and statistics on recovery and addiction.

Finally, your specialist can help you direct your feelings in a more constructive manner.

It’s understandable that you’re hurt, upset, or even feel guilty about your loved one’s behaviors. But the intervention should be about the addict first and foremost. Controlling those emotions can be a challenge in high-stakes situations like these.

Structure the Intervention

It’s best to give yourself a few days to prepare for the intervention. A loose or poorly-planned meeting can potentially do more harm than good.

Be conscientious about how your meeting is planned and create a structure and plan to keep everyone on track.

Begin by finding the right place to meet. Homes are often the best location though anywhere your loved one goes on a regular basis will suffice. With that said, interventions can be embarrassing for the user, so keep it private.

Next, come up with a list of people who will speak. An itinerary may seem like a bit much, but remember, interventions can go off the rails. The more organized your meeting, the better.

Watch Your Language

Interventions have a tendency to be high-stakes emotional roller coasters.

And though you’re encouraged to speak openly and honestly with your loved one about how their addiction is affecting those around them, what you say and how you say it matters a great deal.

Be careful about the type of language you use in your speech.

Be direct and to the point. You should feel free to speak your piece, but always speak it from a place of love, not anger or guilt.

Avoid using words like:

  • Junkie
  • Crazy
  • Druggie
  • Disappointed

Each of these words has a harmful effect and will only isolate your loved one. Even if you have strong feelings of anger and resentment toward the addict in question, it’s vital that you express them without using damaging language.

Expect Resistance

There’s a good chance that the person you’re staging an intervention for has no clue what you’re planning. As a result, they’re likely going to be shocked or even angered about the gathering.

Expect resistance-be it verbal or physical. Have a plan to call the police if things get out of hand, but only use this strategy as a last resort and not as a threat.

Have a Post-Intervention Plan

Since an intervention is intended to encourage or influence an addict to seek treatment for their substance abuse issues, you’ll need to have a post-intervention plan.

Have the name, phone number, and address of a reputable addiction treatment facility on hand. Tell your loved one that you’re willing to help them pack and drive them to the facility.

With that said, you can’t coerce someone into checking into rehab. At the end of the day, the user is in charge of his or her decisions.

Though you should always hope for the best, know that you can’t force them into seeking treatment. Stress that there are multiple levels of care available to them, too, and that inpatient treatment isn’t the only option.

Gather Before the Meeting

Most people find confrontation-particularly when the stakes are so high-quite challenging. You can make things easier on those in attendance by gathering before the intervention to go over any last minute details.

Try to meet between 60 and 90 minutes before the intervention begins so you’ll have plenty of time. Answer questions, reiterate the plan and let everyone get on the same page.

Allow Your Loved One to Speak, Too

Though those planning the intervention will do the bulk of the speaking, your loved one should have the freedom to say their piece, as well.

Encourage them to say what they need to say in an effort to help them verbalize their feelings. Doing so can help them process these complex emotions they’re likely feeling.

Note that it’s also okay if they don’t want to speak. They may feel numb, confused, or at a loss for words. These are all normal feelings given the situation.

They should have the freedom to speak, but shouldn’t feel pressured into doing so if they don’t feel up to it.

Stress Your Support for Your Loved One

Finally, end your intervention on a high note.

Stress your love and support for the addict and let them know that the intervention is a sign of love and concern. This meeting is for them, after all, and it should stay that way.

Tell them that you only wish to help them and that you’re here for them whenever they need it.

Coming from a place of love is always better than speaking out of anger. Your loved one will be far more open to hearing what you have to say and could be more receptive to the idea of seeking treatment.

Final Thoughts on Staging an Intervention for Your Loved One

No one ever expects to have to stage an intervention for someone they care about. But addiction is something that millions of people across the globe are dealing with.

If you’re looking to help your loved one, or simply want more information on what is an intervention, contact our team of experts today.

We can help you find treatment centers, insurance information, and helpful resources to let you better understand what you’re loved one is going through.

No one should have to watch someone they care about waste their life away. Get in touch today and take the first step toward helping your loved one.

intervention help

Drug Intervention Help: 12 Facts to Know Before Hosting an Intervention

Since 2016, the U.S. death toll due to drug overdoses has escalated out of control, with over 63,000 people dying from this scourge in that year.

According to the latest CDC Drug Surveillance Report, these numbers continue to climb. During October, President Trump declared the current opioid-abuse crisis a Public Health Emergency under federal law.

If you worry about a friend, family member, or colleague’s drug use, it’s easy to feel that there’s nothing you can do about it.

There is something you can do, but you need to move fast. Arranging a drug intervention could save their life. Will an intervention help though?

In many cases it can, here’s what you need to know before you try.

1. Intervention Basics

The first thing you need to understand is what an intervention is.

An addiction intervention is basically a meeting of concerned people who want to help a drug addict get clean. This get-together can informal or take a more structured approach with the help of an intervention specialist.

The goal of any intervention is to help the addict gain a realistic picture of their problem and help them to acknowledge it. Ideally, you should be able to persuade the drug-user to seek professional help with overcoming their addiction. This can take the form of group therapy or a stint in a rehabilitation center.

The intervention should serve to educate the person on the dangers of their behavior and offer them support and guidance.

2. What an Intervention Is Not

No intervention is ever an excuse to throw blame at, gang up on, or belittle the addict.

It is not a slanging match or an opportunity to vent your anger and frustration with their behavior.

All communication during an intervention should take place in a calm and logical manner. It’s a subtle version of tough love.

Losing your cool means you are having an argument, not an intervention.

3. When to Consider an Intervention?

You can’t stage an intervention for someone who has had a one-off binge. Prime candidates for an intervention should have one or more of the following ”symptoms”:

  • Personal, financial, professional, or social difficulties as a result of their drug use
  • Health issues due to drug use
  • An inability to control the quantities or frequency of their drug use
  • Pretending these problems don’t exist or rationalizing them away
  • Unwillingness to listen to advice or concerns about their predicament

Many addicts live in denial, trying to convince themselves that they can stop at any time. Often behind this belief, there is a deep-seated knowledge that in reality, they are far from in control any more.

When it’s done right, an intervention can show them there are people who care about them and want to help. An intervention gives them a plan for freeing themselves from drugs before they hit rock bottom.

For many, this is all the encouragement they need to start seeing things as they really are. For a few, it can be the start of a brand new future.

4. Who Should You Invite to the Intervention?

Please don’t invite people that the individual does not like, or anyone who holds a grudge against them. This will get their defenses up from the moment they lay eyes on them.

Likewise, don’t include anyone that actively supports their drug use or is likely to make excuses for them.

Only involve those with a genuine concern for the addict. The usual candidates are those who are closely related in some way, such as siblings, parents or a spouse.

Often, an intervention could include an employer or colleagues, but this would depend on their work environment and circumstances.

Getting a professional to assist you is a good way to keep things on track during the intervention. You could also include a counselor, a therapist, a recovering addict, addiction specialist, or even a church leader.

If you are staging an intervention in a work environment, the HR manager should be present.

5. Steps for Planning an Intervention

Once you’ve decided on who to include in the intervention, you need to get their buy-in. Some of your chosen few may not want to get involved.

You’d rather have fewer participants than include others who aren’t a good fit for the task at hand. Those who are genuinely concerned about the welfare of your loved one will make the time to be there.

If you’re using an intervention specialist or another professional person, find out about their availability.

