How to Stage an Effective Drug and Alcohol Intervention

group trying to stage an intervention

When an addicted loved one is refusing to go to rehab, your best bet is to stage an intervention. Drug and alcohol interventions are carefully planned interactions that aim to convince people to seek help for their substance abuse issues. You and other loved ones will come together, express your concerns, and try to make your loved one realize the ways in which their addiction is harming themselves and others.

Interventions can be one of the most effective strategies to convince loved ones to go to rehab, however, they are only effective if you take the right actions. Small mistakes can make interventions go awry, and a failed intervention can result in your loved one continuing to abuse drugs or alcohol, refusing the help they truly need. Learning how to stage an effective drug and alcohol intervention can help you help the ones you love the most.

Work With a Professional Interventionist

It’s possible to hold an intervention without professional help, but it’s also more likely that your intervention won’t go as planned. One of the most important steps in staging an effective intervention is working with a professional interventionist or addiction specialist.

An intervention specialist can guide you through the planning and intervention process, giving you expert insight along the way. Some will even participate in the intervention itself, guiding the group through the discussion. A professional interventionist can mediate if emotions run high, ensuring the intervention stays productive and moving in the right direction.

An interventionist can also refer your loved one to the right addiction treatment facility. They can help you make arrangements for your loved one to be admitted to rehab immediately after the intervention takes place so there is no time for them to change their mind about getting help.

Dealing with an addicted loved one isn’t easy, but you don’t have to do it alone. Professional support is an essential element of the addiction intervention process.

Plan the Intervention Carefully

Once you’ve consulted with a professional, it’s time to get to work. Successful interventions require careful, detailed planning, so it’s important to plan every part of the process. This includes:

  1. Build the intervention team – Decide upon a small group of individuals who know and love your addicted loved one to participate in the intervention. This usually consists of close family members, trusted friends, and significant others. It should not involve anyone who will get angry with or shame the individual or anyone who you know your loved one does not trust.
  2. Write and rehearse impact statements – Interventions are very emotion-driven events, so you may forget everything you want to say in the heat of the moment. However, by writing and rehearsing your impact statement ahead of time, you can make sure you say everything you need to say. You can also get feedback from members of your group on how to make your statement more impactful.
  3. Pick a time and place – Choose a specific day, time, and location for your intervention to take place. This can also include a general outline of how the intervention will proceed, such as who will speak first, who will lead it, and other logistics.
  4. Make treatment arrangements – Do not go into an intervention without having a treatment plan in place. You need to have a rehab facility lined up that can admit your loved one on the same day of your intervention.

Stay Calm, Cool, and Collected

During the intervention, it is vital that you and the other group members remain calm and supportive. A positive attitude can go a long way. If you approach the discussion in an angry or negative manner, your loved one will be less receptive to what you have to say. If you lash out at them or make them feel ashamed about themselves, they may shut down and refuse any help that you offer.

Instead, do your best to remember your long-term goal. Do not get caught up in escalated emotions, fear, or frustration. The more calm, loving, and accepting you are, the more likely your loved one is to agree to go to rehab.

Make Your Demands Clear

Most effective drug and alcohol interventions involve some kind of ultimatum. For example, if your loved one doesn’t agree to go to rehab by the end of the day, you will no longer pay their cell phone bill or allow them to sleep in your house.

Making such demands can be difficult on your part. After all, you don’t want to see your loved one suffer. However, setting these kinds of boundaries is exactly the push many addicts need to realize that it is time to get help.

Your loved one may get upset when they hear this ultimatum, so this is a good time to remind them how much you love, care, and support them, and that you will continue to provide support if they go to treatment.

Uphold Firm Boundaries and Don’t Give Up

Interventions are highly effective, especially when you work with an addiction specialist. Still, there is always a chance that your loved one will refuse help. If this happens, it’s crucial that you uphold your boundaries and don’t give up. Follow through with the ultimatum you set during the intervention, and do not engage in any behaviors that enable your loved one’s addiction.

When your loved one gets upset with you, remind them of your expectations. Let them know that when they change their mind, you will be there to help.

Find Help for an Addicted Loved One Today

Watching a loved one struggle with addiction to drugs and alcohol can be tremendously painful, but there is support available. At Sheer Recovery, our admissions coordinators are experts at convincing even the most reluctant individuals to give recovery a shot. All it takes is a few minutes and a free phone call.

If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, please contact us today to learn how we can help.


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