How to Do an Intervention With a Family Member

family members having an intervention

You do an intervention with a family member by bringing all affected loved ones together to discuss addiction and recovery. The intervention should be a compassion-filled and structured meeting. It’s not about hurting or pressuring the individual but encouraging them to acknowledge the problem and grasp the need for treatment. Use the information below to help you prepare. 

Family Interventions for Substance Abuse

An intervention is not easy, even if the family member struggling with substance misuse doesn’t have an outburst, storm off or completely withdraw. It’s important to structure the intervention and take steps to make it go as smoothly as possible. 

1. Prepare Ahead of Time

Meet up in advance with others so you and your loved ones can calmly discuss staging the intervention for the person with an alcohol or drug addiction. The pre-intervention allows individuals to vent, get on the same page and become a united front when staging the intervention. Discuss what you want as the end goal — for them to attend an in-patient rehabilitation program. Join a self-help or support group?

Decide on the structure and end goal ahead of time so that the person will have to make an immediate decision whether they will accept treatment or not. Research and have ready answers about the agreed-upon course of action. At this point, all key members should support the course of action and outcomes.

2. Decide Who Should Attend

While your first meeting should just be close friends or family members, at the second stage, having a professional interventionist attend the meeting helps keep communication open. Professionals are also equipped to handle a range of reactions.

Then, consider including the closest family members in the intervention. Include loved ones who have personal experience with how substance misuse has affected everyone. Exclude close relatives or loved ones who have a bad relationship with the person struggling with addiction or tend to trigger volatile reactions. People you’re including can write a letter instead of attending the intervention in person. 

An intervention specialist can help gauge who should be present.  

3. Consider What to Say

Without criticizing or blaming, you want to be direct about your concerns and experiences of how the disease affects family members or friends. A therapist can help each attendee formulate what they say to make the most significant impact. 

Remember, many people struggling with addiction feel shame and experience the stigmas associated with substance misuse. Personal attacks or charged feedback can worsen the situation. The person you’re addressing should feel compassion and support to inspire positive action. 

4. Talk About Consequences 

Loved ones may be at a breaking point by the time of intervention. Consequently, the intervention must include ultimatums and boundaries if the person rejects treatment. While we understand it can be challenging, these stipulations are not flexible. Everyone must be prepared to follow through if the person struggling with addiction doesn’t stick to the terms.

5. Discuss Specific Treatment Programs

The next step will be to discuss well-researched treatment options. Ideally, it would help if you involved a respected addiction recovery center to make the transition easier for the person. Providing a range of options offers some trade-offs and may encourage the person to accept help.

6. Prepare for Any Reaction

Prepare for a range of emotions or scenarios. No one can predict how a loved one will respond during the intervention. Again, professional interventionists should be your go-to. These specialists are trained and experienced to handle tricky situations. Still, it can be upsetting to experience outbursts, and preparing yourself is helpful. Go into the intervention with good intentions, knowing you want the best for whoever you’re addressing.

7. Seek Expert Help Immediately

If the person agrees to treatment, act immediately to get them the support they need. Getting them in a compassionate environment with experienced professionals can make a huge difference in starting the recovery journey. 

Your Trusted Local Addiction Recovery Center

Hope For Tomorrow is dedicated to helping individuals and families conquer alcohol and substance use dependence with tried and tested treatment plans. We provide:

  • Individualized programs: We understand no person is the same, so we tailor recovery plans to individual needs.
  • A holistic approach: Substance use disorder is complex. We use a multi-pronged approach to combat dependence, including medical-assisted, living in balance and smart recovery treatment programs. 
  • Compassionate support: Our dedicated health professional team establishes a judgment-free environment, going above and beyond in providing compassionate support. 
  • Continued care: If someone with a substance use disorder needs continued care, we’re here for them and you.

Reach out to Hope for Tomorrow

Hope for Tomorrow is a proud West Virginia medication-assisted treatment provider with outpatient and inpatient care for substance use disorders. We’re committed to helping change the lives of people struggling with substance misuse and their loved ones to have hope for the future. 

Get intervention support today by completing our online form.