• David Marion

7 Step Guide on How to Stage a Drug Intervention



Does your loved one deny her addiction? Is she reluctant to seek help for her disease? Is she beyond the point of making sound decisions?

Then, it’s time to stage an intervention.

Do interventions work? Yes, it can help boost your loved one’s chances of recovery dramatically. Interventions are a proven recovery strategy.

Interventions show addicts that loved ones are concerned. They spell out the impact his addiction had on family and friends. And they provide a way to encourage and gently push the loved ones to seek treatment.

But not all interventions are the same. Nor do they all happen in the same order or the same steps. Many specialists believe interventions work best when tailored to an individual or a family’s needs. Whatever the case, they can help addicts seek treatment if the intervention is successful.

Below are some critical steps on how to stage a drug intervention.


The key to performing a successful intervention is to remain calm throughout and speak respectfully—even when tempers flare. Staying calm and respectful can help you convince the addict to seek the help he or she needs.

1.Plan your intervention

Conducting an intervention just doesn't magically happen. You need to plan them out thoroughly. Decide who you want to take part in the process as well as where and when you want it to take place. Also, decide how you’ll get the addict to the location. Make sure each person participating in the meeting chooses what he or she will say and rehearses it.

2.Unite those affected by addiction

Addiction impacts more than just the addict. Include these people in the intervention. Contact co-workers, significant others, family, friends — anyone affected by the addict's actions and willing to share his or her story with the addict. Each person will take turns addressing the addict.


3. Select a private setting for the intervention

This step, like many in the process, is critical. It can be at a friend’s or a relative’s, or any neutral site. Make sure it’s convenient, provides plenty of space, and affords privacy. Also, make sure it’s somewhere where the addict will not suspect an intervention will take place. You never want the addict to suspect an intervention will occur. Catching the addict off guard is critical.

4. Have everyone there waiting

One or more members of the intervention will need to get the addict to the planned location. Make sure everyone is waiting when he or she gets there. If you have an intervention specialist there, he or she can help convince the addict to stay and listen. Once you do that, have each person address the addict and tell them the impact of his or her addiction on the speaker’s lives.

5. Talk to the person behind the addiction

The person you’re trying to reach has no control over their condition. That’s something everyone in the intervention needs to realize and keep in mind. The person they know before is still there deep inside, but be ready for a backlash during the meeting. Remember, it’s not the loved-one talking, it’s the alcohol or drug.

6. Present the facts clearly but lovingly

Among the most critical steps in intervention is to present the facts clearly but lovingly. Make sure the loved one understands exactly what they’ve done and how it affected family and friends. It provides evidence for the idea that their disease has gotten to the point where they need help but you need to do it without making them feel like you are attacking them.

7. Present an ultimatum to the addict

The intervention may last for a while, usually 60 - 90 minutes. Before it ends, make sure you present the addict with an ultimatum. He either enters a treatment facility, or he faces certain consequences. They need to realize that if they refuse they may forfeit things like financial support, other people covering for them, maybe even banning them from family functions

Holding an intervention can dramatically boost your loved one’s chances of recovering. So, don’t be afraid to consult drug intervention specialist if need be. A specialist can help you plan and stage a successful intervention — one that gets your loved one to seek help.

And don't give up if the loved one refuses to go to treatment. Your loved one may approach you later after thinking about it. The bottom line: You can't force someone into treatment, but you can be there when your loved one is ready to do it.


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