Mina Draskovic, B.Psy., reviewed this content for accuracy on January 18, 2024
It’s challenging to deal with a loved one’s addiction, but an intervention can be a critical step. According to NIDA, nearly 21 million Americans battled addiction disorders in 2022, while nearly 92,000 drug abusers overdosed in 2020.
But there is hope. According to the Association of Intervention Specialists (AIS), the success rate of interventions, defined as the individual agreeing to enter treatment, is between 80 and 90 percent.
This guide will offer step-by-step advice on organizing a compassionate and effective intervention, from gathering the right support to expressing concern without judgment.
If you’re struggling with addiction and you find yourself unable to kick the habit, you can count on Ardu’s addiction treatment center. We provide treatment and compassionate support you need to regain control of your life.
My daughter is in Ardu and she tells me how much she loves it there. As a mother of a person with both mental health and addiction issues, I was of course scared. I wanted her to be in a place that had good people, clean, intensive care. A place that my daughter would be able to open up and grown and become clear and sober. EVERYONE is so kind and caring its unbelievable…
An intervention is a planned gathering of family members, friends, and sometimes colleagues or professionals to confront someone about their addiction. The purpose of an intervention is to directly and non-judgmentally express concern about the severe repercussions of one’s addiction while urging them to stop destructive behaviors and accept help.
People struggling with addiction often cannot accurately assess the severity of their situation or the need for help. They will often downplay or deny the extent of their addiction, and refuse to acknowledge the harm it causes to them and their loved ones. The people who witness the effects of their addiction firsthand often recognize the situation’s urgency and identify the need for an intervention before the addict can.
While it can occasionally get heated, an intervention aims to communicate concern and the necessity of seeking help before addiction gets out of control. It’s important to know when an intervention is truly needed, as there are signs that indicate that a person is in desperate need of care and support.
Addiction is a serious problem. If you or someone you know is struggling and needs the care and support of a residential treatment center, please contact Ardu Recovery Center. We can provide customized treatment plans with a holistic approach to ensure a smooth path to recovery and effective coping strategies.
It can be difficult to recognize when addiction has taken hold and when an intervention is necessary. There isn’t a single warning sign that indicates the need for an intervention, but there are some red flags to look out for.
Here are some of the common signs that an intervention may be the right course of action to address an addict’s issue:
An intervention is a complex, emotional process, but when done thoughtfully it can motivate a loved one to seek the lifesaving treatment they need.
The basic steps to conducting a successful intervention are:
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Understand and be able to identify the signs of addiction so you can seek help for yourself or someone close to you. We understand that overcoming addiction is easier said than done, and we are here to provide support through the entire process.
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Through evidence-based group therapy and individual therapy, as well as holistic treatment methods, we address the underlying factors of addiction, helping you gain insight and develop effective coping mechanisms.
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An intervention involves gathering family, friends, and professionals to confront an individual about their addiction and urge them to seek treatment. It is a planned process that includes preparing statements, outlining consequences, identifying treatment options, and systematically persuading the person to get help.
The confrontation can be an emotionally charged event focused on expressing care and concern to compel the addicted person to admit their problem and agree to get specialty addiction treatment. Follow-up includes supporting the initiation of recovery and providing accountability.
The two main methods of intervention are the Johnson Model, which uses confrontation and direct persuasion, and Motivational Interviewing, which employs more listening and incentivizing the addict to make self-directed positive changes.
The Johnson Model relies on a structured intervention event with prepared statements and treatment ultimatums, while Motivational Interviewing unfolds through an ongoing counseling process to build internal motivation for reducing harmful behaviors. Both can provide paths to substance abuse recovery.
A simple intervention involves one or two caring individuals expressing concern to motivate someone to seek help. It is less structured than a formal intervention but uses candid, caring conversations to achieve breakthroughs. Simple interventions generally focus on specific problematic behavior and make appeals to an individual’s values and aspirations beyond their addiction to encourage positive change.
Generally, the intervention is planned secretly and the addict is not told ahead of time to avoid manipulation or avoidance. The element of surprise is used to maximize the impact when family and friends gather. Confrontation without warning elicits more genuine reactions and prevents the individual from concealing the severity of their situation, making excuses for their behavior, or attempting to escape.
The first stage of intervention is to consult with an intervention specialist to carefully plan the event, select participants, research treatment options, prepare statements, and confirm logistics. Proper groundwork performed by experienced professionals provides critical guidance to ensure interventions adhere to protocols, meet standards of care, minimize risks, coordinate timing, and promote accountability.
The intervention meeting usually runs 1-2 hours, depending on the number of participants and the discourse that occurs. Post-intervention, wait times for quality inpatient rehab program admission may be 1-4 weeks, during which families encourage compliance. Inpatient treatment itself typically takes 30-90 days depending on individual needs, followed by ongoing recovery through outpatient services.
There are many signs that could indicate substance use disorder (SUD). Here are some of the most common:
Many evidence-based treatment approaches exist for alcohol use disorder, including detoxification programs to manage withdrawal safely, inpatient rehab, intensive outpatient programs, and ongoing care through support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous to maintain long-term recovery.
Counseling helps change the thought patterns fueling drinking behaviors. Medications can help reduce cravings and support abstinence. Ultimately, multi-pronged treatment programs that are tailored to the individual are most effective in dealing with alcohol use disorder.
Interventions can provide many benefits when done properly, the most important of which is to have an addict accept rehabilitation treatment and get clean.
Interventions can also:
Qualified addiction counselors, psychologists, psychiatrists, healthcare personnel, and other certified professionals involved in interventions can:
NIDA IC Fact Sheet 2022 | National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2021, May 28). National Institute on Drug Abuse. https://nida.nih.gov/about-nida/legislative-activities/budget-information/fiscal-year-2022-budget-information-congressional-justification-national-institute-drug-abuse/ic-fact-sheet-2022
Intervention – What is the Success Rate? – AIS. (2023, October 20). AIS. https://www.associationofinterventionspecialists.org/intervention-what-is-the-success-rate/