Choose a Time and Place

The next step is to decide on a date and venue for the proceedings. The addict’s home or office are usually good choices. It’s easier to anticipate when they’ll be around these places. Otherwise, you can invite them to another private place where you won’t get interrupted.

Choose a time of day when the addict is likely to be drug-free – mornings are usually best. If you can hold the intervention during a time when the person is battling with a lot of remorse over their drug use, you will often get a more favorable response.

Plan Ahead

Get all the participants together to discuss guidelines for the discussion, as well as the desired outcome.

The goal of this meeting is to ensure that you stay on topic as well as educate everyone. Asking an experienced drug counselor to attend can help everyone to understand how addiction works and how to deal with objections.

Reading up on drug addiction beforehand will help you to better understand this issue and how you can help.

Ask everyone who is attending the intervention to make a list of the ways in which the individual has harmed them. They should bring this list to the meeting and stick to these topics only.

Have Solutions to Hand

Knowing what you want to achieve beforehand is imperative. It’s not enough to tell the person that you want them to stop using drugs.

Plan the desired outcome. This could take the form of contacting a rehabilitation center, getting them to agree to counsel, or booking them in for treatment right away.

6. When to Get Professional Intervention Help

It’s important to get an intervention right the first time around. If you approach it in the wrong way, you could drive your loved one further away.

They may feel bullied and resentful towards you, which will increase their secretive behavior. It will also make them reluctant to reach out to you in the future.

If there’s a chance the person is going to respond in a negative way, don’t be afraid to ask a professional for help. They know how to hold an intervention to increase your chances of success.

It’s important to get a professional to help you if your loved one is:

  • Taking a variety of mood-altering drugs
  • Suicidal or depressed
  • Known for violent outbursts or retaliation
  • Affected by serious mental health issues

Likewise, if you feel uncomfortable involving friends, family members, or co-workers in the matter, a professional counselor, therapist or intervention specialist is the answer.

7. Types of Intervention

“While each intervention is unique, there are two main types of intervention, according to the situation you face.

Direct interventions are when family and friends confront the addict and ask them to undergo treatment. These work best when the individual is starting to realize they have a problem and need a nudge in the right direction.

Indirect interventions involve professionals who work with the family to help them encourage the addict to stop using. These often occur after a direct intervention has failed or when the family is hesitant to approach the addict.

8. Steps in an Intervention

It’s preferable if the intervention comes as a surprise to the addict. This prevents them from preparing excuses and objections beforehand or avoiding the meeting altogether.

The most important step in any intervention is explaining to the individual that you’re all there out of love and concern for them.

Step two is asking them to admit that they have a problem. If they do this straight away, it’s game over. You can proceed to the last step in the intervention, which means getting them the help they need.

If they deny they have a problem, make excuses or become confrontational, the intervention should get underway.

Interventions usually take a round-robin format, with each participant reading out their list of grievances in turn. Often, when confronted with these facts, the addict will realize that they do, in fact, need help.

If this doesn’t lead to an admission, then each person needs to come up with an ultimatum. This could mean the threat of getting fired or demoted at work, withdrawal of financial support, accommodation or anything else that the individual relies on. It’s vitally important to stress that you are not withdrawing love, friendship or support.

In 90% of cases, when faced with no acceptable alternative, people will agree to undergo treatment.

9. Plan for the Best but Expect the Worst

Sometimes, the individual will be so far gone that they’ve lost all concern for their own welfare. In this case, they may refuse to cooperate. Other times, they could insist that they can stop using drugs on their own.

The best thing for you to do in this regard is follow through with the ultimatums. Let them know that you’re available for support and help, but you can’t continue to enable their destructive behavior.

Hopefully, before too long, your loved one will realize that seeking treatment is the better option.

Recovery is a personal journey and everyone has their own route to follow. There’s a good chance they’ll get there if you stick to your guns.

10. Tips for Success

Ultimately, you want the first go-round to be the clincher when it comes to an intervention. Here’s how to increase your odds.

  • Prepare thoroughly and get expert advice
  • Choose a private venue where your loved one feels safe and comfortable
  • If your loved one arrives at the venue under the influence, call it off. They won’t get the best out of an intervention unless they’re in their right mind.
  • Try talking to them one-on-one before arranging an intervention. This will get them thinking.
  • During the intervention, offer guidance, understanding, assurance, and support. Judgmental, aggressive, and shaming behavior will lead to disaster.
  • Follow up. Make sure they get the help they have agreed to.

First prize is to get your loved one to enter treatment immediately after the intervention. Don’t give them a chance to enjoy a “last blast.” Have everything prepared beforehand.

11. Finding Solutions

During the planning stages of your intervention, take a long time to research possible options to help your loved one recover. You need to find an option that works with their health insurance coverage as well as their circumstances.

It’s important that you’ve made up your mind and are ready to get the ball rolling following the intervention.

These are the most common treatment options:

  • In-patient rehabilitation
  • Psychological counseling
  • Outpatient treatment
  • 12-Step meetings
  • Group counseling

You’ll find that there are many people out there willing to help you and your loved ones escape the clutches of drug addiction.

One thing to remember is that it’s imperative that your loved one undergo a supervised medical detox. When you stop taking addictive drugs, you can expect a range of withdrawal symptoms. These can be life-threatening.

12. Why You Need Intervention Help

A licensed drug counselor, social worker, psychologist or interventionist can help you to better understand what your loved one is going through. They will guide you through the process of staging an intervention according to your specific needs and help you to achieve success.

If you choose to have them present during the meeting, they can help to keep emotions and tempers under control. They can also suggest excellent treatment options for your loved one.

They know all the tricks in the book and will be able to counter objections and excuses immediately by offering workable solutions.

Take Steps Today

Whether you are looking for intervention help or anything to do with getting your loved one on the road to recovery, get in touch. Every minute you waste, they’re getting more wasted.

We’ll get you in contact with the best, most affordable recovery center for your needs. Call us today.

substance abuse intervention

What’s an Intervention? Everything You Need to Know About Drug Interventions

If your loved one is fighting addiction, the last thing you want to do is confront them. Especially if they’ve been battling for a long time or they don’t think they have a problem.

Unfortunately, addiction is not a problem you can afford to ignore. Alcohol and other drugs cost us $740 billion annually in health care expenses, crime, and lost productivity.

At this point, you need options, and you’re probably wondering, “What’s an intervention?” It’s the first step in addiction treatment, and it’s an important step to take. Keep reading to find out what an intervention is, how it works, and how to stage one.

What’s an Intervention?

An intervention is an opportunity for family and friends to offer help to a loved one struggling with addiction. Alternately, it’s the addicted person’s opportunity to accept the help they need.

Basically, it’s an act of love.

How Does It Work?

That’s all fine and good, but how do interventions work?

Most people know interventions from TV, like Christopher’s intervention on The Sopranos in which everyone sits in a circle and reads a letter. But there’s a lot more to it than that.

An intervention is a carefully planned process in which the friends and family of the addicted person confront their loved one about the consequences of their behavior and ask them to accept treatment.

The most common model is when loved ones read from a letter they wrote for the occasion, though there are several types of intervention.

What is an Interventionist?

It is often recommended that interventions are staged under the supervision of a professional interventionist.

An interventionist is a trained professional who helps identify the people who will become part of the recovery team. Once they find these people, the interventionist guides them through the process of staging a successful intervention.

