What is an intervention?
An intervention can act as motivation for someone seeking help from alcohol or drug abuse, compulsive eating, or other addictive behaviors. An intervention acts as a way to educate and inform friends and family as well as bringing them together to share information and support each other.
Signs that someone is struggling with addiction:
- Aggressive behavior
- Lack of energy
- Health issues
- Problems at work or school
- Deterioration of physical appearance
- Borrowing money
- Secretive behavior
A loved one’s addiction can take its toll on your own mental, physical, and emotional well-being. Take the time to establish a clear mind and balanced emotions. This is an intense situation to be involved in, and it is important not to let desperation, anger, sadness, or fear get the best of you. In order to be there for your loved one, you will need to be in a good place yourself. This is also important because it will provide you a solid foundation for establishing boundaries later.
It can be extremely difficult to approach someone struggling with an addiction. While loved ones and friends mean well and want to help they may not know what to say or how to handle the situation. It is possible that the person struggling with addiction may deny that they have a problem, making it more difficult to begin this difficult conversation.
One of the most important things to remember is that addiction is a powerful disease, and when battling something so volatile it is easier to be weak than it is to be strong. Many addicts try time and time again to get clean, but lack the support, resources, or willpower to maintain their sobriety. By recognizing the seriousness of their condition and the power the disease holds over them, you will be better prepared to help them battle it head-on.
Steps for Staging an Intervention:
- Begin the process by contacting an intervention specialist. An intervention specialist’s role is to keep the communication between the participants moving. They specialize in helping those addicted to drugs and alcohol to break their cycle of denial. An intervention specialist plays an essential part in staging a successful intervention. Confronting an addict can be a very delicate situation. Family and friends should not try to confront an addict alone, as it can make matters worse.
- Once the help of a professional has been enlisted family and friends can begin to develop an intervention strategy. A specialist will work with the intervening parties to address a loved one’s individual needs. Individuals that may want to take part in the intervention are siblings, parents, spouses or partners, co-workers, and close friends.
- An intervention specialist will spend time educating participating members of the intervention in addiction and recovery. A person struggling with addiction may not know how their actions can affect those around them. Addiction changes the chemistry of the brain, causing users to put their drug abuse above all else. Friends and family can help by composing pre-written letters about how the person’s addiction has hurt them. In this letter it is important to use “I feel” statements, and let the addict know how their addiction has affected you personally, how their addiction makes you feel (scared, worried, upset, etc), the hope and faith you have in them and their ability to get clean, and how you believe treatment can help them.
- Choose a setting for the intervention that is non threatening and familiar to the addicted individual. This will help to put the addicted person at ease during the intervention.
There is no way to determine how a loved one will react when confronted about their addiction. Intervention specialists have experience in calming hostile environments. The presence of an intervention specialist is essential to keeping the situation as peaceful and productive as possible.
At A New Start, Inc., we believe that addiction is a chronic, progressive, devastating and potentially fatal disease. It’s a disease which affects you physically, emotionally, and psychologically impacting you, your family, your work or school endeavors. Those helping a loved one struggling with any type of addiction know that it can be a challenging experience. If you believe a loved one is suffering from addiction, it’s important to get them into treatment as soon as possible.