Planning an Intervention

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Interventions for someone in the throes of addiction often have better outcomes when adequately planned. NYC Addiction Resources can help!  Interventions are a way for the people in an addicted person’s life to draw attention to their substance abuse or behavior and how it impacts those around them. To help increase the odds of a successful outcome, planning an intervention is paramount.

Interventions are often supervised by a certified mental health professional or intervention specialist, who can help review strategies for intervention and craft an intervention plan. By properly staging an intervention with a solid intervention team, you’re most likely to have a successful intervention resulting in the addicted person getting the treatment they need.

What is an Intervention Plan?

An intervention plan is a blueprint an intervention team will utilize to help guide them throughout the process. Proper preparation is vital to successful outcomes, so crafting a solid plan is the first step that your team should take.

What Makes a Successful Intervention Plan? 

A successful intervention plan involves different factors working together to get an addicted person the help they need. It involves proper planning, presenting a cohesive message along with viable solutions, and helping the addict see their actions’ impact.

Planning and Staging an Effective Intervention

Effectively planning and staging an intervention comprises several steps culminating in an addicted person seeking treatment.

Form the Intervention Team

Before starting an intervention, you want the right intervention team to carry it out. Some examples of people who may be able to convince a loved one to seek treatment include parents, siblings, spouses, romantic partners, close friends, and even co-workers. However, it would help if you prepared any younger children or older relatives for any potentially intense moments during the intervention. Friends and family are often willing but need if asked correctly.

Do You Need an Intervention Specialist on Your Team?

To help improve the odds of a successful intervention, consider enlisting the help of a professional intervention specialist to join and support your intervention team. They can be paramount in planning an intervention, keeping communication moving, crafting a treatment plan, and helping mediate the intervention.

Do Your Research on The Addict’s Specific Addiction

By researching the person’s specific addiction ahead of time, along with potential addiction treatment options, you can be better prepared when it comes time for the actual intervention. In addition, researching ahead of time can help you better understand what the person is going through. You’ll be able to understand why they may be acting the way they do. This can help you approach the situation with greater sympathy and compassion. 

Learn and Rehearse Together

Whether on your own or with the help of an intervention specialist, take some time to learn about the intervention process and what it entails, and rehearse the event ahead of time. By writing your intervention speeches and rehearsing them with each other, especially with the supervision of an intervention specialist, you can better tailor your speeches and potentially spark a “moment of clarity” in the addict.

It May Be Helpful to Write a Script

To help ensure that things run smoothly and stay on track, you should craft a general script for your intervention team to follow. This not only includes the respective speeches each person would give but also blocks out the order in which people will speak and potentially even where each person will be seated or situated.

Choose an Intervention Space 

The location where an intervention takes place can directly influence its overall effectiveness. For instance, staging an intervention where the addicted person lives and actively engages in their addictive behavior may lead to poorer outcomes and even outright rejection of the intervention. On the other hand, staging an intervention in a safe, inviting, and familiar environment may improve the chances of success. 

Consider Somewhere Neutral

A neutral third-party location, such as a conference or banquet room, might be the best outlet for staging an intervention. Renting a space for an intervention may only sometimes be practical or possible, so choosing a space that has not been a place of contention is an excellent backup plan.

Things to Avoid at an Intervention

Having a successful intervention is based upon several factors working together properly. Because of this, there are several things that you should avoid saying or doing to prevent any potential confrontations and hiccups along the way.

One of the key things to avoid at an intervention is being impulsive about who gets to attend and participate in it. You want to avoid family members who are too emotional. You must ensure that people maintain level heads and not let emotions overcome them. This will lead to messages not getting across clearly and may lead to a rapid rejection of the intervention by the addict.

Avoid meeting with the addict or alcoholic when they’re likely to be intoxicated, coming down, or hungover. If possible, observe their general schedule and behavior patterns to determine when you’re most likely to catch them in a more sober state. Attempting to intervene with someone actively under the influence is likely to fail. It may also be detrimental to a person’s recovery process. 

As covered throughout this page, proper planning is key to a successful intervention. Going in unprepared is more likely to result in emotional blowups, messages falling flat, and potentially even the addict rejecting treatment outright.

How to Prepare for the Unknown in an Intervention

While you can plan as much as you want for an intervention, the fact is that you ultimately can’t predict how people will act or control how people react to a given situation. Therefore, having an intervention specialist as part of your intervention team can be invaluable. These experts have seen almost everything that can happen in an intervention and have the necessary experience to help get and keep things on track should they derail.

Have a Backup Plan or a Professional to Contact for Help

Even if you don’t have a professional intervention specialist sit in and supervise the intervention itself, you may want to have one of these experts available on standby if things go awry. In addition, having a backup plan available in the event the person doesn’t show up or leaves is paramount to ensuring success.

Steps to Take After a Successful Intervention

After a successful intervention resulting in the addicted person seeking treatment, taking a moment to appreciate your success is acceptable. Still, you don’t want to get too comfortable. The truth is, getting someone to accept help for addiction is only one of the first steps in the long journey toward recovery.

You may want to, on your own or with an intervention specialist, craft a post-intervention care plan for the addicted person and intervention team to follow afterward. Try to identify what you want to accomplish for yourself after the intervention, both before and after it takes place. Try to improve your quality of life in this process so that you and the rest of the addict’s support system can be better prepared to help them.