Words matter, and what you say (or don’t say to someone) during a time of need is important. As a family member or friend of someone struggling with an alcohol or substance use disorder, your words carry even more weight—especially during an intervention.
Holding an intervention is one of the most loving things you can do for someone struggling with a substance use disorder, but it’s not always easy to do, especially if you’re not sure what to say.
If you’re planning on holding an intervention, whether on your own or with the help of a professional interventionist, here are some important phrases to include:
Interventions aren’t the most pleasant experience for someone struggling with a substance use disorder, so it’s important to establish trust and reassure your loved one that they’re in a safe place. One of the best ways to do this is to tell them you love them, especially if it’s not something you say often.
The thought of getting sober is scary for many people. When you bring up the topic of treatment, it’s essential that you remind your loved one that you believe they can overcome their struggles and live a happier, more satisfying life in recovery.
Nearly all people struggling with a substance use disorder believe that they can stop using on their own at any point and that treatment isn’t necessary. However, addiction is a serious disease. By establishing addiction as the enemy, you can show that you’re on their side. Plus, by viewing addiction as a disease, you’re able to lead into the idea that it’s treatable, and with help, they can overcome it.
Many people don’t see the need for treatment, or they don’t believe that it works. The bottom line is that treatment does work, and it can help your loved one overcome their addiction. It doesn’t happen overnight, and there are some setbacks involved (approximately 40-60% of people relapse during recovery), but treatment teaches you how to handle these challenges. Ultimately, treatment is your loved one’s best chance at recovery.
At the end of the day, all you want is for your loved one to get better. Let them know that you’re there to support them as they fight this battle, whether that means attending therapy sessions with them or just being there when they need to talk. This support can make all the difference to someone as they navigate recovery.
One of the biggest mistakes families make during an intervention is saying the wrong things or not focusing on the right goal. When you’re holding an intervention for a loved one, here are a few things not to do:
Once you have a good idea of what to say (and what not to do), you’ll want to work on how to say them in a way that’s both loving but firm. Here are a few guidelines to follow when staging an intervention:
Addiction is a powerful disease, and if you’re struggling to get your loved one the help they desperately need, The Recovery Village team at our Palmer Lake, Colorado facility can help. We’re experienced in holding interventions, and we can help you make this challenging time easier. Whether you need guidance on what to say during an intervention or you’d like a professional interventionist to facilitate, we can guide you in the right direction. To learn more, contact us today.
The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.