Wednesday, May 01, 2024

How to stage an intervention: Five top tips

 Nobody likes to see a friend suffer, but with mental health conditions on the rise, and the likes of drugs and alcohol becoming more and more prominent as a coping mechanism for the stresses and strains of daily life, more of us are finding that our friends are in trouble.

The likes of drug and alcohol addiction are incredibly harmful to a person’s life and if you are finding a friend or loved one struggling, staging an intervention is key in helping them.

Staging a drug intervention can be difficult, complicated and not quite deliver you the results you’d been hoping for if you're not careful, so it is important to be delicate and take your time in planning one for your friend.

So, to help you with that, here are five top tips… 

Plan Carefully and Strategically 

First and foremost, you do need to plan it carefully. It’s not something you should do alone, so gather a group of loved ones, whether that be family, friends or colleagues and work as a team.

You need to choose a time and place that is comfortable for them and private to have an honest open conversation, while you also want to avoid times where they may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Within the planning, you can assign roles to each person helping, with one perhaps facilitating the intervention, while others may wish to share personal experiences on how their addiction is impacting their own lives. All the while you need to have an overarching message of love, support and encouragement to find help. 

Educate Yourself About Addiction 

Prior to an intervention taking place, reading up and understanding addiction can provide you with a solid foundation to build from. It will allow you to handle the intervention more empathically and sensitively. Find out about the signs, symptoms, what can cause addiction, and the treatment options, support groups and specialists that are available to help. 

Offer Specific Solutions and Treatment Options 

Following on from that, also do your research on the different solutions and treatment options available. Whether it be finding local rehab centers, support group options available and the process of what treatment and recovery involves.

This will allow you to be much better informed when it comes to the intervention and allow you to supply your friend with all the information they need for the next steps in getting help.  

Express Concern with Compassion

The tone of the intervention is really important. You’re not telling a naughty child off, you’re there to show genuine concern and compassion for your friend. By being accusational, blaming or quite aggressive in your tone will only trigger a defensiveness that will make it very hard to gain anything positive from the intervention.

Express your love and desire to see them regain control of their life and that the reason you’re doing this is because you do care and you want to support them every step of the way. 

Set Boundaries and Consequences 

Finally, while you are doing this out of love, you also want them to get the help that they do need. Therefore you need to establish clear boundaries and consequences if they refuse to get help. Their behavior is destructive and you, alongside those helping with the intervention, need to set boundaries and follow through with them if they don’t seek help or support.

Think carefully about what those could be, as on the one hand you want to be strong in your approach, but you also have to appreciate they are vulnerable and everyone removing themselves from the situation could cause further problems for them.

It’s a difficult situation for anybody to be in, but plan carefully and use the right tone and you could encourage your friend to get the help they need.

This is a guest blog entry.

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