7 Drug Intervention Tips for Families
Updated: Feb 15
People that struggle with drugs may deny their addiction. They also may fail to recognize the enormous impact their actions have on others. Interventions help people make the connection between their drug use and how it impacts the people around them.
But drug abuse is a complex medical disorder. It’s not an easy habit to kick or admit to having. As a result, holding an intervention with a substance abuser is challenging. Seeking help from an addiction specialist can be the key to overcoming this enormous challenge.
Addiction specialists can help deliver a successful intervention. They can also help you gain the addict's trust, point out her path to change, and deliver the right points of leverage if your loved refuses to get treatment.
Holding an intervention, however, is easier said than done. Interventions are highly-charged emotional events that can be uncomfortable, scary, and confusing. So, hosting one takes work and planning.
Below are seven proven drug intervention tips that increase your chances of hosting a successful intervention.
1. Select participants carefully
Interventions impact addicts the most when their closest family, friends, and colleagues attend. You want people that the person thinks to support him fully. These people can bring the truth right to your loved one's doorstep.
2. Choose what you'll say well in advance
Focus on behaviors and how they hurt attendees. Be specific, detailed, and honest. Don't exaggerate about the examples you're giving. Don't be wishy-washy or provide the person wiggle room. And don't attack your loved one personally. That doesn’t get it done. Instead, emphasize love and care, and explain to them how you can help.
3. Be ready for almost anything
Shame is a drug abuser's worse nightmare. They'll go to any lengths to hide the shame of their addiction outwardly, so be ready for anything, including anger and violence. Also, talk through the potential reactions that the person may have and how to handle them if they occur. Focus on being calm and honest, and on minimizing the anger that the person may display.
4. Plan a practical way out for the person
Presenting a problem without providing a solution wastes everyone's time. It also risks escalating emotions. So, decide upfront what actions you want your loved one to take. Do you want him to enter rehab? Do you want him to stop using immediately? Do you want to offer him a place to stay that's away from his "triggers?” If you want him to do something, be ready to explain why, when, and how.
5. Address the possibility of inaction beforehand
People require strong motivation to change their thinking and behavior. So, telling someone that you’ll be disappointed if she doesn't, won't cut it. Instead, decide on what the consequences will be if they don't seek help. Consequences might be withdrawing financial support, removing access to shared living arrangements, or firing the person from a job. Also, decide exactly how you will broach the subject.
6. Use warm, open body language
Body language says a lot—, especially in a highly charged situation. Sometimes, your body language says more than your words. Clenching your fists, crossing your arms, and looking exasperated—these things show your loved one you’re frustrated. Instead, try to relax as much as possible, look directly at your loved one, and don't use body language that she could misinterpret as hostile.
7. Choose the right time
Selecting a time when everyone is available. You also want to choose one when you're loved one isn't high, like the morning. Holding an intervention when your loved one is on something is a waste of time. You also want to choose the place carefully. You want a place where the person is comfortable, that’s familiar to him or her, and is private.
These proven drug intervention tips can help you create a meeting that makes an impact and pushes your loved one to act. Holding a successful intervention isn’t easy. So, bringing in a specialist to help you hold an intervention makes sense. Doing so increases the chances you'll succeed with one.