This involves supporting, educating, and training the recovery team so that they can approach the intervention with the right tools. Often, an interventionist will help prepare the script for the intervention and help the family rehearse beforehand, offering coaching and guidance.

It’s often recommended that the interventionist is present during the actual intervention. It might seem awkward to have a stranger in the room during a deeply personal moment, but the interventionist can actually be a huge help in keeping the intervention on track.

Do Interventions Work?

There’s been some debate as to whether interventions work. Part of the problem is defining a metric for success.

If the metric for success is getting the addicted individual to accept treatment, then interventions are often successful. If the metric for success is the success of the treatment, then things get murky.

Keep in mind, however, that the importance of interventions for recovery has less to do with treatment success.

The truth is, interventions don’t have a direct impact on treatment success. They’re not supposed to. The goal of an intervention is simple: to make your loved one accept treatment.

Your loved one’s success in treatment has to do with their commitment to sobriety.

Planning an Intervention

If your loved one does need an intervention, then it might be time to consider planning one.

Interventions are often used as a last-ditch effort when the addicted person has refused treatment several times, fell off the wagon, or refuses to acknowledge that they have a problem at all. However, families shouldn’t wait for rock bottom before addressing addiction.

If anything, you should start the intervention process as soon as you recognize the problem. The sooner addiction is addressed, the easier it will be to recover.

That said, interventions are not spontaneous. They’re planned down to the last detail to convey your message and get your loved one to hear you. Let’s talk about the stages of planning an intervention.

Gather Information

The first step is to make a plan and gather information.

You should start by gathering information on your loved one’s specific addiction. Alcohol addiction is different from cocaine addiction and should be approached differently.

You should also take the time to research the treatment options in your area. It’s a good idea to bring the family in on this if you can, as several different people will be able to provide a comprehensive picture of the person. It’s also easier to get a handle on finances that way.

This is also when you should look for a professional interventionist. Ideally, you should find someone with experience in your loved one’s specific addiction. They can help guide you through the remaining steps.

Form the Intervention Team

From here, it’s time to form the intervention team.

This does not mean it’s time to call in every relative. Quite the opposite, in fact.

An intervention is a highly emotional time for everyone. You’re going to tell your loved one something they don’t want to hear, and you need to make them listen anyway.

When assembling the intervention team, you want to choose the group of people who can best deliver the message. Family dynamics can be a barrier here. If your loved one has a complicated relationship with their parents, it may not be the best idea to have Mom and Dad in the room.

Sometimes, friends are a better option than family members, as they help to focus on facts and shared solutions rather than emotional responses. Children of the addicted person may also be a good option, depending on their relationship.

Either way, try to keep the group small–no more than 10 people at most, including the interventionist.

Write Your Intervention Letters

Once you have your team, it’s time to prepare for the intervention. Part of this process is writing your intervention letters.

The intervention letter is an important tool to keep the intervention on track. The letter is your script, making sure that you avoid tangents and stick to the main messaging. Since interventions are so emotional, this is a vital roadmap.

This will also keep you from becoming overexcited, frustrated, frozen, or bewildered. Letters are written in a relaxed, direct fashion, and that language will help you stay relaxed regardless of what’s running through your mind.

That said, the letter is not the place to air grievances. Save that for therapy. The goal of the letter is to communicate your love and concern for this person and your heartfelt desire for them to be healthy.

Work with the interventionist in crafting your letter. Include statements of love and support along with specific examples of your loved one’s behavior while on drugs (not accusations). The letter should not contain an ultimatum, as this will only make your loved one defensive.

Rehearse with a Professional

Once everyone has their letter, it’s time to rehearse with the interventionist. Ideally, this should occur several times so that everyone is calm and confident during the actual intervention.

During rehearsal, you should establish a clear order of speaking. This is for your benefit–if everyone knows the order of speaking, then they can patiently wait their turn instead of worrying.

Decide on Specific Consequences

You should also decide on specific consequences if your loved one does not accept treatment.

If these consequences are mentioned during the intervention, they should not be couched as ultimatums. Instead, phrase them as ways to help the family stay healthy if your loved one won’t get help.

For example, you might say that your loved one has to move out if they refuse to get clean. Work with the interventionist to figure out how to phrase these consequences.

Do not threaten a consequence unless you’re prepared to follow through.

Intervention and Follow-Up

Once you’ve rehearsed, it’s time to stage the intervention.

Ideally, the intervention should occur when your loved one is most likely to be sober. People under the influence aren’t good at emotional regulation and may agree to something that they don’t remember later. If they’re defensive when sober, they’ll be even worse when drunk or high.

Besides, it’s hard to calmly ask your loved one to seek help when you know they’re drunk or high.

Usually, this means first thing in the morning, before your loved one has had a chance to start using. Probably when they first wake up.

It should also be in a neutral location that’s soothing without being too comfortable. Many families want to stage an intervention in their homes. The issue with that is that it’s easy for your loved one to flee to their bedroom or the bathroom and the whole intervention falls apart.

If you attend church, you might ask your pastor if you can use a spare room in the church. You could also use the interventionist’s office. Ideally, it should be somewhere private that won’t immediately alert your loved one to what’s happening (or feel like an ambush).

Once there, everyone proceeds through the intervention as rehearsed. The intervention is over as soon as your loved one accepts treatment, so in the best possible scenario, you won’t need to go through everyone.

What to Do (and NOT Do)

Interventions are highly structured processes with clear rules. There’s a reason for this.

Emotions run high on all sides during an intervention. The rules and structure of an intervention exist in order to keep everyone calm, even if your loved one does get combative.

With that in mind, let’s talk about what you should and shouldn’t do during an intervention.

DO Communicate Calmly and Stick to the Script

The point of writing a script is so that you know what to say. If you go on tangents, there’s a stronger chance that you’ll get distracted, get upset, or start making accusations.

No matter what you may feel during the intervention, stick to the script. Read your prepared words and then let the next person take their turn.

That said, you don’t necessarily need to remain silent the whole time. If you do say something, though, it should be constructive. Your interventionist can help you figure out what you can and can’t say beforehand.

And throughout the intervention, you should communicate calmly and openly, even if you are frustrated.

DO NOT Yell, Raise Your Voice, or Get Upset

However, there is a good chance that you will become upset, angry, nervous, frustrated or anything in between.

Whatever you might be feeling, it’s important that you do not raise your voice, yell, or vent your frustrations.

Interventions come at a difficult time for families. Everyone in the room has as many grievances as you do. But speaking in anger or passing judgment won’t make your loved one listen to you.

As soon as you yell, you open the door for your loved one to start arguing. Soon, everyone will be yelling and there’s little chance your loved one will agree to treatment.

DO Maintain Open Body Language

Everything you say in an intervention matters. Even the things you say unconsciously.

Body language goes a long way towards making a person receptive. Try to maintain open body language throughout the intervention.

Your arms and legs should not be crossed in any way. Crossed arms are the biggest indicator of hostility, so keep your arms at your side, in your lap, or moving as you talk.

You should also try to look around, especially at the other person. Looking off to the side of the person is a major sign of being closed off or a lack of receptiveness.

If possible, try to wear loose clothing, as this will help you relax. Take off your jacket or unbutton the top button of your shirt collar so you have room to breathe.

DO NOT Accept Excuses

Finally, you don’t need to be harsh during the intervention, but you shouldn’t accept excuses.

It’s common for people on the receiving end of interventions to try to negotiate. They’ll try to negotiate the circumstances of going to treatment, or offer excuses like “I can’t go until after X is done,” or, “I can’t leave my job/kids/pets.”

