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Thinking about an intervention?

While an intervention is often necessary to address an ongoing addiction, it is important to organize an approach in order for it to be effective. In doing so, we must assure that our loved one feels comfortable and that intervention is held for one reason- that other care for their well-being. Oftentimes a substance abuser can be in denial about their addiction and may not be ready to accept others’ opinions. Keep in mind that addiction is a mental illness and therefore must be treated with mindfully.

Those who do not struggle with addiction may not understand the psychological implications behind a substance abuser’s actions. As such, it is crucial to understand that they do not have control of the situation. To help guide them in a healthy direction, friends and loved ones are encouraged to support the addict rather than trying to mend the situation themselves. How can I support a person with an active addiction? Try to have open conversations with them and keep a positive attitude. If they seem to be hiding something, ask them what it is and take steps to address their feelings. Do not judge, simply listen and accept their situation. Recovery is more effective in groups where the substance abuser has a healthy support system. By taking these few small steps, an addict will likely foster a desire to get better.

The purpose of an intervention is to create an eye-opening moment for the substance abuser. While one-on-one confrontation can feel downgrading and pressure-filled, coming together as a tight-knit group is likely to foster a great sense of care and love among all participants. If all members approach the intervention with an open and accepting mind, it will limit the addict from feeling defensive and guilty. An intervention should not be nerve-wrecking, it should be a light-hearted and genuine conversation that can mend a broken family.

In some cases, hiring an interventionist can make the conversation go smoother. Interventionists are professionals who are trained to ease tensions, guide conversations in the right direction, or ease aggression if it arises. Their responsibility is to maintain a clear communication channel between the addict and their loved ones.

The first step to an intervention is research. It is important to compare treatment options and determine what will work best for your loved one based on the facility’s goals and reputation. The second step is assembling your intervention team. When doing so, you should consider recruiting a minimal number of people to avoid overwhelming feelings from surfacing. That being said, your group should meet prior to the intervention and discuss what each member’s role. In addition, decide on an appropriate time to host the intervention. Should it be a surprise intervention or will you notify the addict beforehand? Like a treatment program, an intervention is also individualistic. Depending on the person and the circumstance, you may need to carefully evaluate your options.

When arranging an intervention, it is important to remember that it may not work the first time around. In this case, you may need to reevaluate and discuss further options- DO NOT get discouraged! Instead, come up with another way to address the issue. To ensure your loved one receives the attention and support they need, you must be both consistent and persistent with your actions. Always remember that the main goal is to have this individual recognize their problem and want to get help for it. Once they have acknowledged this, remind them that they have the ability to live a fulfilling life once they are able to start their recovery process.

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