How to Do an Intervention

Written by Chloe Nicosia

Wondering how to do an intervention? Check out these tips from

How to do an InterventionIf your loved one has been struggling with alcohol and/or drug addiction for a long time, and is refusing to see the problem or get help, you may be wondering how to do an intervention. Interventions are staged to help an addict recognize his or her need for rehab. They should be planned in advanced, and never spur of the moment. Proper planning, often times with the help of a professional counselor or interventionist, can typically increase the chances of the intervention being successful. If your friend or family member is stuck in the grips of addiction, and is rejecting the need to go to detox or rehab, here are five tips for staging an intervention:

  1. Assess the Situation – The first step is to assess if an intervention is needed. The answer will be “yes” if the addict cannot make a connection between his or her substance abuse habits are how they are negatively affecting other areas of life; if the addict doesn’t see the need to stop using drugs or alcohol; if the amount of the substance consumed is increasing; if the addict cannot stop using the substance because of experiencing withdrawal symptoms; or if the addict has found him/herself with legal troubles, financial issues, or the inability to keep up with responsibilities.
  2. Begin Collecting Information – In order to speak to the addict’s specific issues, you will need to determine which substances are being abused and any other pertinent factual information. You will also want to begin researching addiction treatment programs in your area that can help with these issues. Often times, rehab facilities can prepare alongside you to take the addict into a program immediately following the intervention (if he or she agrees).
  3. Deciding Who Will Take Part – You will need to put time and effort into the decision of who does and does not take part in the intervention. Often times, family members, friends, doctors, and even religious figures or teachers will take part. These individuals should be people the addict knows and trusts, and whose opinions would be valued. In some cases, children may be a part of the intervention but it is recommend that young children do not become involved.
    In addition, you want to invite people who can control their dialogue and emotions. People who are emotionally charged or irrational may cause an intervention to go south quickly.
  4. Planning the Conversation – What to say at an intervention is one of the most common questions asked during planning. The words said during an intervention should be delivered in an understanding and empathetic manner. Examples should be given of times and instances the addict’s behavior and addiction caused hurt, embarrassment or damage in some way. Professional counselors and interventionists can work with those who plan to be involved and help them deliver their words in a loving manner, in order to not provoke anger.
  5. Consider the Help of a Professional – Addiction counselors and therapists work with people struggling with substance abuse and can implement certain techniques that can make an addict see the need for help. As a neutral party, the interventionist can explain to the addict how detox and rehab can help treat addiction and get him or her on the road to recovery.

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