How to do a drug intervention

To do a drug intervention, you need to plan who will participate, where and when it will take place, as well as what to say. A thorough guide on drug interventions here.

minute read

What to expect from a drug intervention

It can be difficult to know what to expect from a drug intervention. If everything goes well, an intervention will result in an addict seeking treatment for his or her drug abuse problem. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Anyone who is planning a drug intervention should – as the old saying goes – hope for the best and plan for the worst. Some addicts simply aren’t ready to seek treatment or may not even believe that they have a problem.

Every addict’s reaction to a drug intervention is different, and you should prepare yourself for all of these reactions. Some addicts will display obvious emotions, ranging from despair to resentment to outright anger. Other addicts, on the other hand, may remain stoic and receptive during the process, and may even agree to seek treatment without argument.

Drug intervention steps

There are several distinct drug intervention steps that should be followed by anyone who wants to stage an intervention.

Step 1: Planning. The first of the drug intervention steps is planning. This step should not be overlooked, and anyone planning a drug intervention should strongly consider seeking help from a drug intervention specialist. These professionals are able to prepare loved ones for this emotional process and help the addict when he or she is ready to seek treatment.

Step 2: Doing. The actual intervention is the next step. During the intervention, an addict will be confronted in a respectful manner by loved ones who care about them. These loved ones will then attempt to convince the addict to seek treatment. If the addict does not agree, loved ones should be prepared to initiate some “tough love”.

Step 3: Follow through. You may not be able to force the addict into treatment. You can, however, enforce boundaries and consequences with a loved one addicted to drugs.  You can remove financial, emotional, or housing support until he or she is ready to seek help. You might even refuse to include them in family activities until they seek help. Whatever you decide, follow through.

Planning a drug intervention

When planning a drug intervention, an intervention specialist can be an invaluable resource. These professionals are knowledgeable about addiction and will help loved ones through every step of the intervention.

1. Define what will happen. The first step when planning a drug intervention is usually deciding the basics of what will happen during the process. This includes such things as who will participate in the intervention, where it will take place, when it will take place, and how long the intervention will last. Ideally, an intervention should take place with a group of individuals that an addict loves and respects, in a place the addict feels comfortable, and at a time the addict is sober and unsuspecting.

2. Plan or write down what you will say. An intervention specialist can also help loved ones decide what to say and how to say it during an intervention. This should include facts about their drug use and how it has affected themselves and their loved ones.

3. Decide on a course of action.  Finally, loved ones should decide on a course of action based on the addict’s decision of whether to seek treatment or not. If an addict is compliant, they should be ready to present information on drug addiction recovery and the intervention specialist should be ready with referrals to treatment programs. If the addict refuses treatment, however, loved ones should be ready and willing to present an ultimatum or consequences. For example, either the addict seeks treatment, or the loved ones will remove certain types of support, such as emotional support or financial support.

Does a drug intervention work?

It can be hard to tell whether a drug intervention will work or not. Ultimately, the success of a drug intervention will depend on a number of factors, including how to intervention is carried out and the addict’s attitude.

If the intervention is not carried out properly, there’s a good chance it could result in failure. This can occur when a group of loved ones acts more confrontational and emotional rather than supportive and caring.  An intervention might also fail if an addict simply isn’t ready to accept the fact that he or she needs drug addiction treatment. If this is the case, loved ones should be prepared to put an end to their enabling behavior. After some time has passed, another drug intervention may be more successful.

Drug intervention questions

If your loved one is addicted to drugs, an intervention may be the solution. However, this process can be frightening and confusing, and having drug intervention questions is completely natural. Fortunately, we’re here to help you and your loved one every step of the way.

If you need answers or guidance, leave your questions and concerns in the comments section below. We look forward to helping you get started in the right direction.

Reference Sources: MAYO Clinic: Intervention: Help a loved one overcome addiction
Michael’s House: Drug Intervention Tips
The Partnership at Drug Free: Do you think — or know — that your child is using drugs or alcohol?
Michael’s House: How to Stage a Drug Addiction Intervention, Part
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.
I am ready to call
i Who Answers?