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Tips For Planning An Intervention

If you live with someone who is addicted to drugs or alcohol, you have experienced the frustration and hopelessness of trying to help a loved one who wants to continue in their substance abuse. It seems like there is nothing you can say or do that will change the thinking of your family member. Interventions, when handled properly, can change the situation and force your loved one to get the help he or she needs. Tips for planning an intervention may help you get your loved one into an addiction treatment program.

4 Minute Read | Published Sep 29 2023 | Updated Mar 11 2024 Expert Verified
Emma Collins
Written by
Dameisha Gibson
Reviewed by
Emma Collins
Written by
Dameisha Gibson
Reviewed by

Use These Tips For Planning An Intervention For Your Loved One

Tips For Planning An Intervention

An intervention is intended to be a motivating discussion organized by people who love and care about the addict. It is not meant to be an angry confrontation where the addict is verbally attacked by everyone in the room. The following tips for planning an intervention can help you get organized.

  • Include a professional addiction counselor as a moderator, and have everyone meet with him or her prior to the intervention. Carefully select those who will participate in the intervention. Only choose people the addict loves and trusts to be present. Everyone has to set aside any anger they have in order for the intervention to be successful.
  • Control anger. In the event your family member should become agitated or start accusing others for his or her problems, it’s important for everyone to remain calm and follow the moderator’s lead.
  • Almost anytime is the right time for an intervention, unless your loved one is on a high. Once you have met with the addiction counselor and chosen the participants, act quickly to set up the intervention.

What To Say At An Intervention

The people participating need to know what to say at an intervention that will be helpful and encouraging. The addict or alcoholic will be expecting everyone to put him or her down and be critical. The approach should be motivating and hopeful. The person needs to believe they have value and importance to the people at the intervention. Participants should mention times when they and your loved one did fun things together. The following statements are good ways to express your concern.

  • I love you.
  • You are important and valuable to me.
  • I am so thankful you are my (husband, wife, father, mother, sister, brother).
  • You are very special to our family, and we want something better for you.
  • It frightens the children to see you high.
  • We are so worried about you and your health. We love you.
  • Addiction treatment is available for you right now, and we will all support you.

These statements and similar ones can start a conversation with positive enforcement, but your loved one needs to know what the consequences are if they choose not to go into an addiction treatment center. Each participant in the intervention will have a consequence to present, but it must be given in a loving way. Some people might say that watching your loved one destroy his or her life is too much too bear and without intervention they can’t be part of your family member’s life anymore.

How To Do An Intervention

Don’t attempt an intervention on your own. Professional addiction counselors know what to expect from an addict. He or she will help keep things on track if your loved one tries to change the subject or place the blame on someone else. The counselor knows how to do an intervention and can also help you with setting up a treatment plan. If your family member suffers from depression or mental illness, has been violent, or has demonstrated suicidal behavior. He or she has experience detecting mood changes and will help maintain calm during the intervention.

Today is the day to plan an intervention. A simple phone call will connect you to a professional that can assist you with setting up an intervention with your loved one. This could be a life-saving event, so don’t put it off.

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 Alcohol Rehab Guide (2021)
"How to Plan an Intervention"
Retrieved on November 01, 2017
bullet Association of Intervention Specialists (n.d.)
"Planning an Intervention"
Retrieved on November 01, 2017
bullet Johnson, V. E., & Johnson, W. D. (2014)
"Intervention: How to Help Someone Who Doesn’t Want Help. Hazelden Publishing"
Retrieved on November 01, 2017
bullet Mayo Clinic (2020)
"Interventions: Help a Loved One Overcome Addiction"
Retrieved on November 01, 2017
bullet National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (n.d.)
"How to Plan and Hold an Intervention"
Retrieved on November 01, 2017
bullet Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (2015)
"Tips for Families: Planning an Intervention"
Retrieved on November 01, 2017
bullet Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (2016)
"Intervention eBook: A Guide to Professional and Family Interventions"
Retrieved on November 01, 2017
bullet Wissow, L. S. (2017)
"Intervention in Primary Care: A Treatment Option for Adolescent Substance Abuse. Pediatrics, 139(3), e20164256"
Retrieved on November 01, 2017

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