Tips for a Successful Addiction Intervention

Written by Chloe Nicosia

Learn the tips for a successful addiction intervention

An addiction intervention can help you convince your loved one to get help for an addiction. Interventions should be carefully planned and executed for the best chances of success. Denial is common among addicted individuals, and it’s largely due to changes addiction causes in brain function and structure that affect thought and behavior. The addicted brain is extremely focused on survival, and that means obtaining and using drugs or alcohol to quiet the intense, all-consuming cravings that feel like life or death. An addiction intervention can help a loved one in denial realize how the drug abuse is affecting you and others. It can help your loved one see the need for treatment and agree to enter a program.

What is an Addiction Intervention?

An addiction intervention is a “surprise” meeting between an addicted individual and his or her close friends and family members who are concerned about the drug or alcohol use. During the meeting, the participants explain to their loved one how the addiction has affected them personally. By turn, they ask their addicted loved one to enter treatment.

DIY or Professional Intervention?

You can hold an addiction intervention on your own, or you can get professional help. According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, an intervention planned and carried out with the help of a professional has a 90 percent success rate in getting a loved one to agree to treatment.

While professional help isn’t essential for success, it’s important to note that an intervention can be tricky, especially if your family member is likely to become angry or defensive. A professional interventionist knows how to do a drug intervention and understands the various drug abuse intervention techniques. A professional helps keep the meeting productive and positive.

Tips for a Successful Addiction Intervention

Regardless of whether you choose a DIY or professional addiction intervention, adequate preparation is key. If you don’t know how to do a drug intervention, it’s essential to read up on it carefully. There are a number of drug abuse intervention techniques and strategies you can use, and choosing the ones that are best for your loved one is essential for success.

These tips will help you hold a successful addiction intervention.

  1. Get educated. Understanding addiction is absolutely essential for a successful intervention. Before you even plan the intervention, learn everything you can about addiction, including how it develops, how it changes brain function and behavior, and how it’s best treated.
  2. Carefully prepare what you’ll say. Do not wing it. When it’s your turn to talk, you’ll need to be clear, concise, and convincing. Keep it short and simple, and plan ahead to help prevent tangents and rambling.
  3. Choose the addiction intervention team carefully. The intervention team should consist of four to six people. It can include friends, family members, mentors, teachers, colleagues, or clergy members. The most important thing is to choose people whom your loved one respects, trusts, and admires. Choose participants who will stay positive during the intervention.
  4. Hold a practice session. Meet with the intervention team at least once before you hold the meeting. Give everyone the opportunity to practice what they’ll say and go over the details of the meeting.
  5. Stay calm.Interventions can be very emotionally charged. Staying calm and positive regardless of how your loved one reacts is absolutely essential for preventing an escalation of emotions, which can quickly derail the intervention and cause a whole range of new problems.

Chances are, once your loved one understands how the addiction has affected others, he or she will agree to treatment. If your loved one declines help, don’t give up hope. Staying hopeful for the future is important for leading your loved one to get help later on down the road.