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When Should I Stage an Intervention?

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When a family member or close friend is struggling with addiction to drugs or alcohol, it is easy to feel helpless.

You show support in whatever ways you can, but when your loved one continues to use or relapse.  

It is difficult to set boundaries. Trying to avoid enabling their destructive behavior seems impossible.But you keep asking yourself, “Is staging an intervention a good idea?”

You shouldn’t blame yourself for your loved one’s actions. However, it is important to know when stepping in to stage an intervention is necessary. 

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 1,014 people in Georgia died from opioid overdoses in 2017. That doesn’t include the 88,000 alcohol-related deaths that occur nationwide each year. 

Getting your loved one into a substance abuse treatment center or detox near Atlanta could save their life.

What to say at an Intervention

“An intervention should be held when someone’s quality of life is suffering because of their drinking or substance abuse,” said Meredith Meng, certified interventionist. “If the loved ones’ efforts to resolve the behavior have been ineffective an intervention may be necessary. The person will probably be very resistant or reluctant to enter treatment.”

An intervention is different than simply confronting your loved one about their substance use. Making them feel guilty or shameful about their addiction will likely cause tension. An intervention should be well planned, 

Interventions should not be confused with the clinical practice of  brief interventions. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) says brief interventions are not meant for people with serious substance use disorders. They should be used to motivate those at risk for developing an addiction to avoid using drugs or drinking. 

An intervention usually consists of a group of four to six family members or friends. These people should be able to disclose to the identified person how their destructive behaviors have impacted them. Some family members will write and read intervention letters to their loved one. Following a loose intervention script might help keep the loved ones on track. 

Rather than asking your loved one to stop using on their own,  successful interventions should include a long term treatment plan. Show them there are a variety of treatment options available.

If the appeal is successful, getting your loved one into a treatment facility immediately is ideal. Any additional time between the intervention and admission to a facility could give them time to drink or use drugs. If your loved one is not high during the intervention, they like likely begin to show withdrawal symptoms soon.

Reaching out to a professional to help you stage an intervention could save their life.

Should I Hire an Interventionist?

Many families will hold interventions on their own but hiring a professional interventionist to facilitate should be carefully considered.  If the person with addiction has histories of mental illness, suicide attempts, violence, hiring an interventionist might be appropriate.

“Key players in the identified person’s life should be involved. They must be equipped to stand united with the support team,” Meng said. 

“This can often be difficult to accomplish without a professional present. There’s potential for emotions to run rampant. There’ll be desperation in the moment, hostility, unexpected variables in the identified persons’ circumstances and manipulation.”

These factors may be hard to avoid without a professional and could change the identified person’s mind about entering treatment. Without an interventionist a family might make negotiations with the identified person. Negotiations often turn out to not be in the best interest of either party.

Where to find detox in Atlanta

Atlanta Detox Center is a premier drug rehab and detox near Riverdale, Georgia. We offer treatment programs for substance use disorders and mental health disorders for men and women. Our staff standouts among any detox in Georgia. Together we can help you return to a place of peace and build a strong foundation of sobriety and recovery. 

If a loved one is struggling with alcohol, prescription drugs, opioids, heroin or crystal meth there is help.

Not sure where to start? Check out our Levels of Care, including medical detox and inpatient treatment.