When your friend starts spiraling out of control, things can get tough. You aren’t a family member, and if they push against you too hard, there is no real guarantee that they’ll stick around or if you’ll want to stick around after trying to help. Yet, at the same time, you cannot stand idly by while they hurt themselves and those closest to them. Holding an intervention is the best way to show them the damage they are causing with their addiction, and for that intervention to be successful you need to follow these steps.
Plan It Beforehand
You should never go into an intervention without planning for it. If you want, you can even go to a intervention specialist who can help you plan your intervention and how to deal with any poor behavior following it. Ways to prepare include getting a group together and even writing down what you are going to say, so that you can make sure that you get everything across about how they are hurting you and why they need to get help.
Similarly, rather than have everyone that is worried about them come to this meeting, choose a core group of your friends’ closest friends and family. They need to have a strong connection in order to get through to them. Plan out who speaks during the intervention by the strength of the bond they have with the person, even if that means you don’t go first. The intervention should be over as soon as your friend agrees to get help, so choose the lineup wisely.
Hold it in a Formal Space
It is unwise to hold an intervention at their home, because there are too many places that your friend can go and hide as soon as the intervention starts. Instead, choose a comfortable, but more formal place where they cannot easily hide. This could be in an intervention specialist’s office, or it could be at your place. Either way, make it so that there is a familiar, comfortable atmosphere.
Remember to Stay Calm
When the intervention is going on, remember to stay calm. Getting angry or getting into an altercation will not help anyone. By staying calm and by focusing on following the script you have written for yourselves, you can get your point across in a way that your friend will listen. You cannot force them to get help, but you can lay down a few rules. Tell them that you will be there for them every step of the way to recovery, but that you cannot be there for them when they are out there hurting themselves, and so on.
Have Real Solutions Ready to Go
You want to have real solutions ready to go for immediately after they agree to get help. This could include a medical drug detox to get them started, or a meeting with a therapist. The precise solution will depend entirely on what their addiction is. Have all the necessary information on the go and ready, and encourage them to sign up to a nearby program before you all leave.
Holding an intervention is stressful for everyone involved, but it is a last resort that you as a friend can do. Plan it right, and your intervention could be their first step to recovery.