During an intervention, friends and family of a person struggling with addiction come together to encourage that person to enter treatment. While these events have the potential to help guide someone into recovery, the same strategy could easily make the problem worse.
Staging a poorly planned intervention may do more damage than not staging an intervention at all.
It’s important for families to know exactly how a mismanaged intervention can be harmful. This guide identifies all of the ways an intervention can go wrong and discourage your loved one from getting treatment. You can also learn strategies for planning an intervention the right way.
What Can Go Wrong?
It only takes a few mistakes to turn an intervention planned with the best intentions into an abrasive, toxic episode.
A few examples of these mistakes include:
- A Lack of Direction During Discussion
- Bombarding the Loved One With Questions
- Playing “Blame Games”
- Limited Follow Through
Addiction strains family ties, friendships and romantic relationships, making clear communication with your loved one considerably more difficult. That’s why breakdowns in communication during an intervention are so common.
Family members may not be as helpful as one may expect during an intervention. The topic of addiction causes tempers to flare and exposes family members to feelings of guilt or shame. Even worse, the addicted person may attempt to shift blame for his or her actions onto others, causing family members to argue among themselves instead of focusing on a solution.
The people who plan the intervention must ensure that the participants can remain constructive during discussions.
Dwelling on the Past
Addiction has far-reaching effects, and it’s likely that the people involved in an intervention have suffered in some ways at the hands of their addicted loved one. A person’s substance abuse is not an excuse for the damage they inflict on others, but dwelling on past trauma during an intervention only makes the process more difficult. If the subject of an intervention feels attacked or unfairly cornered, he or she will be much less receptive to receiving treatment.
Too Many Options
It’s not uncommon for family members to get distracted by the numerous treatment options and programs available for their loved one. Rather than focus on all of the choices available, it’s far more helpful for family members to emphasize the need for immediate treatment during an intervention.
If family members spend too much time deciding on a rehab center, then they will not be as effective in convincing their loved one to attend treatment.
No Follow Through
During an intervention, the family and friends have an opportunity to tell the person that he or she must seek out treatment immediately. Those who organize an intervention must establish both a path to treatment and consequences for how the family will respond of the loved one does not seek treatment.
Once these guidelines are set, it’s crucial to follow through on them to show the addicted individual that the family is serious about treatment. Failing to do so prevents the addicted individual from experiencing the consequences of addiction.
Avoid Issues by Seeking Professional Help
At Family First Intervention, we specialize in carefully planned interventions and have more than a decade of experience doing just that. We realize that the intervention is one of the most crucial steps in the recovery process, and we work closely with family and friends of individuals struggling with addiction to create positive experiences for everyone involved.
Our team holds various industry certifications and can professionally perform interventions anywhere in the country. If you are struggling to plan an effective intervention, please reach out to our team and let us know how we can help.