An intervention is a way to make a connection with an addict and help them make the right decision to seek help.  It allows friends and family members to voice their concerns and relay anecdotes about having the addict’s behaviors affect lives.  It can be extremely effective yet it must be done the right way.  Keep the following tips in mind before planning an intervention for your loved one.

Only Close Friends and Family

Choose your team wisely and remember that the addict is likely to feel a bit overwhelmed at first.  Moreover, they may feel violated if they find people present who they don’t feel are particularly close with them.  Appropriate people include spouses, mothers, fathers, brothers, and best friends.  However, if they have a toxic relationship with family members, it’s best to keep them away from the intervention.  The intervention is a means to a healthy end, so you don’t want it to backfire by being an invitation for a negative encounter between two or more people.

Find the Right Time

Of course, it’s always a good time for an addict to start making healthier choices, but to optimize the effort, be sure to choose the right time.  For example, if the addict seems moody in the mornings then plan the intervention in the evening.  However, be aware of their routines, especially regarding when they use drugs and alcohol.  You don’t want to surprise them with an intervention when they come home high and acting irresponsibly.  On the other hand, scheduling an intervention right after a particularly harrowing and harmful event can strengthen the planned event’s impact on the individual.

Be Succinct

Often, a lot of emotions are involved in sending a message to an addict.  While it’s important for people to be heard, stick to the main objective- ensuring that the addict decides to get help.  It’s not a time to ‘gang up’ on or aggressively badger a loved one.  Be succinct with your heartfelt messages, but do not invite added drama or make the intervention center on inciting guilt.  Rather than rely on what you’re feeling at that moment, it’s best to have something written down so you can read it in an even and serious tone.

Choose the Right Spot

Equally important as who is there is where to hold the intervention.  Choose a place that is familiar to the addict but also makes them feel safe.  Choosing a foreign place to spring a surprise intervention may make a person feel defensive and less likely to hear what others have to say.  On the other hand, if bad relationships are associated to a certain place, such as a parent’s home, then it may be best to choose a neutral place to hold the intervention.

Be Direct But Warm

You want to be direct with an addict but you also don’t want them to feel violated or like a victim of the anger of those present.  Be direct and even-toned with your prepared speech but also let them know that your desire to see them get well is the reason you’re there.  Pay attention to your tone of voice as well as your body language; don’t clench your fists, cross your arms, or feature anger in your expression.  Do maintain direct eye contact, lean in for emphasis, and tilt your shoulders toward the person.

Don’t Give Up

An intervention is not a guaranteed method of getting the addict to change their ways or choose to go to alcoholic rehab.  Statistics show that those who are confronted about their addictions are more likely to see help, yet first-time interventions are not always successful.  However, don’t dismiss the latent impact it may have on an addict.  Depending on their personality or immediate mental state, they may feel tricked, attacked, or offended by the sentiment, yet after some time to reflect and think about what was said, it may inspire them to seek the help they need.

Choose a Moderator

Choose someone that is good at staying level-headed to serve as the moderator of the intervention.  They don’t need to be the designated leader necessarily, but should be chosen due to their warmth of delivery and ability to keep all members of the intervention on task and free of negative emotions.  It should be someone who the addict deeply trusts and is likely to listen to the most.

An intervention can make a world of difference, but for it to be effective, you must consider the who, what, where, and when to help them see the light.

Olivia Washington had turned to substance abuse after returning from active military duties in Fallujah. Olivia turned to experts for assistance and has been addiction free for several years now. She sees blogging about her insights as a way of giving back.

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