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Intervening in a Loved One’s Addiction

Active Addiction - How to Intervene

“God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.” – Hebrews 6:10

Addiction is a pervasive problem throughout the United States, affecting approximately 24 million adults nationwide. Due to the prevalence of substance use disorders, virtually everyone, no matter lifestyle, location, or beliefs, knows someone struggling with addiction.

Seeing the signs of addiction in someone you love can be extremely concerning. It’s easy to live in denial and make excuses – “he’s just young and having fun,” or “everyone drinks; there’s nothing wrong with that” – but an accelerating pattern of substance use is often the start of an extremely serious and potentially fatal disease.

Finding the strength and confidence to speak up can be a challenge, but an effective intervention may be the difference between successful sobriety and ongoing issues. Galatians 6:2 says to “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Giving back to others is one of the key tenets of the Lord’s teachings. When someone you love is in need, it is your duty as a Christian to provide the assistance, love, support, and guidance necessary to inspire recovery and a Godly lifestyle. Here’s how to intervene when someone you love needs help.

Form a Group

An intervention is most successful when a large group comes together as opposed to a one-on-one conversation. Before approaching your loved one, speak with friends, coworkers, and family members who may have noticed signs of addiction to create a united front. Be sure to ask for opinions or stories from those you speak with as there may be other indications of a problem that you have not personally witnessed that should be addressed.

Solicit Professional Help

Moving forward with an intervention can be very overwhelming, especially for those who have never experienced the process before. In order to ensure an appropriate presentation, a professional can help you properly manage intervention preparation. Many faith leaders and counselors have experience in planning and executing interventions, providing a reliable strategy that will increase your odds of making a statement in your confrontation.

Develop a Strategy

Before sitting down with your loved one, you need to know what you’re going to say and how you’re going to say it. In general, interventions utilize a combination of stats and personal experiences to demonstrate how substance abuse can affect all areas of life. Many abusers are unaware of how their actions affect others, and these speeches and stories and trigger a moment of clarity. Working with your intervention team, plan a series talking points that will have a positive impact while sharing the severity of the problems at hand. If possible, hold at least one rehearsal; practicing what you’re going to say makes it easy to control your emotions when the time comes.

Be sure to have an end goal in place as well; if your loved one decides to proceed with treatment, have an idea of treatment centers and therapists that may be a good fit.

Choose a Time and a Place

Interventions should be planned carefully, and that includes when and where you are going to meet. As a general rule, interventions should never be held in a public or unfamiliar place as this can make an emotional process even harder to handle.

In order to help your loved one feel safe and comfortable, choose a familiar location that is enclosed and free of potential disruptions. Make sure you have access to your area for at least 90 minutes.

Speak Honestly and Openly

When your intervention finally occurs, do your best to manage your emotions. It’s easy to get overwhelmed or angry, but keep these feelings hidden to avoid exacerbating the pain of this troubling time. Do not take a “tear them down to build them up” approach; instead, proceed with compassion and support. Remind your loved one that God loves them and will always love them, and share your stories with openness and honesty.

Where possible, use positive body language, including keeping arms and legs uncrossed, maintaining eye contact, leaving hands open and unclenched, and leaning in for emphasis.

Stay Dedicated and Follow Up

It’s easy to leave an intervention feeling positive and uplifted, but there’s no guarantee your loved one will be willing to act on your messages. Provide some time for them to process the information you shared, but stay vigilant in promoting the benefits of treatment. Studies indicate that those who are confronted about their addictions are more likely to get sober and stay that way, so your job is not done. Sometimes, a second or even third chat may be needed to prompt action, so stay dedicated to your efforts.

Seeing the signs of addiction in your loved ones can be extremely hard to handle, but Road to Freedom is here to help. As a faith-based rehabilitation facility, we are prepared to offer comprehensive, customized Christian treatments to those in need. Contact us today at (844) 402-3605 to learn more about what our facility has to offer. All consultations are fully confidential.

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