Helping a Loved One Overcome Addiction: How to Stage an Intervention

Watching a loved one deteriorate due to alcohol or drug addiction is a heartbreaking experience. Your loved one turns into someone you don’t recognize and can’t see the consequences of their actions.

If you have a loved one who is addicted to drugs or alcohol and it’s gotten out of control, it’s time to stage an intervention to get them on the path to recovery.

You may be wondering how to stage an intervention.

Here is a step-by-step guide with everything you’ll need to know.

What is a Drug or Alcohol Intervention?

An intervention is a planned event during which an interventionist, a group of people who care about the addicted party, and the individual who is addicted to drugs or alcohol have a conversation about their problem. The main goal of the intervention is to get the addicted party to realize they have a problem and need to seek treatment.

Signs Your Loved One Needs an Intervention

Confronting a loved one about their addiction can be frightening and awkward. You may not know what to say and you may not know how bad their substance abuse is. Knowing outward signs of addiction can help you determine if an intervention is necessary.

Some common signs that someone is struggling with addiction include:

  • Abrupt changes in behavior
  • Isolation
  • Weight gain or weight loss
  • Health problems
  • Missing work, school, or social events
  • Financial trouble
  • Deteriorating appearance
  • Spending time with substance users

How to Stage an Intervention for Your Loved One

An alcohol or drug addiction intervention can be a delicate event, so it’s important to take the necessary steps to prepare. The best way to increase the possibility that the addicted party will decide to enter into recovery is to have a conversation in a controlled environment when they’re sober.

Get an Interventionist Involved

Having a professional present who can lead the intervention is the best way to ensure things will go smoothly. A trained professional will know where to steer the conversation and can smooth things over if the substance abuser is uncomfortable or in denial. They can also act as an impartial third party who can contribute calm facts to the conversation.

An interventionist can help prepare the participants for the intervention and tell them what to expect. A well-trained interventionist and a prepared group of friends and family will yield the best results and increase the chances of staging a successful intervention.

Choose a Location

When choosing a location for the intervention, make sure it’s a setting familiar to the addicted party. Being in a familiar setting will help them feel safe and remain calm.

Gather Friends and Family Members

Having some of the substance abuser’s loved ones present at the intervention will help to illustrate support and a unified front. The substance abuser will have a more difficult time denying their addiction when several of their loved ones can attest to their problem.

Just be sure that everyone is on the same page about the substance abuser’s recovery. Everyone must remain strong and refuse to give in to any excuses the addicted party may offer up in defense of their addiction.

Practice and Plan

Before the real intervention takes place, everyone should meet up at the intervention location to prepare. This is a great way to ensure everyone understands where the real event will take place and will give you the opportunity to practice for the real thing.

Everyone should have a clear idea of what they will say, when they will speak, and when the intervention is going to take place. Everyone has important roles, and they need to be decided upon beforehand.

Additionally, it’s good practice to think of excuses and arguments the addicted party may come up with and plan rebuttals for them.

Share Personal Stories

Sharing stories about how the substance abuser’s actions have affected their loved one’s lives is a great way to illustrate the damage the substance abuser is doing. They may not understand or remember some of their actions and conversations, but people who participate in the intervention can bring these situations to light, causing the addicted party to see things more clearly.

Reassure the Addicted Party That They Are Loved and Supported

The substance abuser may feel that they are being ambushed or pressured into doing something they aren’t comfortable with. Reassure them that the intervention comes from a place of love and concern.

Be Prepared

You don’t know how the substance abuser will react once they realize they’ve walked into an intervention, so everyone needs to be prepared for every possible situation, including hostility. Do your best to keep the substance abuser calm and receptive to your concerns, but be prepared to de-escalate a bad situation.

Present Them With Treatment Options

Interventions are supposed to educate the substance abuser and inform them about steps they can take to recover from their addiction. The interventionist can explore next steps including drug and alcohol detox, rehabilitation, therapy, and support groups.

Hold meetings with the addicted member after the initial intervention to check in on their progress and ensure they’re continuing with their recovery. If they’re not, further steps can be taken including removing children from their care or not allowing them to live at home anymore.

Addiction and Recovery

If you’ve tried talking one-on-one with your addicted loved one and haven’t noticed any changes, a group intervention is the natural next step. Your loved one may not be able to see the impact their actions are having on themselves and those around them, but an intervention can bring them clarity and present them with options for recovery and rehabilitation.

Now that you know how to stage an intervention for an alcoholic or drug addict, it’s time to decide if that would be the best way to get them back on track.

Get Help Today

Don’t go through the process of recovery alone. There are people who can help you with the struggle you’re facing. Get in touch with one today.