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Compassion and Planning Make a Successful Intervention

April 7, 2014

Interventions are one of the most widely known methods used to persuade loved ones to seek help in addiction treatment centers located across the country. By sitting down and clearly communicating with someone who is struggling with drug or alcohol abuse, that person may be able to break his or her destructive habits and take the first step toward a healthier lifestyle.

Without the necessary amount of planning, forethought and level-headedness, however, interventions run the risk of straining relations between those who struggle with addiction and the people who love them. In order to ensure that interventions have the best chance of success, experts agree that compassion and planning are crucial elements.

Planning the process

Substance abuse takes a toll not only on the user, but friends and family as well, and this can create the opportunity for a charged atmosphere during an intervention. The Partnership at explained that friends and family may be tempted to take the intervention as an opportunity to tell the user how much he or she has disappointed them or not lived up to their expectations, but the intervention should not be a moment for shaming or hurtful attacks.

Planning can make sure that the right words are said during the very emotional process. By talking with family and friends, everyone involved in the intervention can get on the same page and develop a unified message to deliver to the person struggling with substance abuse.

Regardless of how much planning friends and family choose to put into the preparation – for example, writing letters or gathering specific examples of harmful episodes of drug abuse – the most important part of the intervention is the emotion behind it: compassion.

The Partnership at emphasized the need to remind the person struggling with substance abuse that her or she has the support of everyone in the room – if that person chooses to take advantage of it and begins to take steps toward recovery. The individual in question may have forgotten that family and friends are there to help him or her through even the roughest patches of life, and reminding the person struggling with addiction of that fact can make all the difference.

Hiring a professional interventionist

For certain cases, family and friends may feel that the drug use has created a particularly unstable situation that they do not feel they can handle without help in an intervention. This can manifest in a fragmented family life or a violent past for one or multiple people involved. In moments such as these, the Treatment Consultants at AAC can help connect you with a professional interventionist.

Professional interventionists are experts in helping those struggling with substance abuse and their families realize that treatment is the preferable choice to a life of continued drug use. These professionals are knowledgeable in several forms of intervention, such as a systemic approach that involves therapy for the entire circle of family and friends, as well as a softer approach that seeks to guide the drug user into the appropriate course of treatment.

Regardless of the method used, intervention can be the process that gets somebody into a detox center and potentially saves a life.

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