Now, addiction treatment starts at YOUR HOME
An intervention can motivate your loved one to get help for alcohol or drug misuse, gambling or other addictive behaviours.
HOPE TRUST offers INVTERVENTION SERVICES to help you get the help your loved one needs – right at your doorstep!
An intervention can persuade the person to seek or accept professional help before things get worse.
Denial is usually a part of addiction – the affected person is not able to see the damages caused by their addictive behaviours – to themselves and others – and believes he or she can control the addiction on their own.
Sometimes a direct, heart-to-heart conversation can start the addict on the road to recovery. But most often, the task is far more challenging. A more focused approach is often needed. You may need to join forces with others and take action through a formal intervention. The process of intervention involves breaking of the self-defence mechanisms of the addict, facing the reality and realizing the need to change by getting external help.
Intervention may be required for alcoholism, drug abuse, gambling or internet addiction.
What is an intervention?
An intervention is a carefully planned process that may be done by family and friends, in consultation with a professional (interventionist) such as an alcohol and drug counsellor. It may also involve others who care about the person struggling with addiction, such as a best friend or empathetic employer.
During the intervention, these people gather together to confront your loved one about the consequences of addiction and ask him or her to accept treatment. The intervention:
- Provides specific examples of destructive behaviours and their impact on your loved one and the family
- Offers a prearranged treatment plan with clear steps, goals and guidelines
- Spells out what each person will do if your loved one refuses to accept treatment
How does a typical intervention work?
An intervention usually includes the following steps:
- Making a plan. The family consults the Hope Team and plans the intervention along with the professionals which may include addiction counsellor/s, psychologist and psychiatrist. The addiction professional will take into account your loved one’s particular circumstances, such as cultural and social context, personality and personal history, and suggest the best approach for the intervention.
- Gathering information. The Hope Team gathers background information about the affected person’s behaviours, family dynamics and proposes the appropriate treatment programs (outpatient/ residential options with duration). Previous medical records may also be reviewed.
- Forming the intervention team. The members of the team who will personally participate in the intervention will be identified. A date, time and location are set. Team members discuss and evolve the strategy that is consistent, rehearsed and structured. Team members should keep the discussion focused on the facts of the problem and shared solutions rather than prolonged, strong emotional responses. It is important to not let the affected person know about the planned intervention.
- Deciding on specific consequences. Each member of the team then decides on what action they will take if the loved one does not accept to take treatment. For example, the wife may decide to leave or the parents may ask the person to move out. Of course, the consequences will depend on individual cases.
- Make notes on what to say. Facts are the most important element in an intervention. Each team member describes specific incidents and their emotional and financial impact on all those involved. The addict cannot argue on facts or your emotional response. For example: “I was hurt when you drunk and fell down in front of the children”. The team member can make notes and discuss these with the interventionist and other members.
- Holding the intervention meeting. The affected person is asked to come to the intervention site, without revealing the reason. All members of the team are present and begin to express their concerns one by one. Your loved one is given an option of treatment which is already researched. He or she is asked to accept the treatment option there and then, without procrastination. Each team member will specify what specific changes he or she will make if your loved one doesn’t accept the plan. It is important that the team members do not threaten a consequence unless they’re ready to follow through with it.
- Act fast. If the intervention is successful and your loved one is convinced that he or she needs treatment – act fast! Remember, the addict may be highly manipulative or may change his or her mind soon.
Who should be on the intervention team?
An intervention team usually includes four to six people who are important in the life of your loved one — people he or she loves, likes, respects or depends on. This may include, for example, a best friend, adult relatives or an empathetic employer. The Hope Trust intervention professional can help you identify the most appropriate members of your team.
If you think it’s important to have someone involved but worry that the individual may jeopardize the intervention (such as an overly affectionate member who cannot be strong), you can ask that person write a short letter that someone else can read at the intervention.
Tips on conducting an effective intervention
Addiction involves intense emotions. The process of organising an intervention itself can trigger conflict, anger and resentments, even among family members. Some family members may continue to hold on to old ideas that have not worked, such as “let’s give him one more chance”.
Here are few tips on running a successful intervention:
- Don’t make an impulsive decision. It can take several days or weeks to plan an effective intervention. However, keep it flexible, because things can change suddenly.
- Plan the time of the intervention. Make sure you choose a date and time when your loved one is most likely to be sober.
- Do your homework. Research your loved one’s addiction and behaviour well. Also, understand the basics of addiction and the process of treatment – your Hope Trust professional will help you.
- Appoint a single person as a liaison. Having one person to coordinate and communicate will help in keeping things on track.
- Share information. It is important to be on the same page while holding the intervention. Share all information and strategies, so that the team appears united. If any fissures are sensed by the addict, he or she will put a wedge and dislodge the team unity.
- Rehearse the intervention. Decide on all details, such as who will speak when and sitting arrangements, so that there is no fumbling or hesitation during the intervention.
- Anticipate your loved one’s counters. Be calm and rational while responding to the addict’s objections. The person will avoid taking responsibility for his or her behaviour and may indulge in blaming and justifying. Offer solutions to objections, such as taking care of his or her children or filing tax returns while they are in a rehab.
- Avoid getting angry. Do not confront or be hostile. Deal with love, respect, support and concern — not anger. Be honest and do not use the intervention for abusing or taking pot shots.
- Stay on track during the intervention. The addict may try and derail the intervention by resorting to accusations, angry outbursts or expressing deep hurt. Remain calm and stick to your points.
- Ask for an immediate decision. Don’t give time to your loved one to “think over it”. Ask the addict to accept the treatment offer straight away. Be ready to take the addict to the treatment facility, having made all prior arrangements.
What if your loved one refuses help?
Sometimes, interventions are not successful. You loved one may reject the treatment plan by getting angry and accuse you of being the cause of his or her problems, or not understanding or being a hypocrite. The person may even suggest an alternative (like going to an ashram for an alternative method of recovery. Your loved one might also plead to be given another chance.
Be prepared for such an outcome, by remaining hopeful. However, it is time to implement the changes you threatened your loved one with. Follow through the changes you stated. Don’t be like the addict – promising but not doing. Let him or her know you mean what you say.
Even if you are not able to bring about a change in your loved one who is addicted, you can bring some positive change in yourself. Addiction takes a heavy toll on all the persons who are close to the addict. Start your own journey of healing. Your Hope Trust counsellor can help you in this too.
The Hope Trust Intervention Service – at your doorstep!
Hope Trust has been facilitating interventions since nearly two decades. The therapy team consists of addiction counsellors, clinical psychologists, physician and psychiatrists.
Since it is often a challenge to bring the addict to the treatment facility, we now bring this service to your home!