10% of Americans experience substance abuse at some point in their lives. That’s 33,200,000 people. That might seem like a small number—until one of those people is someone you love, and you’re worried about their future.
When a friend or family member is in crisis, it’s common to stage an intervention to help them understand that their behavior has not gone unnoticed. Often, this serves as a wake-up call and encourages them to seek help at a treatment facility. If it goes poorly, however, you may accidentally do more harm than good.
We’ve created this guide to offer actionable tips for holding a successful intervention. Read on to learn how to approach the process with empathy and compassion.
Choose a Time and Place
You want to hold an intervention, not start a confrontation. With that in mind, it’s essential to choose a safe time and place for all parties involved.
Don’t plan to speak with your loved one if either of you has somewhere to be. Furthermore, you should consider a location where your loved one will feel safe. A familiar place, such as their home, can be more grounding and less threatening than a new location, and they’ll be less likely to become overwhelmed and flee.
Your friend is in crisis, and you owe it to them to remain calm and open during this process. With that in mind, prepare for an emotional, defensive reaction. Even if you are clear about your desire to help, they may lash out in anger or fear.
Since interventions can be unpredictable, it helps to prepare what you want to say in advance. Practice using “I statements” rather than “you statements.” Make it clear that you’re speaking to them out of love and concern, not because you’re angry or want to hurt them.
If you’re inviting other loved ones, ask them to prepare what they want to say in advance.
Offer Next Steps
When someone is experiencing an active drug addiction, it’s difficult to think about anything other than their next high. Even if they agree to get help, they may be unable to determine what to do next. They will rely on you to help them pursue treatment, so it helps to research options in advance.
Look up detox and rehabilitation centers in your area where your loved one can pursue counseling or other services. If you’re unsure what to look for, view this recovery center to get an idea.
Stage an Intervention, Save a Life
When someone you love is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, it’s natural to feel like you’ve lost control. Remember that they likely feel just as unmoored as you do. If you stage an intervention for a struggling friend, approach the process with compassion, and you’re sure to make an impression.
It doesn’t take much to change your life for the better. Start by visiting the rest of the blog for more lifestyle and wellness tips to ensure you’re on the right track.