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Thursday, February 20, 2020

How to Hold an Intervention for a Young Adult

As a parent of a teenager with substance misuse problems, you might feel desperate or hopeless. The bright, vibrant daughter or son you raised has become unresponsive, withdrawn and secretive. Their grades may be slipping as they continue down the path to a worsening addiction. You know you should do something to help, but you aren’t sure how to start the conversation that could save your child’s life.

A structured intervention can often be transformative – both for the person with the addiction and the team who has agreed to participate in the meeting. But for many people, it can be difficult to know where to begin. Here are some tips for intervening in the life of a teenager who needs help.

1. Identify a Treatment Center

Ideally, you should have a rehab facility already picked out and ready to admit your teen if your intervention succeeds in its goal of persuading them to enter treatment. Researching various options to determine the best fit for your son or daughter can take time, and it’s not a decision you want to rush into. With that in mind, make sure you have done your due diligence and found a qualified rehab specializing in the unique needs of young adults.

2. Plan the Details

TV depictions of interventions are almost always of dramatic, spur-of-the-moment events where one person has reached the end of their rope and begs the addict to seek help. In real life, the most successful interventions are carefully orchestrated meetings. You’ll need to decide on the details in advance, including who will attend, what time of day to get together and even where everyone will sit.

3. Write Your Remarks

An integral part of your intervention planning process includes writing what you will say and rehearsing it extensively. While you may feel as if your teen will respond better to off-the-cuff comments, an intervention is no time to speak extemporaneously. Tensions can run high during this meeting, and if you don’t practice what you’re going to say, chances are good you’ll let your emotions run away from you.

Phrasing is critical here. You and all the other members of the intervention team must avoid negativity or comments that blame or shame your teen loved one. Instead, frame your comments as “I” statements, such as, “I know addiction is a disease, and I want to help you get better.” You can also provide concrete examples of how their substance misuse has affected you, such as, “It scared me to see you passed out from drinking too much. I worry about how you are jeopardizing your future.”

4. Consider Hiring Help

For your meeting to have the best chances of success, you may wish to hire a professional interventionist who can help you plan and execute it. An intervention can keep the conversation on a productive track if things seem to be getting out of control or devolving into an argument.

5. Keep Lines of Communication Open

Sometimes, despite your best efforts, the first attempt at an intervention will not succeed. Some teens may need time to process the information they received and the emotions you have revealed. They might have to get comfortable with the idea of going to rehab and learning to manage their addiction for the rest of their life. If your teen doesn’t immediately agree to enter the treatment facility you’ve picked out, don’t give up. Remind them daily that you love them, and that you only have their best interests at heart.

Contact Hope Academy to Start the Healing Process

Hope Academy is a place where young adults can find the treatment they need to get sober and begin the work of addiction recovery. If your son or daughter needs help for substance misuse, please reach out to us to learn more about our admissions and insurance acceptance.
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