Hello, it’s Mrs. S! In this post, I would like to discuss interventions.
In case you know a child who is struggling with addiction as I experienced with my student Andy, there are many steps you can take to help them. If you are a parent, you may want to stage an intervention for your child.
The conference I held with Andy’s parents was similar to an intervention. It was a little different because I worked in a school and had to take immediate action to alert the parents. Fortunately, the meeting was successful, and Andy willingly entered a treatment program, and is now sober and doing great.
What is intervention?
Interventions can be for anything but are most commonly associated with drug and alcohol abuse. An addict’s loved ones will see their destructive behavior and wish to intervene to help. Intervention usually includes an ultimatum to the addict, that they need to seek treatment or their loved ones will stop supporting them. As a parent, it can be especially challenging to present an ultimatum to a child, but remember the ultimate goal is to get the professional treatment for the child. If you are concerned about staging an intervention for your child, you can contact a professional to mediate and guide proceedings.
What happens during an intervention?
Usually, during an intervention, a group of people come together and confront the addict in hopes of persuading them to seek rehabilitation treatment for substance abuse. Interventions are usually held by close friends and family members, or can even just be one person. In my situation with Andy, as the teacher who discovered his drug use and was concerned for my longtime student, I chose to be involved.
Interventions should be planned in advance to achieve the best possible outcome. Because of the situation, it would not be appropriate or legal for me to wait to plan an intervention with a student. The best I can do is what I did with Andy, which was meeting with his parents immediately to make them aware of what was going on and give them some information about treatment. In a standard intervention, whoever is plans to participate in the intervention should meet ahead of time to discuss what will happen and agree on goals and boundaries. It can be helpful to have everyone write down what they want to say to the person struggling with substance abuse during the intervention. Parents can absolutely do this step, as emotions will most likely run high during any intervention, especially one with a child, so having thoughts down on paper will help address the issues thoroughly. Writing it down and presenting it also shows the addict the thought and planning that went into the intervention, and that it should be taken seriously.