Be prepared for these excuses, and don’t accept them as reasons to back down.

You know your bottom line. You knew it before the intervention. Don’t fall back on it now.

After an Intervention

Now that you know the answer to the question, “What’s an intervention?” you might be preparing to stage one.

If so, you need to be prepared for the next step in treatment.

If you need to assess your treatment options, learn about the varying levels of treatment and get in touch with us today to see what we can do to help.

Do Drug and Alcohol Interventions Work

Do Drug and Alcohol Interventions Work? (The Answer: Yes!)

Do interventions work? In short, yes but it will require the willingness necessary from your addicted friend or loved one.

In the paragraphs that follow, you’ll find a guide to helping the person you care about to get back on track and beat their crippling addiction. However, it’s important to remember that it’s not up to you rather they decide to give up their addiction.

Remember that recovery from addiction has everything to do with their own willingness to acknowledge the problem and seek help. While loved ones and friends of alcoholics have often spent years trying to convince the addict to seek help, the addict’s will is not something that anyone outside can control.

Read on to learn more about addiction and the options available.

What You Need to Do

Show empathy. Living or working with an addicted person can cause much unnecessary resentment, but it’s important that you hold your fire for the time being. Showing empathy, love, and concern in a nonjudgmental way is important when conducting an intervention.

In short, this isn’t the time to express anger or your own grievances. This can make it difficult for the addict to practice the vulnerability and acknowledgment required to make a change in course.

If your loved one feels that it is too late to repair the damage they’ve caused, they can be likely to turn back to the self-soothing substances or actions that they’ve long used as a coping mechanism.

Different Intervention Types

Sometimes interventions aren’t a choice. Forcible interventions may be conducted if the addict runs into the legal troubles that are so closely linked to addiction. This may be a court-ordered or state-mandated treatment program and while this level of intervention can be successful, it’s not a preferred choice.

Conducting an intervention with the help of trained interventionist is an example of one of the more preferred voluntary methods. This involves soliciting the help of someone who is experienced in getting your friend or partner to commit to a treatment program.

While these professionals can’t guarantee how your friend or partner will respond to the recovery process, they can be very helpful in ensuring that the addict takes the first steps necessary toward recovery.

If you don’t have the means to bring a professional interventionist in, ask for the help of other concerned parties. If you’re already attending Al-anon, group members can also be an excellent sounding board for advice, experience, and support as you take this next step.

If you aren’t already attending an Al-Anon group, be sure to check out the section entitled “There’s a Meeting for You Too” in this article.

Do the Homework for Them

Offering your addicted friend or loved one an array of options can be helpful. Asking someone to change everything can be overwhelming, so offering information on first steps can help direct them towards meaningful change.

This means giving your loved on a few options that may work for them, such as information on rehabs or a list of local AA, NA, or SLAA meetings. Do the initial legwork of making their next step clear.

Making your expectations clear can help ensure that the addict knows what you’re expecting from him. Vague expectations about behavioral improvement can lead to half-measures that end in defeat. An addict will almost always look for ‘an easier, softer way’ that doesn’t include giving up his/her addiction entirely.

While clarity is necessary, don’t make the addict feel like treatment is a punishment for bad behavior. You need to ensure that your intervention leads them toward recovery and not just further away from their support system.

Listen, be empathetic, offer support, and stand strong in your expectations. There are many books available that can help you learn more about addiction, how it functions, and how you can best offer help.

Helpful literature is also available for free online and can help you prepare for the days and weeks ahead.

Know What They’re Going to Say (Before They Say It)

One of the most common rebuttals heard from addicts is “I can’t afford to take 30 days off to go to rehab”. In reality, however, it’s likely that the addict you care about has been functioning at a fraction of their potential for years or even decades.

It’s because of this that rehab should be viewed as a momentary albeit necessary hiccup that will likely lead to a much more productive and full life. Addicts often spend the majority of their day thinking about their addiction, planning their next chance to use or cleaning up the wreckage caused by their most recent episode.

When viewed through this lens, 30 days isn’t much of a trade-off. The tools they’ll gain while in treatment will help them re-engage with their addiction-free life and stop squandering their days in search of their next high.

If you’re an employer, this can mean telling your addicted employee that time off won’t be an issue and making them aware of just how much their health coverage can pay for.

If the addict you care about is your spouse, this can mean detailing a plan of attack that you can work on together. Talk about household financial responsibilities and how they can best be managed.

There’s always a way if your partner has the willingness to give a new way of life a try. Ensure that your partner doesn’t feel too guilty to go and show him or her just how manageable the process can be.

When Rehab Isn’t an Option

When rehab isn’t an option, there are still ways that your friend or loved one can get clean. While there are separate considerations that may need to be made depending on the addiction, free services are available for nearly every addiction.

In some cases, your friend or partner may need a medically supervised detox. Depending on the level of physical dependence they’ve formed, hospitalization may be unavoidable.

These free services have some of the highest success rates in addiction treatment and are virtually everywhere. Addiction is incredibly common and affects people of all backgrounds and financial situations.

Because of this, addiction meetings are free and are often comprised of a diverse mix of people. Meetings welcome wealthy business owners and celebrities with the same level of compassion and respect that they give those who are struggling with the financial implications of severe drug abuse.

A quick web search (‘your hometown’+’alchoholics anonymous’) can provide you with a meeting finder. This printable list will detail meetings currently being held in your area.

Meetings are free, however, at the conclusion of the meeting, a basket is typically passed for donations. The typical donation is around a dollar and goes to pay for group expenses. This typically includes room rentals and providing literature to those who can’t afford to purchase ‘The Big Book’.

‘The Big Book’ and the ’12 and 12′ are the two quintessential pieces of the literature suggested for AA members. NA, on the other hand, uses it’s own blue book, as well as a Step Work guide and a book entitled ‘It Works: How and Why”. If the group lacks the funds to pay for literature for a new member, other members are likely to let the addict borrow the literature needed.

Groups are self-supporting, however, donations are never mandatory. Meetings occur everywhere (Hint: Even if you’re on a cruise ship, there’s a good chance that there may be a meeting onboard, check the events and activities section) and show the addict just how common their own experience is.

Through groups, addicts can meet people with similar stories who have turned their lives around and get the hope they need to get and stay sober.

Look for the Similarities (Not the Differences)

While Alcoholics Anonymous is the most common 12 step meeting, dependence on alcohol isn’t the only substance it can help your loved one recover from. Groups focused on an addiction to narcotics (NA) or sexual addiction (SLAA) are common, but may not occur as frequently in your area.

The basis of all of these groups is the 12 step program developed by Bill W. for Alcoholics Anonymous because of the similarities faced by all addicts. These similarities include loss of control, damage caused to relationships, and the ensuing wreckage caused.

If an NA, CA, or SLAA meeting isn’t regularly available in your area, you can encourage your partner to attend AA to seek help for their addiction of choice. This is unlikely to reduce their chances of recovery because of the commonality of experience in addicts.

Hint: Most ‘traditional’ alcoholics have used drugs or created a sexual wreckage of their own before entering recovery.

There’s a Meeting for You Too

If someone you love is an addict, there’s a meeting for you too. Al-Anon meetings are an important component of recovery.

Al-Anon meetings help to give the friends and family member of alcoholics the tools they need to support their loved ones and themselves. Dealing with the pain caused by an addicted loved one isn’t easy.

