Stretching out a hand to those who need it is a must. However, shaking it impatiently so the other would hurry up to take it is definitely not the way to go. Staging an intervention for a loved one, who is suffering from an addiction, is like helping up someone to stand, you see. They’re lying on the ground, so you stretch out a hand; they look at you hesitantly, trying to see if it’s better from where they are. They don’t know that it isn’t, their toxic ways create a deceitful blanket that shades away all else. Hence, when they do decide to hold your hand, you must be careful and slowly bring them up; let them slowly stand on their own. Take it easy, walk with them a bit first, and then, when they’re ready —let go, they’ll continue on their own.
“Great opportunities to help others seldom come, but small ones surround us every day.” —Sally Koch
The UK Addiction Treatment Centres defines intervention as “An effective tool in encouraging a family member or friend into treatment for an addiction.”
Seeing loved ones suffer is always tough, but no matter what, it is critical to remember that they are the ones who are and have been in this dark place, long before you’ve noticed. Wanting to help is the perfect step to take, but after that come the real challenges.
So, what to do? What to avoid?
You’ve noticed your friend or a loved one is struggling with a certain addiction or mental illness. Staging an intervention is the way to go, but you’ve got to keep in mind that this won’t be easy.
First, get informed. Read up about the specific case your loved one has. Whether it be alcohol, depression or drug addiction, it is crucial to know what you are facing and expect everything. Through getting more information about the specific topic, not only do you build more background knowledge, you will also be able to pick up on the symptoms that help you identify the problem.
According to the Alcohol Rehab Guide organization, the common symptoms of alcohol abuse are drinking alone in secrecy, isolating oneself by choice, finding excuses to drink and “experiencing temporary blackouts or short-term memory loss.”
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism explains how alcohol prohibits the brain from forming new long-term memories. Add to that, when consuming large amounts, blackouts are bound to happen. During those, the memory loses the events that occurred during drinking.
As for drugs, the Tennessee Department of Mental Health & Substance Abuse Service identifies physical, behavioral and psychological warning signs for an addiction. The major indicators are severe changes in relationships, spending more money than usual, an evident lack of energy and changes in physical appearance, especially the face.
Depression is complex in its intricate ways to slither in an individual’s life. The National Health Services warns about the deceitful nature of depression. Continuous low moods, helplessness, guilt and not getting enjoyment out of life are aspects that plague the life of someone who is struggling with depression.
- Now that we know some of the symptoms to the three aforementioned issues, it is easier to spot patterns. The second step is to find out what is going on. By this, we don’t mean diagnosis. Only a professional is qualified to diagnose people. This step is simply there so you’d know what you’re dealing with.
- Third, figure out the when, where and who. Do you want to talk at home, where it is comfortable and safe? Somewhere outdoor? Do you think you should do it soon, or maybe wait until the person seems a bit more relaxed? Finally, are you going to be talking to them alone?
These are the questions that you need to ask yourself before addressing the elephant in the room. The space and time you choose are critical, so is the company that you pick. Some people go for group interventions; loved ones gathered to help out one member. Others prefer more privacy and wait until they’re alone.
- Whatever you decide, the fourth step would be to consult an intervention specialist, if possible. They should help you out in understanding more and preparing you for the actual day. You can visit our page to contact us for more guidance.
- Lastly, practice what you’re going to say and rehearse it. This step is not to make your speech sound forced or mechanic. Rather, it helps to remember all that you want to say because such conversations can turn tearful, which perturbs the focus.
Now that we’ve established what to do, what not to do is equally as important. The Association of Intervention Specialists cautions against being coercive, angry or hurtful during the ‘talk’. An intervention should be heartfelt and warm, not cold and based in shame.
Here’s a brief list of what not to do:
- Never force anyone to admit what they’re suffering from
- Never force anyone to seek help
- Never raise your voice
- Never step over the boundaries (both with what you are saying and doing)
Any of the aforementioned can make the person in question retreat to their own bubble because they feel unsafe. You will lose that person’s trust and they may never confide in you again.
Always remember to be patient, kind and considerate. The road to recovery is long and needs dedication, if the individual does not choose to get help, relapsing is most probably their fate. Recovery must be a personal choice so that the road can seem easier to walk on.
The BALANCE luxury rehab center offers a safe space and detailed plans to help anybody up and back on their feet. With our programs, we aim to extend hands towards anyone seeking to get rid of any addiction that’s weighting them down. So join us today and let’s embark on this journey to reach freedom together.