Drug and alcohol intervention programs may be a last ditch effort to get a loved one into treatment. Individuals who need help may not go without the support of family and friends in designing an intervention. Learn about the process of planning an intervention to what to expect afterwards.



Prior to a drug and alcohol intervention, planning is essential to make sure the right people show up at the right place and time with information about what to expect throughout the experience. It is important to decide who will help stage the intervention and who to invite to make the experience go as smoothly as possible.


Space and Time

A place and time must be selected prior to an intervention. It is important to choose a place which offers privacy such as the family home. A time should be chosen that is convenient for the individual with addiction and is most likely to be sober (and of sound mind). This is the optimal time for the individual to possibly consider treatment options.


Planning What to Say

Each member of the intervention group should plan what will be said and how to say it in a helpful way. Many people find it helps to write down a statement prior to the intervention and read it rather than try to remember what to say during a highly emotional time.


Addiction Treatment

Treatment should be prearranged for the person with addiction. Other arrangements for childcare should also be taken care of to make it easier for the person with addiction to go to treatment and comply.



A motivational approach is more likely to have impact on the person with addiction. CRAFT (Community Reinforcement Approach and Family Training) supports the individual in confronting an addiction or alcoholism and how to identify ways of motivating treatment. The CRAFT model supports safety, communication and life enrichment skills as motivational factors in recovery.


Seek Professional Help

Programs at treatment facilities or hiring an experienced intervention specialist can make all the difference in staging an intervention which is successful for a loved one.


What to Expect

The following are some emotions and experiences which are to be expected during an intervention. It may be uncomfortable but it is one of the best ways to support a person with addiction in moving towards recovery.

  • Person with addiction may get irritated and needs reminding of why intervention is beneficial
  • Once the person is calm, factual information about alcohol and substance use is more helpful than blaming or shaming. Emotional outbursts should be avoided lest it lead to defensiveness.
  • Ultimatums help the person with addiction see the need for immediate treatment and that enabling behaviors will stop including the removal of financial support.


The person with addiction will most likely not stop without help and love from family and friends. Focus on the person behind the addiction and seek professional help if needed.


Helping a loved one who struggles with addiction is hard on the whole family. After an intervention, treatment programs can help sort out reasons behind addiction and get the person on the road to recovery. Call Hired Power to see how we can support you in that journey.

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