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Those afflicted with a drug or alcohol addiction often fail to understand the health and emotional consequences of addiction and often minimise the seriousness of the situation in their mind. Often, arriving at a solution seems impossible. Even if you search the internet for a solution, the options available probably seem vast and confusing. Any solution you do find may be dismissed as unnecessary by the addict concerned.

Ultimately, there are five key things to know and remember at all times about intervention. They are as follows:

  1. An intervention is a strategic plan to help a loved one to seek treatment for their addiction
  2. The ultimate goal of the intervention is to ensure the person who is addicted to particular substances gets the help and support they need
  3. An intervention is not a shaming, judgemental, or blame-passing activity
  4. Intervention is all about creating a safe, empathic and healthy environment for all involved
  5. Interventions can be emotionally difficult, but they are worth it in the long run

How does an intervention work?

Intervention is, in essence, a meeting between family, colleagues or friends which takes place in the presence of the addict and most sensibly, a professional addiction counsellor.

The counsellor will take guiding charge over the meeting and will control the flow of the discussion. This ensures charged emotions are kept at bay on both sides of the fence.

The professional intervention of this nature often means the addict will take the proceedings seriously from the start. The aim of the meeting is to ensure the addict fully appreciates the health implications of his or her addiction and so that the addict understands addiction to drugs and alcohol is considered a medical illness like any other.

Ready to get help?

At Rehab 4 Addiction, we offer high-quality rehabilitation & detoxification services tailored to your individual needs.

To discover your road to recovery, call us today on 0800 140 4690.

What kind of issues can be intervened on?

At Rehab 4 Addiction, we have years of experience in treating all sorts of substance addictions, mental health disorders, and other behavioural issues. The three main problems we are dedicated to helping, and the three most common types of addictions that require interventions are:

1. Alcoholism

  • Alcoholism is the addiction, overuse, and dependency on alcohol

2. Prescription drug use

  • Prescription drug use becomes a problem when someone begins to use prescription drugs outside of the direction of a doctor, in larger quantities than the doctor recommended, or more often than recommended

3. Drug abuse

  • Drug abuse is the overuse of addiction to or dependency on drugs

How will I know the right time to intervene?

A key aspect of interventions is timing. It is easy to postpone an intervention for fear of upsetting or even worsening the habits, of the addict in question. Furthermore, the fact that you love and care for the person who is suffering makes it even more difficult for you and those who also want to intervene to broach the topic of getting help for an addiction.

However, it is integral to remember that in the long run, intervention could save your loved one’s life. Although it may be difficult to accept and undergo.

The following are some of the main signs that an intervention is needed:

  • Secretive behaviour
  • Borrowing lots of money
  • Legal or financial problems
  • Frequent aggression
  • Mood swings
  • Distancing from people
  • Deteriorating appearance
  • Issues at work/school
  • Health problems
  • Building tolerance to substances

Do I need the help of an interventionist?


If you have a friend, colleague or family member who is unfortunate enough to suffer from drug or alcohol addiction then it is likely you are unsure how to help the person concerned.

For this reason, professional addiction intervention is often the smartest move you could make in ensuring your friend, colleague or loved one receives the required help. Choosing the help of a professional counsellor to conduct an intervention meeting in the presence of all those concerned could be the solution you seek.

In fact, by intervening without the help of a professional counsellor you could risk making the situation even worse. The addiction has likely taken over your friend or loved one’s ability to rationally deal with your concerns and without the help of a professional, resistance is likely to arise.

According to current statistics both in the US and in the UK, 90 per cent of interventions staged by friends and family actually finish successfully – but only with the help of an intervention specialist. Further studies reveal that the addict in question is up to five times more likely to agree to enter a rehabilitation programme when an intervention specialist is present.

Experts believe this is due to them believing they ought to conform or act in a certain way. However, it is also widely accepted that having an addiction industry professional present indicates the severity of their addiction, the amount the family cares for the addict, and the lengths they are willing to go to for the addict in question to enter treatment.

Ultimately, guidance from a professional interventionist should be sought if the addict in question has one of the following criteria:

  • Is expressing depressive or suicidal behaviour or emotions
  • Is using several mood-altering prescription drugs
  • Has a previous violent/ aggressive history of behaviour
  • Has moderate to severe issues with mental health

How to successfully stage an intervention

Below, we have provided some useful guidelines to bear in mind when planning and organising an intervention. Each situation will vary from person to person, but the main thing to bear in mind is what will be the most effective method of getting your loved one who is suffering into the correct treatment.