Al-Anon groups are easy to find, free, and can provide members with the group support and fellowship necessary for friends and family members of alcoholics, regardless of rather or not the loved one is currently in recovery.

Young people who have been affected by the actions (or inactions) of an addicted family member can also attend meetings. Alateen groups are often suggested as a tool to help young people deal with the memories, feelings, and responsibility that often plague younger family members.

If the person you’re hoping to reach isn’t responsive to your requests, it’s important to know that it’s not your fault. An addict won’t get clean until it’s a choice he makes for himself. Interventions can help to show an addict just how much is at stake, but the choice is out of your hands.

Having a network of new friends who know exactly what you’re going through can help you create the necessary boundaries you’ll need if the addict you love isn’t ready yet.

Still unsure? Try a virtual meeting and see for yourself. Keep an open mind and look for the similarities you share with the regular members.

Do Interventions Work? More Answers

If you’re reading this article and wondering ‘Do Interventions Work?’ chances are that the person you care about has an issue with addiction. If you’re still unsure that what your friend or loved one is experiencing is ‘addiction’, take the Al-Anon quiz for yourself and see if you could benefit from joining their ranks.

Millions of people have been negatively affected by addiction and it’s important to know that there are resources available to you. You aren’t alone.

Isolating or continuing to hide the wreckage caused by the addict in your life deprives you of the life and happiness you deserve.  It’s no secret that isolating can make friends and family members feel alone in the world.

Fortunately, you’re part of a strong bunch. Exercise your own bravery by attending an Al-Anon meeting and share your experience with someone who needs it.

Without the willingness to expose your own truth to individuals who find themselves in similar situations, your own recovery can’t begin. This of this as a show of solidarity with your addicted friend or partner, who will need to do it same.

For more information on how you can help the addict that you love and begin to repair the damage that’s been caused, call the professionals at Addiction Treatment Services. We’re here to help.

substance abuse intervention

7 Intervention Methods for Alcohol and Drug Abuse

According to the most recent data from the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), 24.6 million Americans age 12 and older used an illicit drug in the past month. That’s 9.4% of the population, and the numbers just keep rising.

When your loved one is suffering from drug or alcohol abuse, or a combination of the two, it can be hard to know where to turn. You want to speak up and address the behavior, but you don’t want to shame the person into a deeper spiral.

That’s where a strategic and well-planned substance abuse intervention comes in.

This is a complicated, sensitive move that can require a significant investment of time. Yet, research reveals that taking this step is more than worth it. The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) reports that when addicts receive help from a trained and experienced interventionist, more than 90% of them make the commitment to get the help they need.

Are you ready to help stage an intervention for someone in your life? If so, read on. Today, we’re discussing seven ways you can help make this event as meaningful and beneficial as possible.

Ready to learn more? Let’s dig in.

1. Direct Confrontation

This is what most people picture when they think of a drug intervention. It’s also how the television show “Intervention” and other media outlets most commonly depict the process. In short, direct confrontation involves the concerned party or parties coming together to approach an addict about his or her damaging behavior.

In the decades past, the confrontational model of intervention was centered on placing blame on the addict. Talks were designed to shed light on the negative consequences that the abusive behavior led to. Conversations often included firm expectations that the addict would recover, along with a definitive timeframe.

Of course, this was before addiction was understood to be an illness. Instead, it was considered a mere character flaw, or something that could be quickly erased by aggressive treatment. As such, the decade surrounding the 1990s saw traditional confrontation defined by “punishing” the addict into submission and admittance to a recovery center.

Now, recovery experts still rely on traditional confrontation to begin a conversation around an addict’s behavior. Yet, they do so in a far more gentle manner, understanding now that addicts respond negatively to aggression and pointed fingers.

In these cases, a trained intervention specialist will meet with friends and family members in closed sessions prior to the actual intervention. At this time, the people involved will plan and organize the event. It is understood, in most cases, that if the intervention is not successful and the addict does not seek treatment, friends and family members may be forced to seek alternative approaches, such as tough love.

2. The Johnson Model

This form of addiction intervention was first coined in the 1960s. At this time, Dr. Vernon Johnson brought to light the importance of taking an educational, social stance on intervening.

An offshoot of the confrontational model, the Johnson Model emphasizes pre-intervention meetings. These take place among an interventionalist and those in the addict’s inner social circle.

During these sessions, the caregivers, or those responsible for tending to the addict, learn how to carefully approach their loved one and what to expect. They’ll learn what to say to mitigate the risk of a negative reaction or shutdown.

They will also gain knowledge around addiction itself. This will help them better understand and anticipate its effects. At this time, the group will also select treatment options that are the most appropriate for the addict.

Then, the intervention team will approach the addict without his or her prior knowledge. They explain their concerns and lay out next steps without placing blame or igniting shame.

3. Crisis Intervention

Sometimes, those around an addict don’t have the luxury of time. They need to act quickly to save the emotional or physical health of their loved one and can’t afford to meet for months with a professional to plan strategic intervention techniques. An addict might be in the middle of an overdose, attempting to self-harm, or in the grips of another emergency.

As such, a crisis intervention is usually a direct, one-on-one confrontation that happens at the same time a crisis is emerging. If during this time, the addict refuses to seek recovery treatment, there may be other steps to take. For instance, an interventionalist can become involved at this point, evaluating whether or not the addict should be involuntarily committed to a hospital or treatment center.

If this is deemed a viable next step, the confrontation is no longer a direct one. Instead, it is a forcible one. Though there are often fewer parties involved due to the time-sensitive nature, a crisis intervention should still have many elements of a direct intervention.

Chiefly, the addict will need the support and attention of loved ones. There should also be discussion around the addict’s destructive behavior and how it’s affecting others.

While it can be difficult to coordinate these conversations, especially in the middle of a critical situation, it’s important to make the effort and bring in a professional whenever possible. This is especially important when dealing with cases of self-harm or when an addict is considered to be a risk to the safety and well-being of others.

4. Tough Love

While drug intervention programs are valuable tools for approaching the addict in your life and steering him or her toward recovery, you might need to take a different approach to address the issue rather than solely sitting down and talking it out.

In many cases, especially if there is an addiction among family members, those in charge will implement tough love. In a nutshell, this means carrying out actions that might look harsh and unkind to the addict, but are ultimately done in his or her best interest.

Some examples of tough love might include grandparents removing grandchildren from their own children’s custody because they fear for their safety. Or, you may refuse to loan money to an addict or pay down any outstanding debts, especially if they refuse to seek treatment for their addiction. In other cases, it might mean locking an adult addict out of your home if they show up past curfew intoxicated.

These types of interventions can be both direct or indirect and are often the last resort that friends and family members take. Why? Though they’re frustrated by the behavior, loved ones still care for the addict and often fear that their tough love actions will break the bond they share.

That’s why it’s important to enlist the help of a skilled interventionalist, even if you’re going the tough love route. For this approach to be successful, you can’t just threaten. Their support will be invaluable as you not only make these threats, but actively follow through with them as well.

5. Love First

Though it might appear to be the antithesis of tough love, the love first approach is simply tackling the issue from a different angle. In this case, concerned parties lead with a loving, gentle response throughout the entirety of the confrontation.

This type of intervention is usually arranged and pre-planned and takes place in a comfortable, neutral spot. Loved ones stand ready with affirmative and encouraging responses and talking points during the conversation. For example, if the addict begins to share excuses for his or her behavior, or list reasons why treatment isn’t possible, those in the room will resist the urge to retaliate or push back.

