10 Tips for Organizing a Successful Intervention

10 Tips for Organizing a Successful Intervention

If you live with someone who is addicted to drugs and alcohol, an intervention is often the first step in getting them help.

Interventions are especially helpful when your loved one has refused treatment in the past. They are probably in denial, and listening to statements from their closest friends and family can encourage them to make the first step in getting clean. 

Below are ten tips on how to organize a successful and effective intervention.

  1. Make a plan

It’s best to speak first with a qualified counselor, addiction specialist, psychologist, social worker or mental health counselor. These individuals know how to work with addicts and can offer guidance and tips as you plan for the intervention. An intervention carries a lot of emotion, so it’s best to have a third party who can mediate the discussion and keep things on track. 

  1. Gather information 

It’s important to understand the nature of addiction, the extent of your loved one’s problem and what treatment options are available. Some people are unaware that addiction is a complex brain disease that causes changes in the brain. The more you understand about this disease, the more compassionate and helpful you can be. 

  1. Build your team 

Choose the people who will be on your intervention team. Your team deserves careful attention, as you only want to invite close family and friends who will participate in the intervention – preferably those who have a good connection with your loved one. Furthermore, it’s best to keep your intervention team small – no more than ten people. 

  1. Determine your consequences 

Ideally, you hope that your loved one will accept outpatient drug rehab in Agoura. However, if they don’t, you need to have consequences in place. Otherwise, you could enable your loved one’s behaviors. Before the intervention, decide what the consequences to refusing treatment will be. For example, will you ask your loved one to move out? Will you stop paying their bills or calling them into work? 

  1. Write down what you will say 

Interventions are not a time for impulsive comments or outbursts. Everything you say should be carefully constructed and rehearsed. Start by writing down what you plan to say to your loved one. Give specific examples of their behavior to illustrate your points. It’s harder for your loved one to argue if you have the facts. When you share your feelings, be sure to use “I” statements instead of blaming them with “you” statements. 

  1. Practice your speech 

Your intervention team should get together to rehearse your scripts. It helps to say things aloud so that everyone can hear what your loved one will ultimately hear. Your professional mediator can also offer feedback. If there are things that aren’t clear, you’ll have time to tweak them before intervention day. 

  1. Hold the intervention

On the day of the intervention, ask your loved one to meet you at a certain location and time. It’s important that they don’t expect anything, otherwise, they might not show up. It’s recommended to choose a private, neutral spot. Avoid public places or places where emotions may be attached, such as a family member’s home. Also, try to choose a time where your loved one is likely to be sober. 

  1. Use warm, open body language 

Stick to your script – this is what you have practiced and it will keep you on track with your discussion. If you wing it, you’re more likely to say things you don’t mean or lose control of your emotions. Use warm, open body language so that your loved one does not feel threatened. Remember, you want them to be open to accepting addiction treatment in Agoura. 

  1. Create a backup plan 

Some interventions do not go as planned. You must be prepared for this scenario. For instance, if your loved one refuses treatment, follow through with your consequences. But what if your loved one storms out of the room, yells, and screams or says ugly things? 

A backup plan will help you prepare for the worst. With so many different situations, it’s hard to say what could happen with your loved one. But, if you discuss backup plans with your intervention group, you’ll have a blueprint on how to respond. 

  1. Follow up

Not all interventions are successful. You can try again, though it’s best to wait a bit. The most important thing is that you follow through with the consequences and continue to support your loved one’s recovery. You can support them getting clean without supporting their addiction. In the meantime, be sure to take care of yourself by joining a self-help group like Al-Anon and talking with a professional counselor. 


Be sure to speak with an addiction professional before you plan for an intervention. Not only can they offer you and your intervention team helpful feedback, but also they can choose a safe place to hold the intervention. Additionally, an addiction professional will suggest treatment centers in Agoura Hills that your loved one can attend if they agree to help. 

To speak with Awakenings Treatment Center about our intensive outpatient treatment options, contact us today