A good and well-tested action plan consists of:

You can hire what is known as an intervention specialist to help you plan and execute your intervention. They have the training required to ensure that the intervention will have the highest chance of success possible and will know how to diffuse a potentially hostile situation. While an intervention specialist is not necessarily required, it is highly recommended.

After you have your specialist, you will want to consider who you want to be a part of the intervention group; the specialist should be able to help you figure this out. Start by figuring out approximately how many people you want there and then consider who you want. It should be people close enough to the person to get a response, but not someone that would immediately put them on the defense.

Once you have the group, start to plan out what you are each going to say and when, and then practice, practice, practice. When it comes time for the intervention, you do not want to appear jumbled, unprepared, and chaotic. Practicing the order and structure of the intervention will not only make you appear calmer and understanding of the addict in question. It will also help boost your confidence which may be much needed when approaching such an emotionally charged subject as your loved one's addiction.

As far as to place, you generally want to pick a neutral territory. If you go into their space, they may feel as if you have intruded, but they also may not be comfortable in your space. Ideally, pick a place where the person in question cannot run away when confronted (i.e. to their bedroom or bathroom.) But it is also essential that they are not in a place where they feel they will be overheard by strangers (in public) or where they may be at risk to others or themselves (near a busy road.)

Time-wise, it really depends on everyone's schedules, but you should consider making it a priority, even if you have to move other things around. Remember the ultimate goal is to get your loved one into recovery, so the whole intervention should be orchestrated around that.

It is crucial that you find the right time when the person in question is sober. This is so that they can fully take on board what you are saying, and also it eliminates the risk of them becoming violent, aggressive, or dangerous to themselves while intoxicated or high.


The intervention could go any number of ways, and you should be prepared for that. Be prepared for what the next steps will be if they are receptive and what your next steps will be if they are not. Also, have a plan in place in case things get hostile.

How do I make an intervention most effective?

Below is an outline of the key things to remember when staging an intervention. These guidelines should be adhered to at all times, to ensure the right message is being portrayed to the one who is addicted, and that the best possible outcome is obtained:

  • Do not make the meeting a time the person is generally highly stressed
  • Do not yell or make the addict feel ashamed
  • Be specific when you are explaining how the addict’s choices have affected you
  • Keep to the point. Avoid rambling
  • Follow through with what you say. For example, if you say you are going to stop giving them money, do so

The main stages of an intervention

There are three stages to an intervention meeting which we have outlined below:

1. Pre-intervention meeting

Before the meeting begins our counsellor will meet with you to ensure he or she understands the addict’s addiction history and any special circumstances which must be dealt with during the intervention meeting.

The counsellor gathers notes on:

  • The history surrounding the addiction
  • The temperament of the addict concerned
  • Addiction and non-addiction related health concerns
  • Information of each attendee including information on their relationship with the addict
  • Any other relevant information

2. During the meeting

Once the meeting has begun the counsellor will transition into rehabilitation options open to the addict. Options typically entail rehabilitation of a residential nature where the addict moves into the centre in order to complete detoxification and subsequent counselling. During detoxification, powerful withdrawal symptoms will be monitored 24 hours a day by our medical staff until stabilisation is achieved.

During the intervention, each person present will gain an opportunity to voice their feelings. The mood of the meeting will be positive. Negative feelings such as blame, guilt and intolerance will be avoided throughout. Instead, the meeting will focus on a positive and supporting environment which is conducive to change.

3. Action plan for change after the meeting

Rehab 4 Addiction’s team of qualified counsellors carry out intervention meetings throughout the United Kingdom. Professional intervention is often the first milestone in the addict’s long term recovery plan. During the conclusion of the meeting, the counsellor will re-iterate what was covered during the meeting and a rehabilitation action plan will be drawn up. Typically by the conclusion of the meeting, the addict will recognise he or she has a problem.

If your intervention goes well, the person should agree to get help, but if they do, it is important that you act quickly before they have too much time to change their mind.

It is important to find a good treatment program before the intervention takes place so that your loved one can begin treatment as soon as possible after the intervention is over. This will reduce the chance of them changing their mind as a plan has already been implemented.

What do I say during an intervention?

During an intervention, each person should take a turn explaining how the addiction is affecting them personally, how they see the addiction affecting the addict and list out any worries/grievances in a calm, non-aggressive way. If done right, an intervention can be a great time for not only the addict to get help, but for the other people to vent and get some relief.

The general tone acquired by those staging the intervention should at all times be calm, collected, and understanding. Below we have listed some useful phrases that have worked well during interventions in the past. It is a good idea to work these sentences into the intervention plan, to remind the one who is struggling with addiction that it is not their fault, and that help is available:

  • “You have done so much for me/ us/ our family. Now let us help you”
  • “I care and I love you”
  • “I’m worried about the effect your problem will have on our children/ our family”
  • “I am always here for you, and I will be through every step”
  • “There is help out there and we will get through this”
  • “Addiction is an illness, and I am here to help you get better”

Contact Us Today

To help your loved one on their road to recovery, call us today on 0800 140 4690.

