What Is an Intervention?

An intervention is an orchestrated attempt by family and friends to get a family member, friend, or loved one to seek help for an addiction or other similar problems. When one has tried everything possible to inspire or convince their loved one that they need help, but they will not admit into a program, an addiction intervention program is a successful tool in helping you help your loved one escape from the grips of denial, rationalization and projection.

By approaching them from a place of love and compassion, with help facilitated by a addiction interventionist, you will be helping them understand the problem that they have and that a treatment program is needed. Using a professional interventionist will not only ensure that you have taken the appropriate approach, but will also give you peace of mind knowing that you have expressed your love and concern in a professional, impacting, and very effective manner.

Addiction Intervention Process

An intervention is a very strategic process that must be facilitated and properly executed by an addiction intervention specialist to ensure desired results. In order to effectively perform a substance intervention, an intervention team will be established and then thoroughly prepared with the information required for attaining success. All parties involved will understand the purpose, process and techniques of the intervention.

There is no guarantee that the intervention process will cause the individual to accept treatment. However, using a professional interventionist will ensure that process is explained properly, approached efficiently and executed strategically. When performing the intervention properly, chances will drastically increase that the individual will immediately commit to going to a treatment center. If they do not immediately go into treatment your interventionist will work with you and the family until they enter a program, the family is released from being in the direct path of the disease and how to stop the enabling process bringing the bottom up to them.

Every intervention is a success — whether it be a success for the family or the addicted individual.

The intervention process consists of four phases:

  1. Assessement
  2. Group Preparation
  3. Intervention
  4. Post-Intervention

Assessment Phase

  • Awareness of the availability for treatment
  • Discussing methods of treatment needed
  • Pre-meeting arrangement and expectations
  • Establishing the date and time of the intervention
  • Gathering information about the addicted individual
  • Establishing the best approach for the individual
  • Developing a powerful and productive intervention team
  • Understanding the risks involved

Group Preparation Phase

  • Development of self-pledge (boundaries and consequences)
  • Discussing risks and objections
  • Preparation of environment in which the intervention will be held
  • Educating the team about addiction
  • Understanding the effects of substancism
  • Understanding the intervention process
  • Understanding intervention techniques
  • Roles that will be played by each team member
  • Evaluation of three part letters
  • All questions will be thoroughly answered

Intervention Phase

  • Approaching them with love and compassion
  • Reading personal letters
  • Overcoming objections
  • Sharing detailed examples of erratic/bizarre behavior
  • Offering treatment to them

Post-Intervention Phase

  • Transportation of your loved one to a treatment facility
  • Follow-up with family members
  • Developing an after-care plan for family
  • Debriefing of the intervention process
  • Questions and concerns thoroughly discussed

Any two interventions are never the same, however, the processes show great similarities. Every intervention is successful for the addicted individual, the family and/or friends.

When the family has made their final attempt towards getting their loved one and themselves help from the disease of addiction, the healing process begins. Family counseling, Al-Anon meetings, and a briefing of the emotional process of the intervention will be discussed and what actions the team needs to do in order to heal the emotional, spiritual, mental and financial damage that has transpired over the course of their loved ones usage.

Models of Intervening

There are a couple types of proven addiction intervention models used to help with your loved one who is in denial of their addiction. Beginning with the first phone call, each individual is carefully assessed through a series of questions. Your intervention specialist will then design a custom intervention that best fits for helping your loved one.

Invitational Intervention or Systemic Intervention

An Invitational Intervention or Systemic Intervention is the best model to use when your loved one realizes that they have a problem, but they have become stagnant with their attempt to get help regarding their addiction. They will be expressing that they need help and they understand that they have a problem, but they are not taking the next step. Every other attempt has been made to get them to actually go into treatment. An invitational intervention works well with single adults, for friends who have already established themselves into isolation. Also, family healing is a target and recommended throughout this model, which is discussed and developed by the interventionist.

Surprise Intervention or Johnson Model Intervention

When leverage and direct consequences are readily available, a “surprise intervention” or the Johnson Model would be appropriate. This model works best with adolescents, college students, young adults living at home and spouses.

If your loved one continues to live their lifestyle with addiction and denies any help, it is time for the family to set their boundaries and self pledge in order to free themselves from the tight hold the addiction has on them. The addict is no longer enabled by others to continue his/her abuse with their substance such that it effects the family member and those closest to them. Also, family healing is a target and recommended throughout this model, which is discussed and developed by the interventionist.

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142 Comments on "What Is an Intervention?"

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Suzanne
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Suzanne
My ex of 9 years moved to Las Vegas for work right after I broke up with him. We have a son together and he said he thought the breakup was just a break and that we would eventually get back together. That was in 2013. Since then, he has not seen his son in over 2 years. His best friend moved out to Vegas with him but after months of lying and stealing his friends belongings and rent money for drugs, that friendship ended. My ex has abandoned his life; he doesn’t see or talk to any of his… Read more »
faizah rahman
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faizah rahman
My sister lives in Nebraska and we live in Ohio. Her husband has left with her two children to Ohio as well. She’s recently admitted to being on crack cocaine and c that she has struggled off and on with coke use. She’s in total denial. We’ve suspected drug use for years but just received confirmation. She also struggles with bipolar disorder as well as other mental health issues. We are terrified that she will not make it. My father is in his late 70’s and is a recovering heroine addict. Please help us intervene before she looses her children… Read more »
Michelle Niebuhr
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Michelle Niebuhr
My name is Michelle and I have been trying to help my son stop doing herion and its been a struggle I have tryed to get him to go to rehab and to meeting and I have called every where to get him in rehab and I can’t afford it so I’m losed for help I guess if you’re rich you get to keep you’re children safe if you’re poor you are plain screwed. My son is dying and I have seen him go threw Detox’s twice and ever time I see it I see my son dying and as… Read more »
LaVina George
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LaVina George

Hi my name is LaVina and I need some help with my mo. She’s addicted to crystal method and a alcoholic and I don’t want to lose her she just lost her brother my uncle and I’m really worries about her how do I go abouts getting her help from a interventionist plz I’m scared that she don’t have much longer if she continues what she’s doing

Angelica Hernandez
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Angelica Hernandez

My sister needs help her kids need help we need to help her we don’t know what to do she’s always drinking and we are afraid that now she’s doing some kind of drug