3 Critical Steps to Prepare for an Intervention

3 Critical Steps to Prepare for an Intervention

If you have a loved one who struggles with addiction, you will naturally want to do whatever you can to combat the problem. One thing you can do is stage an intervention. An intervention is a talk in which you and others confront the addicted loved one and encourage the person to seek help. This article will provide advice on staging an intervention.

Consult with a Professional

Your first step is to find a professional counselor or social worker to help you plan the intervention. A professional can be especially helpful if your addicted loved one has serious mental health issues. You will also want to consult with a professional if the addict displays signs of violent behavior or suicidal behavior. If possible, plan to have a counselor or social worker with you during the intervention.

During your professional consultation, ask which plan of care the social worker or counselor would recommend for your loved one’s case. For instance, an addict with multiple health issues and a history of violence might be best helped by an inpatient rehab center. The counselor or social worker that you consult with could also recommend drugs or therapies to assist with detox for a substance abuse problem.

Rehearse with the Intervention Team

Your next step is to put together a team. Most people create an intervention team that consists of about 3-6 people. The team gets together and discusses their addicted loved one. They write a set of grievances and problems and decide how to best approach the addict regarding those issues.

The intervention team usually consists of family members or friends of the addicted person. Do not include someone on the team who doesn’t get along with the addicted person. A person who is disliked or combative can aggravate the addict and reduce his or her chances of listening to the team.

Confront Your Loved One

After you’ve put together a team, one of you should contact the addicted person and schedule a meeting. Do not tell the addicted person that you want to schedule an intervention. Saying so could discourage the person from attending the meeting. Instead, plan for the person to meet you at a designated time and place. Use your own discretion. You may not want to meet at the person’s home because doing so could make it easier for the person to retreat from an uncomfortable conversation. Because noise is distracting, you may also want to avoid meeting in a crowded place.

It is also not a good idea to ad-lib during an intervention. Instead, you want to stick to a set of pre-rehearsed topics. For instance, each member of the intervention team may confront the addict with 1-2 specific examples of the addict’s damaging behavior.

While an intervention is an opportunity to express your concerns, you don’t want to attack your loved one. Do not name call or present accusations in a hateful way. Behaving in an aggressive manner can cause the loved one to retreat or respond in anger.

Keep in mind that some addicted people may be in denial or that they may sometimes make excuses for why they don’t need treatment. Before the intervention, your team should rehearse calm and rational responses for possible objections your loved one may have. For instance, a person may deny wrongdoing or refuse to take responsibility for actions. Refute this by calmly stating which problems the addiction has created.

You should be as accommodating as possible. For instance, to further assist your loved one, you could offer to drive him or her to a rehab facility. You could also offer to assist with housework and babysitting as needed, especially while the loved one seeks treatment.


As stated above, there are three steps you could take when organizing an intervention. Begin by contacting a professional counselor or social worker to discuss your loved one. Then, meet with your team to discuss what you will say to your loved one. Finally, meet with your loved one and your team to confront the problem. Though substance abuse is a scary problem to confront, planning an intervention can help your loved one take steps toward sobriety.

Keep reading