Things to Avoid During an Intervention | Palm Beach Institute
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7 Things to Avoid During an Intervention

There can be great difficulty in getting a loved one drug and alcohol treatment for his addiction. Many drug addicts engage in denial and it can act as a defense mechanism, which can keep the addict rooted in disease. In these situations, an intervention can be an excellent way to get the struggling addict the help they desperately need to recover.

Interventions are carefully planned and involve a group of loved ones that come together to confront the addict about his behavior. Interventions can take a great deal of planning, but an intervention can be the only way to get the addict to treatment. Emotions can run high during an intervention, so it is important to avoid certain actions and attitudes during the process. If you are looking for medical detox or adult addiction rehabilitation, contact the Palm Beach Institute today. The following are 7 things to avoid during an intervention.

Not Having Professional Help

For comfort

For the family and friends of an addict, there may be an attitude of barreling forward and trying to do an intervention without professional help. While we are hard-wired to help those in need, interventions can be highly-emotional affairs, where tensions can run high and the safety of both the addict and family can be a concern. A trained addiction specialist can help you plan every step of the intervention so there is order, safety, and security for all involved.

Speaking with Anger

Anger 2

Addiction is a progressive disease, and as the addict’s behavior worsens, anger and resentment can build. Since an intervention is based on confronting the addict about their behavior, it is easy to let that anger loose, but with anger, the addict can totally shut-down and be totally unresponsive. It is important to maintain a gentle and supportive tone, and all involved should communicate concern and empathy towards the addict.

Everyone Speaking at Once

secret. beautiful girl with his finger near the lips

An intervention can be a highly emotional and explosive event. Because of this fact, everybody present wants to speak their mind about how the addict’s behavior has affected their lives. When everyone speaks at the same time, however, it can intimidate the addict. Ideally, the addiction specialist leading the intervention should elect someone from the group to be the “spokesperson”

Giving Up After the First Try

Do not give up

Many drug interventions don’t work on the first try. Since denial is at the root of drug addiction it may take several attempts before the addict finally accepts help. Instead of throwing your hands in the air, you need to keep focused on getting your loved one help and trying until the message takes hold and the addict fully admits their problem and accepts the offer for treatment.

Being Confrontational


It is important to realize that you are confronting the problem and not the person. It is easy to act as judge and jury, especially when the addict’s behavior has hurt you and your family and your trust has been violated. Keeping the focus on the addiction itself and not the person will help ease the anxiousness the addict may be feeling during the intervention.

Not Holding the Intervention in a Familiar Place


Denial is a strong defense mechanism and the addict can become highly suspicious especially if they are asked to meet family somewhere that is unfamiliar to them. Interventions should be held in public places where the addict feels comfortable and is a familiar place to them. Whether it is in their home or a public place, the addict will be less likely to be suspicious that an intervention is about to take place.

Doing the Intervention While the Addict is Under the Influence


Some people may be under the impression that interventions work if the addict is “caught red-handed.” If the addict is under the influence of drugs and alcohol during an intervention, they either will not be responsive, or may become combative, causing an unsafe situation. Ideally, an intervention should be carried out when the addict is lucid.

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