How to Hold an Addiction Intervention for Someone That Needs Help

addiction intervention
Written by Fritz

It’s impossible to be inside the mind of someone battling addiction. As an outsider, looking in, their addiction might seem baffling to you — it’s most likely the most heartbreaking and frustrating thing to witness, too. 

This is why a well-planned addiction intervention is so important. You’ll need to approach it with trepidation, meticulous planning, and as much empathy as you can muster, no matter how much chaos their addiction has caused. 

This blog is a helpful tool to set you off on the right foot when staging an intervention for someone you love. Read on for more. 


Conducting an Addiction Intervention: 6 Key Steps 

When it comes to interventions, there is no black-and-white, one size fits all approach. The reality is that addiction is a very personal, nuanced condition, which means that each intervention must suit the needs of each individual.

But before you plan and stage an intervention, it’s crucial to ask yourself these questions and answer them honestly: 

  • Am I able to stay calm and lay out my points in an effective manner, without upsetting my loved one?
  • Am I able to gather an inner circle of friends and loved ones to help support the intervention?
  • Am I prepared to follow through with the intervention, even if the outcome is a total disaster? 

Remember, an intervention is not only about helping your loved one, but it’s also about helping those around them, saving relationships, and making amends. You must be 100 percent prepared and ready for the intervention before you go ahead as it’s an emotionally taxing experience for everyone involved. 

Here are some key points to follow in your planning: 


1. Carefully Consider the Location You Choose

One of the most important factors when staging an intervention is that your loved one is comfortable. So, it makes sense to choose a location that they’re familiar with. This might be their own home, your home, or the home of a close family friend, for example. 

A comfortable, familiar environment can help everyone stay grounded throughout the intervention. 

2. Ensure Everyone’s On the Same Page 

When you enlist friends and family to help you with the intervention, it’s important that everyone has a close, meaningful relationship with your loved one. Don’t ask friends or family members that don’t want the best for them. 

It’s also crucial that your loved one holds a good amount of respect for each person helping you with the intervention. This way, their words will carry much more weight and meaning versus someone they don’t really value or appreciate.

Everyone must be on the same page in terms of how you approach the intervention and the points you aim to convey. Make sure to bridge all the gaps between what you agree and disagree on. When there is a rift between those in the support network, an intervention can quickly unravel. 

3. Prepare and Write Things Down 

Yes, you want to speak from the heart, but there’s nothing wrong with jotting down a few of your most important points so that you clearly convey your message to your loved one. While it’s important that you speak naturally and openly, it’s also wise to choose your words well. 

Planning out what you’re going to say means that your loved one won’t feel targeted or cornered by your language. The same goes for everyone speaking at the intervention. Make sure your words leave an impact, without scaring, guilt-tripping, or shaming them. 

Let everyone hold the floor and speak in turns with a prepared speech. It’s a good idea to listen to each person’s speech before you go ahead with the intervention so you can flag anything that could be very upsetting. 


4. Think About Enlisting an Interventionist 

Now, it’s not always necessary to hire the expertise of an interventionist. But it can deliver an amazing outcome because not only is an interventionist a neutral party, but they also have the passion and knowledge in helping those with addiction.

It’s worth hiring an interventionist in these instances: 

  • Your loved one is prone to violent outbursts 
  • They have a history of mental illness
  • They have suicidal tendencies 

Bear in mind, they are trained professionals in hosting interventions and can guide you every step of the way to ensure your loved one makes the right decision by the end of the session. They offer an invaluable set of skills that encompass the title of social worker, drug abuse counselor, psychologist, and more. 

5. Listen, and Listen Carefully 

Even if the intervention goes well — far better than you anticipated — it’s crucial to always lend a listening ear. And remember, there is a big difference between agreeing and listening.

Make sure that you listen to their points, but don’t make a habit of agreeing with them. It’s your aim to convey and even push your points but in a delicate, well-planned manner. If your loved one goes on to say things like ”I have everything under control and I know what I’m doing”, this is your chance to tell them exactly how you see it, as an outsider.

Let them speak, while you listen. The more they try to reason with themselves, the more they’ll hear that none of it makes sense. 


6. Beware of Coercion 

The mind of an addict is complicated, but also very powerful. If an intervention goes well, almost too well, don’t let your loved one turn to coercion to convince you that they have everything under control. 

Many addicts lean on placating their loved ones so that they can gain your trust. Beware of the addict who puts up little to no struggle during an intervention. Make sure that your points have a true, lasting impact on them to inspire real change, not just smoke and mirrors. 

Reap the Rewards of a Positive Addiction Intervention

If the addiction intervention you held for a loved one goes well, it’s time to find the right rehab center to suit their needs. The support of a treatment center that offers a personalized approach to their recovery is key. 

If you’re looking for the ultimate resource to help you find the perfect fit for your loved one, you’re in the best place. Explore the rest of this site for a directory of drug and alcohol addiction centers to ensure they have all the support they need. 

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