Helpful Drug Intervention Strategies

Substance abuse interventions are designed to support a person with addiction realize the need for help. Substance abuse interventions are often last-ditch efforts to get a person into substance abuse treatment but require careful, well-thought out planning to be successful. Learn some helpful drug intervention strategies to create a better intervention.



Confrontational interventions can be helpful but another approach called CRAFT (Community Reinforcement Approach and Family Training model) can also be helpful. Family members who use the CRAFT model learn about safety, functional analysis, contingency management, communication and life enhancement skills. The process is longer term which supports family members in utilizing ‘insider’ information about how people with addiction behave. The method has seen increasing success in support a person with alcoholism or addiction enter treatment.


Stages of Intervention

Several stages of intervention exist as it is a complex process. The basic stages are as follows:

Planning: Loved ones will meet an intervention specialist, decide on participants and what should be said during the intervention.

Execution: A person with addiction must be convinced to sit and listen to what other people have to say about the addiction. The person must then decide whether to enter substance abuse treatment or perhaps lose support of loved ones.

Follow Up: If the person with addiction refuses treatment, loved ones must follow up with consequences (stopping enabling behavior, covering for loved one, end financing or housing arrangements, etc). Some may go further and stop all communication with the loved one.


Helpful Drug Intervention Strategies

The following drug intervention strategies can aid loved ones set the stage for a successful intervention:

    • Consult an intervention specialist. People who stage an intervention are encouraged to meet with a qualified, experienced intervention specialist who can provide insight into the process and keep everyone safe and calm.
    • Plan ahead. Make plans then make some more. Before the intervention, it will be important to plan the details for every possible scenario. Participants will be known ahead of time, what will be said, how to say it and where it will be held.
    • Select appropriate people. Never choose people who condone or contribute to the drug or alcohol use. Each person should respect and care for the individual’s best interests (recovery).
    • Establish consequences. Identify consequences if person chooses not to attend treatment. This may be removal of emotional or financial support until behavior ceases.
    • Leave judgment at the door. Reiterate care and respect for addict during intervention. Do not lash out in anger.
    • Stop enabling behaviors. This may include giving money or making excuses to cover for the loved one. An interventionist can help identify and put a stop to such behaviors to the benefit of all involved.
    • Follow through. Always follow through with stated consequences (“tough love”) to teach the individual everyone means business.
    • Prearrange treatment. Make it easy to accept treatment by making arrangements, setting up a spot in a treatment facility and creating the best arrangements possible to support recovery.






It can be hard to watch a loved one struggle with addiction. That is why Hired Power is here, to help families make the transition to treatment easier and more effective. Call us to find out how we can support you in getting the necessary help for your loved one.