Instead, they’ll explain that everything is taken care of and the only thing the addict needs to focus on is taking steps toward recovery. Their children will be with loved ones. Their workplace is supportive. In essence, every concern or anxiety can be met with kindness. In effect, tensions are eased and conflict is avoided.

If you’ve ever heard of an intervention where letters are read aloud, it was likely a love first tactic. In this approach, loved ones will often pen letters to the addict, focusing not on the negativity of the current situation, but rather on happier times.

They will read these letters aloud at the meetings, emphasizing the bond they share with the addict. They will close with a message of hope and encouragement for the future. Yet, though these letters are positive in nature, they are not without consequence. The latter parts of the notes usually include steps that the loved ones will take if recovery isn’t sought.

6. ARISE Intervention

Sometimes called the family systems model, ARISE stands for A Rational Interventional Sequence for Engagement.

Put simply, this is a form of addiction intervention that shifts the spotlight away from just the addict and instead shines it on the whole family.

These meetings are usually pre-planned. All family members will take a look at their lifestyles, interactions, and habits. What unresolved issues do they have? Those are tackled first, followed by addressing the addict’s behavior.

It’s not uncommon for an interventionalist to assign each family member a new lifestyle change to undertake. These are designed to benefit the family as a collective unit.

For instance, someone might need to attend anger management courses. Another might need to work through codependency issues. Someone else might need to work toward better communication skills.

Research shows that the ARISE intervention model has an 83% success rate of encouraging addicts to enter recovery. This communal approach works best when all family members are on board with the changes. They should also be committed to helping both themselves and the addict live a more harmonious life.

7. Systemic Family Model

The systemic family model of intervention is similar to the ARISE model. Yet, instead of pinpointing behaviors that each family member needs to address, this model simply brings the relatives together in a unified movement of support for the addict.

An interventionalist will make the addict aware of the meetings beforehand so that there is no element of surprise. Then, the meetings are carried out much like therapy sessions, in which communication between family members is open, guided, and healing in nature. In a show of support, family members might attend Al-Anon meetings or similar gatherings to learn more about the addict’s struggles and how they can be there.

The meetings can be conducted in a series of short-term sessions. Yet, many families find these discussions so beneficial that they continue them into the long-term.

Finding a Substance Abuse Intervention Model That Works

Just as there is no cookie-cutter addict, neither is there a one-size-fits-all solution for substance abuse intervention. The method and model you choose will depend on a myriad of factors. These may include your relationship with the addict, the nature of the addiction, and the willingness of the addict to seek help.

One thing these approaches do have in common? They’re all made stronger and more effective with the help of a trained interventionalist. This trained professional will work with you through every step of the process. This helps to make sure that the conversations are effective, progressive, and thorough.

Are you ready to take the next steps toward helping your loved one seek help for an addiction? We’d love to be that resource for you. We’ll work with you to simplify treatment planning and determine the best rehab center for your needs. Along the way, we partner with major insurance providers to help you find an affordable destination within your accepted coverage.

We know this time can be complicated and overwhelming. Contact us today and let us help steer you toward the answers you need.

family intervention

Drug Abuse During Development: Tips for Teen Interventions

National use of illicit drugs is at a record low amongst teens. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the risk of harm to teens from illicit drug use has been declining.

Only 13.3% of 12th graders reported using illicit drugs other than marijuana in 2017. That’s compared to 9.4% of 10th graders and 5.8% of 8th graders.

Nonetheless, teen drug addiction is still a prevalent problem. The opioid crisis and other drug crises have impacted teens, families, adults, and communities across the country. There were over 72,000 drug overdose deaths in the U.S. in 2017 alone.

Drug abuse can affect a child’s development and damage their future opportunities. It takes an emotional toll on the child and the family as a whole. Most importantly, the abuse of illicit drugs can negatively affect a child’s health and potentially be a risk to their life.

If you know or believe your teen is addicted to drugs, there’s no reason to stay silent. Drug interventions are a tool for starting the necessary conversation about your teen’s drug use. An intervention could lead your child to treatment and recovery.

Continue reading to learn how to spot the telltale signs of addiction and how to do an intervention.

Recognize the Signs of Addiction

It can be difficult to spot the signs of addiction in your child. You always want to give them the benefit of the doubt. They may be actively hiding their addiction for fear of getting in trouble.

It’s important to know that the symptoms of addiction and the symptoms of some mental illnesses sometimes look the same. It could be that sitting down to talk with your child is all that’s necessary to get them the help they need, whether they need mental health services or one of the many treatment and therapy options for drug addiction.

That said, it’s common for addicted teens to resist treatment.

There is a difference between the symptoms of drug addiction and the signs of drug addiction. Symptoms relate to how addiction directly affects your teen. The signs are outward identifiers that may signal drug addiction to family and friends.

Symptoms of Drug Addiction

Teenagers don’t often have the knowledge and life experience to recognize when drug addiction has taken ahold of them. They are under a great deal of social and academic pressure. They may feel the need to perform day after day, concealing any negative feelings.

Some of this is regular teen moodiness. But drug addiction often has a dramatic impact on a teen’s life. If your teen is addicted to drugs or alcohol, they may experience any of these symptoms:

  • Experiencing urges to use the drug
  • Feeling that they must use the drug regularly
  • Needing more of the drug to get the same effect as the first time
  • Taking more of the drug than intended
  • Maintaining a steady and hidden supply of the drug
  • Spending large amounts of money on the drug
  • Engaging in risky or unethical behavior to get the drug
  • Spending a great deal of time thinking about, obtaining, using, and recovering from the drug
  • Methodically planning out how they will use the drug
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when they attempt to stop using the drug

Some people who struggle from addiction experience severe withdrawal symptoms when they stop using a drug.

If your teen is experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms, such as difficulty breathing or violent shaking, you should take them to the emergency room immediately. They may require addiction detox treatment.

It is important to understand that some withdrawal symptoms can be life-threatening.

Signs of Drug Addiction

It can be difficult to tell the difference between normal teenage behavior and the signs of drug use. Teenagers face an enormous amount of pressure and are getting used to their changing bodies.

But your teen could be addicted to drugs if there are major changes in their behavior and attitude. Here are some possible indicators:

  • Extreme Changes in Behavior – Your teen may be more secretive than usual or begin to disobey your rules. Your teen may be staying out after hours, lying about where they are going with friends, and barring you from entering their room. They may have a negative or dismissive attitude toward family functions and events.
  • Problems at School and Work – Your teen’s grades may suddenly plummet. Your teen may be missing school and work frequently or getting into trouble.
  • Loss of Interest in Activities – If your teen used to be active in sports or the arts, they may suddenly abandon those activities. They may lose interest in their regular hobbies, such as reading or making music.
  • Health Problems – Your teen may experience rapid weight loss or rapid weight gain. They may have other health issues, like a lack of energy, red eyes, or blisters.
  • Problems with Money – Your teen may stop spending money on the things they used to like. They may run out of money more quickly and be more stressed because of their lack of money.
  • Disheveled Appearance – Your teen may stop bathing, grooming, or putting on clean clothes.

