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5 Addiction Intervention Techniques

An intervention is a meeting between an addicted person and his concerned loved ones, who explain how the addiction is affecting them. The goal of an intervention is to bring the loved one out of denial and get him to agree to treatment. Using research-based addiction intervention techniques is absolutely essential for success. 

5 Minute Read | Published Aug 10 2023 | Updated Mar 11 2024 Expert Verified
Emma Collins
Written by
Ashley Bayliss
Reviewed by
Emma Collins
Written by
Ashley Bayliss
Reviewed by

These addiction intervention techniques can help you hold a successful intervention for someone you love.

Most interventions are planned in secret and come as a surprise to the addicted loved one. The element of surprise serves to ensure the loved one attends and to catch him when his guard is down so that he can better hear the message of his loved ones. Holding an intervention that hasn’t been well planned can end up making things much worse for the addicted loved one and concerned friends and family members.

These addiction intervention techniques can help you understand how to do a drug intervention and pull off a successful intervention to get your loved one into treatment sooner rather than later.

  1. Get professional help.

Interventions that are planned and executed with the help of a professional interventionist or another trained addiction professional have a 90 percent success rate, according to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence. A professional interventionist will know the best intervention strategies for drug addiction and provide the intervention team with the information and guidance they need to pull off a successful intervention.

  1. Get educated.

Unless the intervention team members understand how addiction develops, how it changes brain function that affects thought and behavior, and how it’s treated, the intervention is less likely to be successful. Understanding the complex issues behind addiction and how addiction can lead to denial is crucial for knowing how to approach your addicted loved one. A professional interventionist will educate the team about addiction.

  1. Take a positive approach.

During the intervention, members of the team will speak directly to the addicted loved one to explain how they’ve been affected by the addiction. One of the most important techniques for how to do a drug intervention is to approach this in a positive way rather than through lecturing or blaming. Each member of the team should write down what they’re planning on saying. Start by explaining how much you love the addicted person and why. Point out her best traits. Then, explain how her drug use is affecting you and how you see it affecting her life. End with a positive note. Tell her you know she can recover. Ask her to please get help so that she can be happier and restore the quality of her life. Explain that if she refuses treatment, there will be consequences. For example, you’ll no longer give her money, or she’ll need to find a new place to live. Choosing consequences that you can follow through with is one of the most important addiction intervention techniques, and following through with them if she refuses treatment will be crucial for getting her to realize on her own that she needs help.

  1. Have a treatment program ready to admit your loved one.

If your loved one agrees to treatment, he’ll ideally go straight from the meeting. It’s essential to choose a treatment program ahead of time and have them ready to admit your loved one. Better Addiction Care can help you find a quality program that will meet your loved one’s needs so that you can begin the admissions process. Alternatively, a professional interventionist can help you find the right treatment program.

  1. Be prepared for both success and failure.

You’ll need to go into the intervention prepared for the best and worst possible outcomes. The best outcome is that your loved one agrees to treatment, in which case your hard work is only beginning. Supporting your loved one in the best possible way will require you to learn what the best possible support looks like. This may involve therapy for you and other loved ones, and it should involve joining a support group for friends and family members of those in recovery.

The worst possible outcome is that your loved one refuses treatment and remains in denial about the addiction. In this case, the best thing you can do is to follow through with the consequences you laid out in your speech. Once your loved one is faced with the full consequences of the addiction, chances are, she’ll come to the realization that she needs help on her own. But if you continue enabling the addiction by preventing her from feeling the full effects of its consequences, it’s likely that she’ll remain in denial and continue abusing drugs and alcohol.

An Intervention Can Help

A well-planned and executed intervention that uses research-based intervention strategies for drug addiction improves the chances that your loved one will get the help he needs to recover. Better Addiction Care can help you find a treatment program that offers professional services to help families ensure they’re using the best possible addiction intervention techniques to improve the chances of a successful outcome.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, get help right away. Make a phone call that will connect you to a professional drug treatment center. The call you make may save your life or the life of someone you love. Call us today at (800) 429-7690.


bullet National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). (2020).
"Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition)."
Retrieved on December 05, 2017
bullet Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). (2019).
"A Guide to Substance Abuse Services for Primary Care Clinicians."
Retrieved on December 05, 2017
bullet Mayo Clinic. (2021).
"Drug Addiction: Treatments and Drugs."
Retrieved on December 05, 2017
bullet American Psychological Association (APA). (2021).
"Psychology Topics: Substance Use and Addiction."
Retrieved on December 05, 2017
bullet National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD). (n.d.).
"Intervention: Tips and Guidelines."
Retrieved on December 05, 2017
bullet National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). (n.d.).
"Navigating a Mental Health Crisis: A NAMI Resource Guide for Those Experiencing a Mental Health Emergency."
Retrieved on December 05, 2017
bullet American Addiction Centers. (2021).
"Intervention: What It Is and How to Help a Loved One."
Retrieved on December 05, 2017

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