Drug and alcohol intervention: Taking the first step

The first step in a drug or alcohol intervention is to set goals. Learn how to plan for a successful drug/alcohol intervention here.

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Drug and alcohol interventions: Who needs them?

For many, convincing a loved one to enter substance abuse treatment is no easy feat. If you’re reading this and wondering if your loved one needs a drug and alcohol intervention, chances are, he or she most likely does.

Drug and alcohol interventions are often a last ditch effort by loved ones to get an addict into drug and alcohol treatment. Typically, it’s become obvious that an addict’s substance abuse is affecting not only themselves but those around them as well. They may have poor performance in work or school, and they may be shirking other responsibilities as well. Many addicts who need interventions may also be in financial or legal trouble as well.

Goals of a drug and alcohol intervention

There are often a few very important goals and strategies of a drug and alcohol intervention. The first goal is to make an addict realize what their drug or alcohol use is doing to themselves and everyone around them. Another goal of an intervention is to get the addict to stop their self-destructive behavior.

One of the most important and obvious goals of a drug and alcohol intervention, however, is to get an addict to stop drinking and doing drugs. This can be difficult, and it usually requires loved ones to convince the addict to go into an addiction treatment program. If an addict refuses to do so, loved ones should then be prepared to put an end to their enabling behavior and stop inadvertently supporting the alcohol and drug abuse.

First steps of a drug and alcohol intervention

An alcohol and drug abuse intervention is a complex process comprised of several important steps. The first steps of a drug and alcohol intervention are typically the planning steps.

1.    Meet with a professional interventionist. One of the first steps of a drug and alcohol intervention is to meet with a drug and alcohol intervention specialist. These professionals are trained to understand and deal with addictions, as well as plan and stage interventions.

2.    Decide on who will attend, where, and when the intervention will take place. The planning steps are some of the most important first steps of a drug and alcohol interventions. During the planning stage of an intervention, you should decide who will participate in the intervention, where it will be held, and when it will be held. Each intervention participant should also decide what they will say to the addict.

3.    Plan what you will say. Many people find it helpful to write down what they’d like to say during an intervention and simply read it when the time comes. A few intervention rehearsals should also be help before the actual intervention to help better prepare each participant.

Drug and alcohol intervention questions

If you want to stage a drug and alcohol intervention but don’t know where to start, you’ve come to the right place. We strive to help all of our readers better understand addiction and work toward eliminating it from their lives.

Any drug and alcohol intervention questions can be left in the comments section below. We’ll address each of your concerns quickly and help you and your loved ones move toward a drug and alcohol-free lifestyle.

Reference Sources: AIR: Interventions for Drug Addiction
Drug Addicted: What You Need To Know About Staging an Intervention
4therapy.com: Choosing an Interventionist
NCADD: Intervention -Tips and Guidelines
Michael’s House: Drug Intervention Tips
AARP: How to Stage an Intervention
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.


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  1. My daughter is 22 years old, still lives at home and has become what I call a binge drinker. She doesn’t drink every day but when she does drink, she drinks a lot and very quickly. She usually doesn’t stop until she passes out. This has been going on for about a year and has gradually increased in frequency. I have done everything in my power to convince her to seek help but she insists that she does not have a problem and that I just worry too much. The biggest fear I have is that she will get in an accident and either kill herself or other innocent people. I am at my wits end. Her father, who lives in another state is flying in for four days from Feb 26th-29th so we can confront her together and try to convince her to seek help. My problem is I am not sure how to determine what kind of treatment she needs for her situation and would like to have a plan in place for her at the end of our meeting. I have asked some friends and family members to join us for this “intervention” but again, am not quite sure we will be as effective without some professional guidance. I am seeking your advice on how to proceed and would appreciate any help you can give me. Sincerely, Sherri

    1. Hi Sherri. I believe that you need a professional guidance to stage an intervention. Search for an addiction interventionist in your area. Here are some useful links:

      Also, call a toll-free Alcohol Helpline on 1-888-675-1820 to find a high-quality alcohol addiction treatment program. This helpline is accessible 24/7 and gives you the chance to speak with trusted treatment consultants who can help you find an alcohol recovery program suited to your daughter’s individual needs.

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