If someone you love is addicted to drugs or alcohol, you’re probably wondering how you can get them help. You can’t force someone into rehab, but you can encourage them to choose it for themselves. Approaching your loved one from a place of caring and respect is crucial.
Staging an Intervention for Your Addicted Loved One
If you’re considering staging an intervention to help your loved one, seek the help of a professional interventionist. Interventionists are trained in mental health, addiction, and intervention planning to make sure your intervention is as successful as possible. Consider having the interventionist present at your intervention as a mediator to defuse any tension that may arise.
When in the planning process, make sure you share the individual’s insurance information with the interventionist. Many insurance companies cover rehabilitation costs, and therefore you may need to select a treatment facility that accepts the individual’s insurance.
Stage One: Plan Your Intervention
Plan your intervention to the last detail. Decide where it will take place, who will attend, and what consequences your loved one will face if they don’t get help. Plan to stage the intervention when your loved one is sober.
Invite your loved one’s closest friends and relatives, but not anyone they use drugs or drink with. Everyone should plan what they’re going to say in advance. Part of your planning should include finding a rehab facility and having transportation ready in case you are successful.
Stage Two: Tell Your Loved One How Their Addiction Affects You
Everyone wants respect, even people struggling with addiction. Respect your loved one’s privacy and hold your intervention away from prying eyes. Go to your loved one’s home if you have to.
When you speak to your addicted loved one, don’t be accusatory, critical or judgmental. You’re trying to get through to them and win them over, not push them away. Each person at the intervention should explain how your loved one’s addiction has affected them. Talk about the unhealthy behaviors you see and how you feel about them. Use “I” statements to avoid sounding judgmental. Say things like “I worry when you drive drunk” instead of “You scare me when you drive drunk.”
Stage Three: Get Your Loved One to Rehab
If your intervention is successful and your loved one agrees to go to rehab, take them directly to the facility. Have your loved one’s bags packed and waiting. Don’t make any stops for any reason. A delay could give your loved one a chance to reconsider, especially if the delay is long enough to allow them to use again.
Stage Four: Support Your Loved One’s Recovery
If your loved one agrees to get treatment, do everything you can to support their recovery, but respect the guidelines set forth by the treatment specialists. If your loved one drops out of treatment, don’t do anything that shows support of that decision, like picking them up from the facility or giving them money.
By the same token, make sure you stick with the consequences you laid out if your loved one refuses treatment. If you promised, for example, to stop providing the addict with cash or a place to live, then you need to withdraw those things if your loved one refuses treatment. It might be hard, but it might also spur your loved one to change their mind about addiction treatment.