How To Stage A First Responder Intervention

If you have a first responder who is suffering from substance misuse or addiction, chances are you have considered staging an intervention.  It is incredibly devastating to watch a loved one struggling. They may often claim to quit, only to use again.  Their moods may shift dramatically, and they may lash out and become unstable at even the mention of the thought of help.  If an first responder has reached this serious and severe stage of abuse and/or addiction, the important people in his or her life may have no choice but to stage an intervention.

Staging an intervention is a last ditch effort to appeal to a first responder’s desire to get help.  No one decide to get healthy, but communicating with the first responder in as clear and serious of a fashion possible may be the impetus for the them to finally come to terms with the severity of their issues.

While an intervention can be a very useful tool in convincing a first responder to get help, staging the intervention is an extremely challenging process.  Confronting a first responder may very well cause them to go on the defensive, and end in a fight that sends them further away from their loved ones.

So, how does one stage an intervention? How can you get through to your loved one and have the highest probability of a success rate?

Consult a Specialist

The first thing you should do is consult an intervention specialist.  This is very important because an intervention specialist has plenty of training and experience with substance misuse, addiction and their families.  They know what behaviors you are likely to encounter, and have plenty of tactics ready to keep the first responder as calm and receptive as possible.  An intervention without a counselor is also very risky as emotions and anger may run high, and without an impartial moderator, the odds of a fight or argument are very high.

Once you’ve selected an interventionist that you feel comfortable with, you should tell them everything you can about the person you’re trying to get through to.  Make sure they know how long you have noticed their abuse issues, and what anger triggers you’ve witnessed.  An intervention counselor will then help you formulate a plan for talking with the first responder.  You will work together to determine who else should be involved.  Be in contact with all of those people and work with the interventionist to determine ground rules that all of you agree to.


How the First Responder Makes You Feel

Remember, for example, that all statements at an intervention should be about you and how the first responder has made you feel.  Be careful not to blame or attack them. Once all of the people involved in the intervention have communicated and agreed on guidelines, a time should be set for the intervention.  Above all, this should be a time when the first responder is likely to be sober and in a location where they will feel safe.  Finally, talk to them and make firm plans to meet. If possible, do what you can to ensure that they are there on time.

While you are at the intervention, make sure you listen to both the first responder and the interventionist.  Do your best to stay calm. Stick to the rules you all laid out together.  This will greatly increase the odds of your intervention being successful.

Just because the first responder in your life is in trouble, does not mean they need to stay that way forever. With the right help, it is possible to help your loved one back on track.  The first step is asking for help from the right person.

If you, someone you love or someone you know needs help, call:

Safe Call Now:  24 Hour Confidential Hotline:  206-459-3020

For more information on the First Responders program:  Click here

Or call Shannon Clairemont at 661-466-6352 or Vanessa Stapleton at 304-651-3008