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When we have a loved one struggling with addiction, it can be extremely painful to watch them suffer. For many of us, we feel compelled to stage an intervention to try to convince them to get help. Confronting someone on such a sensitive issue as addiction can become contentious. Emotions are high, and a lot is at stake. There are a few steps we can take to make our intervention run as smoothly as possible and successfully get our loved one the help they need.

Plan ahead

Make a plan ahead of time for how and where you’ll stage the intervention. Decide who you would like to be involved. Pick the right time, when things are generally calm and in a good place. Don’t go into such a big undertaking when you’re in a crisis moment or in the middle of an argument. Be sensitive to how hard things must be for both you and your loved one.

Have a team

You’ll want to work with, and lean on, the people who will be involved in the intervention. You’ll all need each other’s support for how emotionally complex and burdensome it can feel. When you feel overwhelmed, you’ll be glad to have each other to get through it together. Decide together what key points you’ll address. Work with them to touch on issues that you know your loved one will respond to, such as your concerns for their health or parenting, or simply how depressed you can feel they are.

Speak from personal experience

When speaking with your loved ones, don’t presume to know where they are coming from. We can’t possibly know everything that one is thinking and feeling, and it can feel unfair for us when we assume that we do. Instead, speak from your own personal experience living with them, seeing them suffer, or even your own firsthand experience with addiction if it applies to you and you can relate.

Don’t attack or judge

We can reach people more, connect with them on a deeper level and make much greater strides when we remember to be as understanding as we can. We can remind ourselves how much pain our loved ones are living with. Show concern and compassion. We’ll make much more of an impact, and be much more likely to successfully convince them to get help, if we don’t cause them to feel attacked. We want to make them feel supported, not give them reason to get defensive.

Focus on their good attributes and positive qualities

Remind them of all the things you miss and love about them. After all, the more we focus on the positive, the more we can help our loved ones manifest the outcome we want for them, a healthy and successful recovery.

Through continuous support, Riverside Recovery provides the intensive care your loved ones need in their recovery. Call (800) 871-5440 for more information about our treatment programs.