What Is An Intervention?

how to have an intervention, what is an intervention

Addiction is a deadly disease that affects more than the afflicted person. Friends and family members must deal with the trials and tribulations associated with addiction, such as lies, deceit, betrayal, and criminal activity. One question people often have related to addiction is what is an intervention. How an intervention works and what takes place are often misunderstood.

Often, those in the troughs of addiction want help. Unfortunately, they do not always have the ability to seek out the help they need. In such times, it may be time for family and friends to step in. When this situation presents itself, an intervention may be necessary.

An intervention occurs when a group of people close to the situation come together and attempt to show the person suffering from addiction that their disease is causing harm to themselves and others.

Interventions can be a difficult thing to understand and the process will undoubtedly raise numerous questions. This article will answer the most important questions regarding the process of an intervention.

When is an Intervention Necessary?

While every case of addiction is different, there are a few telltale signs that an intervention may be necessary. If the person in question exhibits these signs, it may be time to stage an intervention. Signs include:

  • Losing Passion for their hobbies
  • Consistently being tardy or absent from responsibilities
  • Constantly struggling with financial stability
  • Continuous displays of impulsive or irrational behavior
  • Sudden Development of insomnia

Of course, addiction is not always the cause of these issues. A lot of these behaviors can also be evidence of mental health issues. Unfortunately, mental health struggles and addiction often go hand-in-hand. In fact, over half of those struggling with addiction also suffer from mental health issues.

Many people afflicted with addiction are not always cognitively aware of their mental health issues. They often become addicted to drugs or alcohol after subconsciously self-medicating. If you believe this is the case with someone you are close to, it may be time to plan an intervention.

How to Decide Who Will Participate in the Intervention

After deciding that an intervention is necessary, the next step should involve choosing who will participate. The first person on the list should always be a trained professional. Their help and insight can be invaluable in guaranteeing the success of an intervention.

Other than a professional, participants should include adult family of the diseased. In some cases, children of the diseased old enough to grasp the severity of the situation should be included.

Involving friends is also a smart decision. If the target of the intervention has a significant other who is not also struggling from addiction, they should be included as well. Additionally, struggling addicts who participate in religion could benefit from having members of their religious community present.

The Goal of an Intervention

The ultimate goal of an intervention is to encourage the afflicted person to enter treatment for their addiction. This should be kept in mind throughout the intervention by all participants. The addicted person may initially feel betrayed by the participants, or feel they are being judged by loved ones.

During the intervention, the goal of each participant should be to communicate the hurt addiction is causing without being accusatory or attacking the diseased person. By keeping this goal in mind, the diseased person is more likely to come to the conclusion that treatment is necessary.

What Should Participants Say During an Intervention?

Due to the vulnerable nature of the event, no one should participate in an intervention without receiving training first. Training will prepare the participants with proper modes of communication. Topics of conversation should communicate:

  • How the participant’s life has been negatively affected by the afflicted person’s addiction
  • The changes the participant has noticed since the addiction started
  • The future participants see for the afflicted person once the addiction is overcame
  • The love that the participant holds for the afflicted person

Sticking to proper lines of communication can help ensure the success of an intervention. The addict must not feel attacked or abandoned, but still understand that continuing their addiction will force participants to stop enabling and remove themselves from the situation.


Watching someone you care about struggle with addiction is a painful process that can leave you feeling helpless. When it becomes clear that the person in question cannot help themselves, it may be time for an intervention.

Interventions are designed to help the addicted person come to the realization that treatment is their only remaining option for recovery. In order to encourage success, interventions should be carefully planned with the assistance of a professional. All the necessary steps should be taken, as interventions often come as a last-ditch effort by families and loved ones.

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