The Most Commonly Abused Drugs Among Teens

Alcohol and tobacco are the most commonly abused drugs among adolescents. Marijuana is the second most common. Other commonly abused drugs include:

  • Synthetic Cannabinoids (K2/spice)
  • Prescription Medications
  • Steroids
  • Hallucinogens (LSD, mescaline, and psilocybin mushrooms)
  • Inhalants (spray paints, glues, etc.)
  • MDMA (ecstasy or “molly”)
  • Heroin
  • Methamphetamine (“crystal meth”)
  • Synthetic Cathinones (“bath salts”)

While abuse levels of these drugs remain relatively low, they can dramatically impact your child’s health and well-being if they are in fact using them. If you believe your teen is addicted to any of these drugs and they aren’t willing to get help, you may need to have an intervention.

8 Tips On Staging Teen Interventions

Interventions are usually necessary when a family needs to be more proactive about their teen’s drug use. They are sometimes employed after other strategies of providing help have failed. But in some cases, they are the first step.

A teen intervention is a process in which family, friends, and professional counselors can show a teen who is struggling with addiction that their addiction is having a negative impact on their own life and the lives of those who love them.

The goal of an intervention is to help the teen enter a rehabilitation program, usually at an inpatient facility.

The purpose is not to punish or chastise the teen. Instead, the intervention team explains the widespread implications of their addiction. An intervention is a display of love and support, but also a signal that the people in the teen’s life will no longer support or enable the teen in their addiction.

Typically, everyone present during the intervention will speak in turn. These are often rehearsed speeches aimed at motivating the addict to get help. Once everyone has had a turn to speak, they will ask the teen if they are willing to receive help immediately.

If you plan to stage an intervention for your child, here are some tips that can help:

1. Work With a Professional

When conducted with someone who is a trained and experienced interventionist, over 90% of people struggling with addiction end up committing to getting help.

A professional intervention specialist can set the tone of your intervention. They can also guide you through this difficult process. They can help you prepare for a drug intervention and provide much-needed expertise to answer difficult questions.

It is possible to do an intervention on your own, but it may not be as successful. This is especially true if you’ve tried to convince your teen to get help in the past and they have refused.

It will be much easier for your teen to reject help if they know they are only turning down a request from friends and family. A professional will know how to respond to your teen if they are combative or uncooperative.

2. Assemble a Team

You can’t do an intervention alone. Teen interventions are usually conducted by a team of individuals who have a relationship with the teen. These may include:

  • Family members
  • Friends
  • Classmates
  • Coaches or mentors
  • Work colleagues
  • Their girlfriend/boyfriend
  • Religious community members

Anyone who has a loving relationship with the teen can participate in an intervention. The idea is to show the teen that their addiction doesn’t just affect them, but all the people they love, as well.

3. Practice Your Intervention

This is a crucial moment in your teen’s life. It is important that everyone on your team is familiar with the plan. You may wish to rehearse your order of speakers and let your team members flesh out exactly what they will say.

Your intervention specialist can help you facilitate practice sessions. They’ll give you and your team notes and help you make refinements.

4. Pick the Right Location

While it’s possible to stage an intervention in the home, it can be problematic. If your teen is in familiar territory, they may resort to walking away or hiding in their bedroom. This is doubly true if you’ve already had unsuccessful talks at home.

Instead, pick a location that could be considered neutral territory. If your intervention specialist has an office, this might be the best location. It will be private and comfortable, but also formal and semi-public.

Your teen will instinctively want to behave better in a more formal environment. They’ll also recognize that you and your family are serious about getting them help.

5. Pick the Right Time

It can be difficult to convince a teen to go into treatment when they are under the influence of drugs. Choose a time to stage your intervention when your teen is not intoxicated.

At the very least, choose a time when they are as close to being sober as possible. The morning might be the best time, as they may not have used yet.

Another good time might be after a major incident involving drugs or alcohol. For example, if your teen was arrested for driving while intoxicated, they may be ready to accept that they have a problem.

Other incidents might include a bad fight with you or another family member, your teen missing an important event because of drugs or alcohol, or other consequences, such as suspension or expulsion from school.

6. Avoid Negative Confrontation

Most medical professionals understand that addiction stems from chemical changes in the brain. Anyone can become addicted, no matter their age, background, or social standing.

Your intervention needs to be kind and compassionate. After all, you are only trying to look out for child’s best interest.

Try not to scold or chastise your teen because of their addiction. Even if they have been neglectful or dishonest, try to recognize that these actions are merely symptoms of addiction.

If your teen tries to start a fight during your intervention, stay calm. It is not uncommon for people suffering from drug addiction to turn to anger when they believe they risk losing access to the drug.

7. Create a Backup Plan

It is difficult to predict how those suffering from addiction will react to an intervention. They may say insulting things, cry and yell, or simply stand up and walk out of the room.

It’s important to have a backup plan for all of these scenarios. Your intervention specialist can help you develop backup plans for the most common reactions. They’ll also help you understand which plans are appropriate and which are not.

As a very last resort, some states allow involuntary commitments for drug addiction. This may be your only recourse if you believe your teen’s life is at risk. Research the laws in your state before making this decision.

8. Keep Trying

Don’t give up if your teen doesn’t decide to get treatment right away. It may require several conversations to convince them. Your intervention could last only an hour, or it could last an entire day.

What Happens Next?

If your teen accepts that they need treatment, they should be taken immediately to a recovery center. This prevents them from changing their mind later and seeking out drugs instead. You and your intervention specialist will have already worked out the details.

The journey to recovery is one that thousands have made. If your teen does accept treatment, remember that recovery is a lifelong process. They will need your support when they are released.

It is not uncommon for those addicted to drugs to relapse after receiving treatment. Both you and your teen will need to be diligent to foster a culture of recovery in your home.

Interventions are an important tool for helping teens struggling with addiction. It can be difficult to step in, but it’s one of the most important decisions you and your family can make.

If you’re ready to speak to an addiction intervention specialist, contact Addiction Treatment Services online or call us right now at (833) 369-6443.

teenage drug use

Parenting Problems: How to Curb Teenage Drug Use

Do you find yourself wondering what the best methods of preventing drug use are in your teenagers?

In today’s day and age, it’s safe to say that teenage drug abuse is a significant problem in America. While drug use in teenagers is on the decline, there are still a remarkable number of teenagers experimenting with drugs today.

While many teenagers look to experimenting with drugs as a ritual in growing older, the consequences of teenage drug use can be devastating. In fact, teenagers are more likely to develop an addiction to drugs if they begin experimenting with drugs at a young age.

Fortunately, there are steps that any parent can take to help curb drug use in their teenagers. The majority of these steps are based upon providing the right education and support to teenagers during their teenage years.

If you’re looking for the best ways to curb teenage drug use for your family, you’re going to want to read this. We’re documenting useful tips and techniques for how to prevent drug abuse from becoming a reality in your teenager’s life.

1. Educating Teenagers on Drug Use

First and foremost, one of the most significant methods of curbing teenage drug use is to discuss with your teenager the downsides of drug use.

While many schools implement anti-drug programs, many of these programs focus on the educational aspects of drugs. For example, a common lecture may cite the difference between depressants and stimulants. However, these lessons fail to provide a personal and realistic portrayal of drug use.

That being said, it’s essential to have a more personal conversation with your teenager about how drug use may affect their life personally.

Throughout this discussion, be sure to avoid using scare tactics. Instead, have an open and realistic conversation with your teenager about how drug use will affect things they care about in their life. This may be sports, the ability to operate a car, their appearance, or even their sexual health.

Be honest with your teenagers and give them a realistic understanding of what drug use may lead to. This is both in terms of how drug use will affect their current lifestyle as well as how it may affect the near future.

