When It’s Time for an Intervention, Here’s What to Do


When someone you love has become addicted to drugs or alcohol, you need to get the person help as quickly as possible before the addiction gets out of control. Since most addicts won’t admit they have a problem, it’s essential to stage an intervention. When it’s time to stage an intervention, here’s what to do.

What is an intervention?

An intervention is a planned process that may be done by family and friends, ideally in consultation with a doctor or professional such as a licensed alcohol and drug counselor or directed by an intervention professional (interventionist). It sometimes involves a member of your loved one’s faith or others who care about the person struggling with addiction.

During the intervention, friends, family, or concerned people confront the addict about the consequences of addiction and encourage them to get the treatment they need to get and stay sober. To be effective, the group needs to provide specific examples of dangerous behaviors and their impact not only the addict, but those around them. The group should offer information on professional addiction treatment centers to seek the help they need. It should also outline what each person will do the addict refuses to accept treatment.

Do you need an interventionist to assist?

A professional should assist in the intervention process. It is important that this process be planned and performed by a trained substance abuse interventionist to protect everyone involved as there are times when the situation could get volatile or take an unexpected turn. Given the need for family guidance and counseling throughout the process, coupled with unpredictable situations that can arise during the intervention, it’s a good idea to seek help from a mental health professionals to make sure the intervention is successful.  An interventionist or intervention specialist is a trained and experienced professional that can help in many aspects of the intervention, making the planning more efficient, and their skills can help mediate the session. Typically, an interventionist will also ease the stress of those attempting to organize the intervention.

Successful intervention steps

It’s important to have a plan when staging an intervention. Here are suggested steps to follow: Create a group will be the formation of the team working together to benefit the target of the intervention. The group can consist of friends, family, coworkers, and others that are currently in the addict’s life. Collect information is the next step. Consult trusted sources on the particular drug or drugs which can yield helpful insights regarding the best course of action. Establish a goal of the intervention. The best goals are specific, clear, realistic, and timely. Goals include next steps, a timeline, follow-up, and other expectations. All should work towards getting the addicted person help. Plan where it should be, who should be in attendance, how you will get the addict there and what will be said by each person. Find a place where the addicted person is calm and safe in a neutral location. Knowing what to say can be a challenging situation. The tone content need to convey the message accurately. The messages should be based in fact with strong emotions tied to them. Good interventions plan for the addict’s and describe to the addict what will occur if treatment is not accepted. Sometimes this will include ending the relationship completely. Other times, it will include limitations on finances or housing.

Next steps 

Oftentimes, an intervention attempt needs to happen more than once. If your intervention is successful, the next step is to get them to addiction treatment services as quickly as possible. In the end, interventions require high levels of attention, effort, and skill but are well worth the effort to get someone sober.

If you know someone who is addicted, it’s important to seek help early. Contact the Arizona Addiction Recovery Center now by visiting https://arizonaaddictioncenter.org/ or calling 602.346.9130.