What not to say during an intervention

There are two main things you want to avoid when implementing an intervention. First of all, you do not want to have a spontaneous intervention as generally, that leads to many different things going wrong. There may be moments where no one knows what to say or moments when someone says something a little too aggressively.

Second, though you do want to appear serious, you do not want to appear as if you are attacking the person, as then they will very quickly become defensive, and you will probably get nowhere.

Phrases to avoid that are easily uttered under pressure or emotional difficulty are:

  • “This is all your fault”
  • “Can’t you see the damage you’ve done?”
  • “Useless drunk” or “hopeless druggie”
  • “Only you can do this on your own”

As a general rule, avoid negative language and focusing on their failures as this will only exacerbate the situation or their addiction. Avoid using labels or hurtful names and terminology as this will only incur a feeling of shame and guilt.

What do I do if an intervention goes wrong?

Interventions can go wrong – and some do. The most important thing is to ensure the safety of yourself, the members of the group, and the addict. If things seem to be taking an aggressive or dangerous turn, do not hesitate to call the police and get them involved. While it may not be what you want to do, it can be necessary to ensuring everyone stays safe.

Statistically, hiring an intervention specialist results in the best possible outcome: meaning, your chances of a successful intervention drastically increase if there is a professional interventionist present to help steer the meeting.

These experts have been trained in conflict resolution, calming down potentially aggressive situations, and can help remind those involved of the key elements of an intervention.

Of course, interventions do not always work as emotions are generally running high. When that happens, you should be aware that sometimes communication will get cut off for a period of time. Sometimes an addict may respond angrily or as if they have been insulted, and they often cut people out of their lives for a while.

This can incur feelings of guilt and hurt in those who were only trying to help. However, you must remember that their reaction is part and parcel of their addiction, and your actions only came from a place of love and compassion. You are not a bad person for bringing up emotional or unpleasant concepts in the addict’s life. If your intervention does not go as planned, try thinking of ways you can improve the next one. An intervention specialist will assuredly help you with this.

Seven myths about intervention

Interventions are commonly seen on TV shows and are often perceived as life-changing ultimatums or profound moments in a family’s life. While interventions are life-changing and do have a profound effect on an addict’s future, there are common misconceptions surrounding these meetings which we hope to dispel.

The following seven notions are myths that people commonly believe, but are actually not true:

  • You should wait until a person hits rock bottom before intervening
  • If an addict is strong enough, they can get sober
  • If rehab failed once, it will definitely fail again
  • Addicts do not have good morals
  • Addicts will end relationships with those who try to intervene
  • Intervention should be staged when the addict is under the influence
  • Only family and friends should be involved

Start the intervention process today

If an intervention is successful, an addict will enter a treatment plan, but how do you help them then? In most treatment programs, they will have access to lots of professionals to help them work through their personal issues.

If you can simply continue to support them, but also as they go through the process, it is okay to need to talk to them and even get upset with them about how their addiction affected you. Dealing with that will help your relationship heal.

At Rehab 4 Addiction,  we run intervention meetings throughout the United Kingdom through our extensive network of professional rehabilitation centres. We are able to offer quick interventions, usually within 48 hours.

Let us help you

In our inpatient facilities, you will get 24/7 support and care from specialists and therapists who have years of experience. They will do everything they can to help you, whether it’s one-on-one sessions, supportive therapies, holistic treatments, and much more. You’ll be able to stay sober without the temptations to relapse during the stay in our facilities.

You can expect high quality and complete and total dedication to our patients.

All of our facilities and centres offer the highest standard of services which include:

 

  1. Prescribed Medical Detoxification
  2. Drug & Alcohol Rehabilitation
  3. Proven Counselling Treatments
  4. Holistic Therapies
  5. 12 Step Recovery Model
  6. One-to-One & Therapy
  7. Motivational Interviewing
 

  1. Trauma therapy
  2. Psychiatric assessments
  3. Dual diagnosis care
  4. Aftercare & Ongoing Therapies
  5. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
  6. CQC Registered
  7. 24-Hour Care

At Rehab 4 Addiction, we pride ourselves on the quality and depth of advice we provide to those seeking recovery from addiction. Our admissions team offer a referral service for people seeking treatment for alcoholism, drug addiction, behavioural addiction, and eating disorders.
Call 0800 140 4690 today to speak to one of our team