Staging an intervention is not an easy undertaking. It requires careful planning in order for it to be successful. You may not feel that the holiday season is the appropriate time to do one, but the reality is, anytime is a good time. The longer you delay, the deeper your loved one may be sinking into his substance abuse issues.
The holidays also present an opportunity to get an intervention team together at the same time and place. However, we recommend that you keep the following tips in mind when considering to stage an intervention during the festive season.
Always have a professional interventionist
You might think that appointing your visiting uncle or your eldest son as the facilitator of the intervention is a good idea, but in reality, unless they are professional interventionists, this decision could backfire. Without a professional to guide you, the demands of the holiday festivities may distract you and the other members from effectively stating your position and achieving your goal. Mistakes may also have disastrous effects that may be difficult to recover from.
A qualified interventionist will have the necessary experience to plan how you can communicate your feelings without making your loved one feel attacked. This will also avoid having people from the intervention team from going off-script so you can all focus on the necessary discussion points. An expert will also be able to foresee the typical responses, denials and justifications your loved one might raise which can make it easier for you to address these during the meeting.
Choose the intervention team thoughtfully
When choosing the intervention team, “the more the merrier” does not apply. Limit the number of people to those who truthfully share meaningful relationships with your loved one so he will not feel exposed or embarrassed in front of extended relatives or friends.
However, just because a sibling is home for the holidays does not mean that that person should be a part of the team. Carefully evaluate which people are the best ones to motivate, inspire or encourage your loved one to make a change.
If you have a family member who is not in a good standing with you loved one, it’s better to have that person out of the house to avoid unnecessary stress and conflict,.
It’s okay to be emotional but not confrontational
It’s typical for family members and friends to turn emotional during an intervention, especially during the holidays. This can become a tense moment because it can be difficult to control your emotions when you are deeply affected by the situation.
If you find that you cannot control shedding a tear, then that’s okay because that may be an effective way to show your sincerity and compassion. However, avoid negative emotions such as anger and blame because these will do more harm than good.
It is often advised to get the intervention team to write individual letters they can read aloud, instead of just speaking from memory. This can help prevent gaps and ensure that everyone is given enough time to voice their feelings without the risk of rambling,
Take it one step at a time
The purpose of an intervention is to let the people struggling with addiction know that they have loved ones who are concerned about their situation, with the end goal of having them agree to enter a rehabilitation facility. An intervention will not magically heal a person struggling with substance abuse which is why choosing a reputable treatment facility is important.
Avoid making statements or immediate ultimatums that will make them feel attacked. Let them know that you will be supporting them during their recovery.
Don’t forget to celebrate
The holiday season is a time for celebration. Don’t deprive everyone the joy of the holidays by just focusing on the intervention and forgetting the rest of the activities. You don’t want this year to be solely remembered for the intervention meeting.
Take this opportunity to make your loved one feel that he has a supportive circle he can depend on and he has a family to go back to and look forward to after completing recovery.
Have a trusted rehab facility on stand by
This is a very critical step in the intervention process. Make sure that before the meeting, you have already done your homework in shortlisting treatment centers that will offer specialized care for you loved one.
Contact the facility and ask all the relevant questions to make sure you have them ready in case your loved one should ask them during the meeting.
The holiday season can be a difficult and emotional time for a person struggling with alcohol or drug addiction. If you or a loved one is in this critical situation, please know that help is available today. Contact Lighthouse Treatment Center learn more about our specialized modes of treatment that can help.