Family Drug Intervention in 5 steps

shutterstock_326495138Enough emphasis cannot be placed on the importance of planning when it comes to family drug interventions. One wrong word and the addict can be immediately put on the defensive, refusing to listen to anyone and shutting down in response to the message of the intervention. It is imperative that each person’s words in an intervention be carefully thought out and rehearsed in order to increase the chances that the addict will receive them.

Have a Clear Purpose for Your Family Intervention

The first step: making sure all those involved understand the purpose of an intervention. An intervention is a gathering of people who are close to the addict and have meaningful relationships with him. The goal is to communicate to the addict how his or her addiction has had negative consequences on those in the group and to persuade him or her to enter a drug treatment program.

Seek Professional Guidance for a Family Intervention

The second step: it is highly advised to seek the help of a professional interventionist. This individual is specially trained to help you plan for the many variables that can arise during an intervention. The interventionist also serves to mediate the group discussion and maintain productive communication between the addict and members of the group.

Have a Clear Plan for the Intervention

The third step: plan plan plan. Carefully select who will attend the meeting and coordinate what each will say. Determine a private place to hold the meeting and be very discrete about how you bring the addict to the meeting. The addict must be oblivious to the whole matter so they don’t have the opportunity to skip out. Identify which treatment program you will offer the addict and do the logistics planning ahead of time. Gather all pertinent information regarding program features, facility amenities, costs, child care arrangements (if applicable), etc. All of these are things the interventionist can help prepare.

Maintain an Atmosphere of Calm

The fourth step: keeping a cool head. Confrontation is never comfortable. It is personal, it is intimate, and it is exposing. Emotions run very high and the potential for combustion of personalities looms large. In this heated atmosphere, it is crucial to remain focused on the objective and continually direct communication toward this goal in the most respectful manner possible. Avoid judgment and harsh attitudes toward the addict so as to avoid losing them to hurt feelings and embarrassment.

Refuse to Give up

The fifth step: don’t throw in the towel. Your intervention may not work. Do not give up. People will ultimately do what they want. Just make sure that your loved one who is addicted to drugs or alcohol understands that his friends and family want him to be well and happy. Once her understands this and determines what he wants from life, he may return to you with the willingness to change.


Setting up a family drug intervention can be difficult and confusing. If you’re considering a family intervention, contact LEAD Treatment Center to speak with a recovery counselor who can advise you on the best possible outcome for the intervention. Our lines are always open so call 800.380.0012.