Having an intervention for your child shouldn’t be a confrontational experience. Instead, it should be a way of showing your support and love for him or her. It can be hard to approach your child if you feel he or she has a substance abuse disorder but denying there is a problem simply breeds further inaction and, all the while, your child is moving further down the path to long-term addiction. However, if you fail to plan the intervention sufficiently, you could find everything goes wrong, and potentially push your child even further toward negative influences in his or her life. This guide will take you through the process of arranging an intervention so you can avoid the many pitfalls.
Get together a group of people who could be influential in persuading your child to go into rehab. You could include his or her siblings, friends, other family members, and anyone with whom he or she has a connection. However, make sure not to invite anyone who is selfish, unsupportive or hostile because this could ruin the focus on your child.
All addictions are different, so finding out as much as you can about your child’s problem will help to structure your intervention. Educating yourself about the effects of addiction will help to improve your chances of persuading your child to go into rehab.
As a group, you should write letters that will then be read aloud in turn. These letters should be constructed with the aim of expressing concerns in a way that is organized and thoughtful to have the best chance of eliciting a moment of clarity in your child.
Writing the Letter
There is no perfect way to construct an intervention letter. No matter how you choose to express your feelings, as long as it is done nonconfrontationally and calmly, it is perfectly acceptable to write both negative and positive emotions.
You should begin your letter compassionately and with a positive feel. This will ensure your child, the rest of the group, and, indeed, you will feel more at ease to start things off. Start by saying how important your relationship is and you’re here to be supportive regardless of whatever happens. This will guarantee your child’s defenses are lowered, and he or she will be more receptive to everything you have to say.
Move on by expressing the ways in which his or her addiction has resulted in others being harmed. Be careful you don’t patronize your child – you don’t want him or her to feel he or she is being attacked. Therefore, use clear examples so your child can better understand the ways in which he or she has hurt his or her friends and family.
This is now a good point to mention the things you have learned about his or her addiction, sharing facts you’ve discovered about the substance he or she is addicted to and the effect it can have on his or her body, as well as the potential long-term consequences.
Finally, you can conclude your letter in an encouraging way, suggesting potential treatment options he or she could consider.
The Actual Intervention
Choosing the right time and place to hold an intervention is essential to its success. Getting it wrong or failing to plan properly could end up deterring your child from seeking professional help. It is always wise to choose a place that is neutral, calm, and familiar because if your child feels threatened by the setting, he or she won’t be open to discussion. He or she won’t feel comfortable. Choose the right time, too. Finding a time and day when he or she is sober is essential. Otherwise, he or she will not be in the right mental place to address the issues. The duration of the meeting must also be thought through. The length will depend on how many people will be there and how long your child can remain attentive. Aiming for a time frame between a half-hour and 90 minutes would be best. If you take too much time, you’ll lose the effect.
You can’t expect an intervention to go smoothly. It is impossible to know how everything will pan out once you confront your child. And, there’s always a chance he or she won’t cooperate with you and will simply refuse to enter rehab. If at any point you’re worried your child’s reaction is putting anybody in danger, including himself or herself, always contact the police. Violence and anger are often elicited by addiction, even from the mildest person.
Following the Intervention
An addiction intervention’s final goal is to persuade your child to go into rehab and to get treatment for his or her substance abuse disorder. Following the intervention, he or she must choose whether to seek professional help for his or her addiction. And, should he or she choose to forego the opportunity, the entire group must prepare to change his or her mind. It may seem very harsh to deny financial support but enabling his or her addictive behavior will only continue to make the situation worse and refusing to do so will help to get the point across that addiction will never be welcome.
If you fail to properly plan for your child’s intervention, it may not only prove to be unhelpful, it could even worsen matters for everybody involved. A successful intervention that has been arranged thoughtfully in advance is the best way to encourage your child to accept he or she needs professional help and he or she needs to go into rehab to get the expert treatment he or she desperately needs to get better.