For a sports lover, explain how drug use may significantly impact their athletic performance. Not only will a teenager abusing drugs suffer short-term in their athletic ability, it may also have long-term consequences. For example, their recent decline in performance may result in not qualifying for the sporting scholarship they have been longing for.

2. Establishing a Healthy Home Environment

The correlation between an unhealthy home environment and teenage drug abuse is incredibly strong.

Teenagers who lack a healthy home life are often more unaware of the negative consequences of drug use. In many of these households, the teenagers may have a more open “in and out” policy than typical households. Such an open schedule often allows teenagers to stay out late and do as they please.

Without family involvement, a teenager may feel that they have no reason to avoid experimenting with drugs.

3. Setting a Healthy Example

As a parent, it’s important to remind yourself that your children look to you as an example. That being said, it’s important to establish healthy routines that your children can strive toward.

Remember, your children are observing you even when you’re not looking. Actions or routines that are mainstream in adulthood will be noticed by children and teenagers.

For example, if a child sees a parent come home from work each day and immediately pour a glass of wine, they may begin to emulate you. While to you it may be a simple way to unwind, a child may view this as an alcohol dependence.

For your children to avoid the excessive use of drugs or substances, it’s essential for you to display this same pattern. Otherwise, teenagers may be confused when you penalize them down the line for doing the same.

If they witness or hear of you partaking in drugs, this will give them the impression that drug use is normal and acceptable. Once a child witnesses a parent using drugs, they are likely to use the “If you can do it, I can do it” argument. So be very aware of the example you are setting for your children.

4. Encouraging Open Communication

At the end of the day, parents want their children to feel comfortable talking openly with them. Without this comfort, children are left to interpret situations on their own and are more inclined to make irrational decisions.

Instead, be sure to encourage your children to speak to you. This may come in the form of asking questions, seeking advice or opening up about a past situation. Remind them that you were once young and facing the same issues that they are now.

Remember, a child is more likely to open up with their parent when that parent takes the first step to open up themselves. As a parent, make a habit of “checking in” with your children and asking if they have any questions.

Parents can even be straightforward and ask their children about whether drugs have presented themselves in their peer group. Simply letting your children know that you are open to discussing the matter when it does present itself is an effective means of starting the conversation.

5. Keeping Inventory of Prescription Medication

While overall teenage drug use has seen a decrease in recent years, the use of prescription medication to get high is still common amongst teenagers. In fact, prescription medication is the second-most abused drug for teenagers after cannabis.

Many teenagers turn to prescription medication as a means of getting high simply because it is so widely available. After all, many households today have a well-known common spot for medication. While this medication may be effective in pain management, it can have serious consequences when misused.

That being said, it’s important to make certain that this medication is not readily available to your children. This can be accomplished through discarding unnecessary or expired medication and keeping an inventory of current medication.

6. Debunking Media That Romanticizes Drug Use

In today’s day and age, it’s not uncommon for the media to portray drug use in a positive light.

Be it in movies, music, or television, drugs are often painted as fun, harmless substances. It’s important to make sure that your teenagers are aware that these fictional stories do not illustrate the harsh realities of drug use.

It may be helpful to discuss with your teenagers the significant number of celebrities that find themselves with serious drug addictions. As a result, many of these coveted celebrities have no choice but to enter drug rehabilitation centers.

It’s also important to discuss with your teenagers the presence of drug abuse and steroids in professional sports.

The truth is, 1 in 20 teenagers report using steroids to increase their muscle mass. Much of the motivation behind such a choice is witnessing strong and capable athletes on television who are using that same strategy.

If you feel that this could be an issue with your teenager, be sure to discuss the long-term effects that steroids have on users as well as the current effects.

7. Discussing Ways to Resist Peer Pressure

The truth is, drugs are going to present themselves to most teenagers at one point or another.

When discussing drug use with your teenagers, it’s important to remind yourself to be realistic. That being said, preaching absolute abstinence isn’t always the best method.

Instead, be open and honest with your teenagers about the fact that they are likely going to be offered drugs in their adolescence. From here, try brainstorming together the best methods for them to resist this pressure.

In some circumstances, young adolescents may feel they have no choice but to accept the pressure from their peers. It’s helpful to remind teenagers that they have the power to make their own decisions and to leave any situations that make them feel uncomfortable.

For young teenagers, having their answers pre-determined is the best possible way to avoid accepting peer pressure.

8. Be Honest About Your Own Experiences

At one point in time or another, your teenager is likely to ask you about your own history with drug use.

For those that choose to voice their past drug use, be ready to discuss what you learned from that experience. For example, in experimenting with cannabis in college, a parent can be honest about why they made that decision.

However, it’s also important to discuss the consequences that you may have faced as a result. Perhaps you may have noticed that your grades were suffering and that you didn’t enjoy feeling out of control.

It may also be beneficial to be open with your child about others in your life that used drugs and faced harsh consequences. This paints a very realistic picture to your child as to how drug use can have long-term, devastating effects.

For parents that have struggled with addiction themselves, it’s important to make your teenager aware of the concept of genetic addiction. After all, ten percent of adults report having suffered from a drug addiction in their lifetime.

If addiction runs in your family, make it known to your teenagers that they may be more likely to face addiction than others.

9. Familiarize Yourself with Your Child’s Peer Groups

Part of the responsibility in being a parent is to familiarize yourself with your teenager’s peer group.

When a parent is familiar with their teenager’s peer group, that parent is more likely to be connected to the group overall. With that comes a level of trust that the teenager themselves, as well as their peers, feel toward that parent.

Likewise, when a parent is unfamiliar with the peer group, they are naturally more disconnected. With this comes an unawareness of what is happening in their teenager’s life and lack of engagement.

While a parent may only have limited influence on their teenager’s peers, it’s still essential to direct your teenagers towards those that provide a positive influence.

For some parents, this can also be established in keeping an open relationship with the peer’s parents. In doing so, the teenagers are aware that their parents are in communication and that news has the ability to travel fast.

10. Establishing Consequences

Of course, establishing consequences might be one of the best methods of prevention that a parent can employ.

Carefully explain that each and every family has a set of rules in which the children must abide by. In saying this, clearly explain to your teenager what the consequences of using drugs will be. This may be anything from revoking certain privileges such as a car or technology to disallowing social plans.

In knowing the consequences, teenagers will be forced to re-evaluate whether or not their drug use is worth the potential consequences.

It’s also important to always follow through with enforcing these consequences. In failing to do so, teenagers will no longer take the threat of consequences seriously.

While these consequences may seem unfair to your teenager at first, remind them that you are doing this because it’s what’s best for them at this time. If they have objections to the potential consequences, be open to discussing these objections with them.

Remember, the more willing you are to have open discussions with your teenagers, the more likely they are to feel that same way.

The Battle Against Teenage Drug Abuse

The teenage drug abuse epidemic has been a harsh reality facing America for many years. Although teenagers are reporting to use drugs less, drug abuse is still a widespread issue facing many teenagers today.

In today’s school environment, the majority of teenagers are going to face peer pressure to use drugs. While parents are unable to control what happens in the hallways, parents today still play a vital role in combatting drug use in their teenagers. It’s the parent’s responsibility to provide their teenagers with the guidance and support necessary to make informed decisions.

Without this parental support, teenagers are more likely to act irrationality and make irresponsible decisions.

If you’re looking to learn more about addiction, be sure to visit our addiction information page.