Substance abuse is a problem that impacts millions of Americans. But it’s not just those who abuse drugs and alcohol who suffer – families do, too. If there’s a loved one in your family struggling with addiction, it may be time to stage an addiction intervention for them in Irvine.
This article covers everything you need to know about conducting interventions. Keep reading to find guidance and suggestions for before, during, and after your family’s intervention.
What is an addiction intervention?
An intervention is a loving confrontation of a family member or close friend who is dealing with a substance abuse problem. People who care about the person gather around and talk about how the addiction is impacting their lives.
The purpose of an addiction intervention in Irvine is to encourage the person dealing with an addiction to seek treatment. These also may sometimes include ultimatums, such as refusing to continue speaking with the person until they’ve taken action to get sober.
Interventions are highly emotional and need to be planned carefully in order to be successful. We’ll provide some guidance for this planning process later in the article, so keep reading to learn more.
What an intervention isn’t
As you familiarize yourself with what an intervention is intended to accomplish, it’s also important to keep in mind what it’s not.
For example, interventions are not a treatment for drugs or alcohol. They’re also not supposed to get the person to quit abusing these substances cold turkey.
You should also note that an intervention is mainly a tool for expressing love and concern in a productive way. It’s not meant to be purely for the airing of grievances. Any messages shared during an intervention should take the tone of loving support rather than non-constructive anger.
How do you know when it’s time for an intervention?
Interventions can be an extremely effective tool for convincing a family member to finally seek out the treatment they need to heal. It may be time to start considering one if you’re noticing things like:
- Deteriorating mental and physical health
- A rise in conflicts with family members related to substance abuse
- Sharp changes in personality
- Destructive patterns of behavior
- Abandoning responsibilities at work, school, or within the family
- Other signs of substance abuse
That being said, it’s also worth pointing out that interventions aren’t for everyone. They typically are meant to help a person who is struggling with addiction realize the full extent of their challenges and break out of their denial.
So if a family member is addicted to a substance and is willing to talk openly with you about their challenges, an intervention may not be the right approach. In that situation, there’s not necessarily any denial you need to snap them out of, and it could be enough to have a normal conversation with the person about pursuing treatment.
If you’re unsure about whether an addiction intervention in Irvine is right for your family, don’t hesitate to reach out. Zoe has addiction specialists available for free consultations over the phone if you need some guidance.
Preparing for an addiction intervention in Irvine
If you believe that your loved one is ready for an intervention, it’s not something to walk into blindly. Instead, try to follow these steps to create an intervention plan that has the highest chance of succeeding.
1. Start with a planning group
The first thing you need is a planning group. This is the team of close family members and friends who will organize the intervention. Not everyone in the planning group necessarily needs to be at the intervention itself.
This is a good time to reach out to a professional as well. They can begin offering you advice for the intervention to ensure that it goes as smoothly as possible. You don’t necessarily need to have the professional at the intervention if you don’t want to. But their expertise can be invaluable when putting together your plan.
2. Gather information
The next step in this process is to start gathering information. This can include reaching out to other friends and family members to assess the extent of your loved one’s problems.
You may also want to begin researching treatment programs to see which may be a good fit for your loved one. The group may even decide to pre-enroll the person in the program so that they can get started with it immediately after the intervention has ended.
3. Form an intervention team
Now you’re ready to form the actual intervention team. This is the group of family members and close friends who will be present during the intervention itself.
Intervention teams are usually made up of four to six people to avoid overwhelming the person or making them feel like they’re being ganged up against. Each member of the team should be an important person in the loved one’s life, such as parents, siblings, and best friends.
The intervention team should not include anyone who:
- Your loved one does not like
- Has their own issues with mental health or substance abuse
- May not be able to control themselves in a highly emotional setting
- Has the potential to sabotage the intervention
4. Decide on consequences
Now you’re ready to decide on the specific consequences that your loved one will face if they choose not to pursue treatment after the intervention. These can include:
- Asking the loved one to move out
- Ending financial support for the person
- Refusing to speak or associate with the person until they seek help
The best consequences for your intervention will vary based on the person with the substance abuse problem and how they currently engage with their family or friend group. But it’s important to ensure that the consequences are significant enough to prompt their action.
5. Write out what you want to say personally
If you’re going to be part of the intervention team, it’s now time to write out what you’d like to say to the person during your opportunity to speak. It’s important to write this out in advance so that you say everything you need to say when the time comes.
The content of your statement is up to you. But try to be honest about how your loved one’s addiction has impacted your life. Let them know that you’re doing this because you care about them. And maybe write a little bit about how they were before addiction to show them how dramatically things have changed.
