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If you live with or know someone addicted to drugs or alcohol, you may feel hopeless and helpless to do anything for them. You possibly feel as though nothing you say or do changes the situation or helps them in any way. It is also possible that you struggle with what to say to your loved ones to get them the help they need for their addiction. Indeed, you may feel helpless, but you aren’t. 

What Role Do Interventions Play in Recovery?

An intervention is an important, sometimes life-changing event created by the family and friends of a person struggling with a substance use disorder. Interventions help the person realize that they have a problem, need help, and have a strong support team surrounding them. An intervention must be a carefully planned event designed to help family members of someone struggling with drug or alcohol addiction be proactive in encouraging their loved one to get treatment. 

Data from the National Library of Medicine indicates up to 90% of people seek help to overcome addiction after an intervention. It is essential for friends and family involved in the intervention to stay on topic, avoid placing blame and avoid accusations and hurtful statements. All of the above may lead the person to refuse help or walk out of the intervention altogether.

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How to Do an Intervention

An intervention should focus on the positive to every extent possible. Although it is essential for a person struggling with addiction to understand how their condition affects their loved one’s mental and emotional health, the goal of the intervention is not to point blame at them for causing harm. Instead, it is beneficial to point out that the addiction causes negative changes in behavior, but there is a solution; detox and comprehensive treatment at a New Jersey addiction treatment facility like Relevance Recovery. 

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Tips for Holding a Successful Intervention

When considering an intervention to help a loved one with drug or alcohol addiction, there are a few essential steps to help guide the process and increase the chances of success.

Choose Your Intervention Team Wisely

An intervention is supposed to be a conversation in which people who know, trust, and care for the addicted person come together to persuade them to seek help. Those who participate in the intervention should be chosen with care. This ensures that those present have a meaningful relationship with the addicted person. People who don’t have a good relationship with the addicted person should be asked to stay away. 

Find the Right Time

You will want to talk to your loved ones when they are sober or as close to sober as possible. Discussing addiction and its negative impacts with a person when they are high or impaired may not be as productive as desired. Drugs and alcohol reduce a person’s ability to think clearly, react calmly, register, and effectively understand everything that’s being said. 

Use A Formal, Yet Private Spot

Although it may be highly tempting to hold an intervention at home, it is often ineffective. At the family home, the person can retreat to their bedroom or bathroom when the conversation begins, closing the lines of communication before any progress is made. Holding an intervention in a neutral space can reduce these issues and eliminate any negative or tense feelings from previous conversations in the same area.

Pay Attention to the Order of Speakers

An intervention ends as soon as the person agrees to enter treatment. The conversation is designed to bring the family together just long enough for the addict to agree treatment is the best option. Consequently, the order of speakers is important. Allowing the right person to speak at the right time can lead to a successful, sometimes immediate, end to the intervention. 

Rehearse, Rehearse and Rehearse Again

During an intervention, emotions can and do run high. People can quickly lose their train of thought, forgetting what they had planned to say and how they intended to say it. Holding rehearsals (several of them) makes this less likely. Practicing helps people deliver and stand behind their statements at critical times when they need to be said. Rehearsals can also help family members and intervention participants roleplay and prepare for angry words or other potentially negative emotions from the individual with the addiction. 

Create A Script and Stick to It

An intervention script can take hours and sometimes days to create. Participants carefully detail everything they want to say, the words they want to use, and how they present their thoughts and emotions. If you have rehearsed, you know your script well, and so do the other intervention participants. Adding any surprise element into the intervention can make everybody feel uncomfortable.

Body Language Is Important

Non-verbal communication with your loved ones during an intervention is almost as important as what you say aloud. It is important to be sure that your body language is open, warm, and welcoming. It is essential to focus on body posture elements such as keeping your arms and legs uncrossed, your hands unclenched, tilting your shoulders toward the person you’re speaking to, and leaning in for emphasis. It is also critical to look at the person you are talking to.  

Control Your Temper

Successful interventions have an overall tone of caring and compassion. Maintaining a level head can be difficult, but don’t allow the addicted person to start a fight, change the subject, or drop the addiction issue altogether. It is also essential to resist the urge or temptation to blame, argue, or launch counterattacks against any hurtful words the addicted person may use.

Have A “Plan B”

When confronted by family members during an intervention, those with an addiction can act in unpredictable, sometimes negative ways. Depending on the individual, they may choose to leave the room, cry hysterically, say ugly and hurtful things that aren’t true or yell and scream. For these reasons, it is beneficial to develop a backup plan should your intervention not begin as rehearsed. 

Don’t Give Up

While interventions successfully convince many who struggle with addiction to seek help, available statistics do not indicate how many times a group must come together before their loved one agrees to rehab. 

Don’t give up if you don’t see immediate results from your first intervention session. Treatment works and interventions can persuade people to make the needed changes to achieve sobriety and recovery.

How to Find an Intervention Specialist in New Jersey

Denial is a standard part of addiction. Many who have a substance use disorder do not see the harm their addiction may cause, both to themselves and their loved ones. Interventions can help them see the effects of their behaviors and how addiction affects their physical and mental health. If your loved one understands that they have a strong support system as they enter medical detox in a New Jersey rehab, like Relevance Recovery, they are more likely to agree to seek the help they need to overcome addiction. 

If you or a loved one struggles with drug or alcohol addiction and would like to learn about treatment and intervention services, help is just a phone call away. To learn more about how to find drug and alcohol treatment in New Jersey after holding an intervention, contact a member of our admissions team at Relevance Recovery today.