6. Set a time for the intervention meeting
At this point, all that’s left to do is to set up a time for the intervention meeting. Make sure you don’t reveal this to your loved one in advance. Otherwise, they may not show up.
When the intervention happens, try to keep a positive but firm tone while doing your part to keep emotions as calm as possible. It’s also important that you don’t threaten a consequence unless you’re prepared to follow through with it.
How professionals support your family’s intervention
There’s no way around the fact that interventions are challenging. They’re extremely emotional, and tempers can, and often do, flare up. Having a professional with your family during the intervention may be a good idea because of this.
Professionals can support your family during the intervention process in each of the following ways.
Ease emotional tensions
You and your family likely already have a long track record of trying to get this loved one to turn away from their addiction. This can make it difficult to avoid falling into previous arguments and could make it challenging to keep the conversation civil during the intervention.
Having a professional on hand won’t eliminate all of this emotion. But they can help you keep it in a workable range so that you’re able to complete the intervention in the way that you intended to while planning it.
Remain focused on the task at hand
Interventionists also help families remain focused on what they’re meeting to accomplish. During these tense meetings, it’s easy to get off track and fall into arguments that aren’t actually going anywhere.
With a professional overseeing the intervention, this won’t be an issue. They’ll be responsible for keeping the meeting on track so that you don’t have to fulfill that role yourself, which can be challenging to do while also participating in the intervention.
Help to navigate mental health concerns
Substance abuse problems often occur with mental health issues. If your loved one has serious mental health concerns, having a professional at their intervention can help to navigate any flare-ups that may occur to keep the meeting safe and productive.
What happens after intervention?
Completing an addiction intervention in Irvine is something to be proud of. These aren’t easy to get through, and simply taking the time to plan and participate in one is worth applauding.
That being said, you may now be curious about what happens after the intervention is over. It can be one of two things.
Your Loved One Agrees to Seek Treatment
First, your loved one may be moved by the intervention and agree to seek treatment. In that case, you might take them immediately from the intervention to the treatment center you researched during your preparations. Some facilities will even pick the person up.
In that case, your loved one would start with detox, which can last as long as a week. Then they’d move into their inpatient rehab program, which can last 30-90 days.
After completing that, they’d transition their healing out into the real world with an aftercare program. This can include working with a therapist, going to group meetings, and potentially even spending some time in a sober living home.
Your Loved One Does Not Agree to Seek Treatment
The alternative to all of this is that your loved one doesn’t agree to enter into treatment after the intervention.
In that case, it would be important to follow through with the consequences you outlined during the intervention. Because it may take your loved one realizing that you’re serious about the consequences for them to seek help.
What if the intervention doesn’t work?
Even the most well-planned intervention will take buy-in from the person with the substance abuse problem in order to be effective. If that doesn’t come, it can be hard to decide what to do next.
Here are some tips for getting through this challenging time.
Don’t give up
First, it’s important to note that now is not the time to give up on the person. Remember that addiction is powerful, and it’s impacting how they think. Even if this intervention didn’t work, there’s always still hope of it working out in the future as long as you don’t give up on the person.
Follow through with your consequences
As we wrote in the previous section, you have to follow through with the consequences that you laid out in the intervention. Otherwise, the message that you’re sending is that you’re not actually serious about the severity of the person’s addiction.
If some of the consequences were severe, it’s natural to have second thoughts. But try to stick with them. And if you think it could work, consider giving your loved one a way to earn back some of the privileges that you’ve taken away.
Consult a professional
Finally, it’s important to consult a professional after a failed intervention. At this point, the best strategy for your family moving forward can vary based on many different factors.
A professional will be able to consider all of the unique factors in your family’s situation and provide a personalized recommendation based on their experience. This will ensure that you use the best strategy possible as you continue guiding your loved one toward a healthier, happier future – even though it may sometimes feel difficult to do so.
Zoe Behavioral Health can lead your addiction intervention in Irvine
Preparing and executing an addiction intervention in Irvine isn’t easy. But there’s no reason you need to go through it alone. Instead, consider contacting an addiction specialist at Zoe for a free consultation.
Not only can we help you lead your intervention, but we’re also a full-service treatment center with some of the best doctors in Southern California. We can take your loved one straight to detox from their intervention and then immediately to rehab after that.
Whether you’re looking for advice or you want to see if we’ll accept your insurance, the next step in getting your loved one help is to reach out for a free consultation.
So why wait? Get in touch with us today to learn more about what we can do for you.