If someone you care about is struggling with substance dependence, you may feel unable to help him or her. Many people in your position experience hopelessness and guilt as they struggle to assist their suffering loved ones. But, you can find hope and help through intervention programs. Drug and alcohol intervention programs can offer you the support and guidance you need in order to encourage your suffering friend or family member to get treatment for addiction!

Thankfully, you don’t have to work alone to help your loved one. With help from professional interventionists, you can begin the process of assisting the person you love. You may be feeling hopeless now. But, by simply reaching out to professionals today, you can experience hope like never before!

Drug and Alcohol Intervention Program

Undoubtedly, it’s extremely difficult for you to watch your loved one struggle and suffer. Seeing someone you care about battle with addiction is one of the hardest things anyone can experience. 

There’s a lot of uncertainty in these situations. Most likely, you have felt alone and afraid, unsure about how or if you can help your friend or family member overcome substance dependence.

Whether your loved one is struggling with alcoholism or drug addiction, the effects on the individual’s life can be very serious. But, as you already know, substance misuse doesn’t just change the life of the addicted individual; it also changes the lives of those around the person.

You and your family have all felt the effects of your loved one’s addiction. You have all been negatively impacted by the issue and things will only worsen with time if your loved one doesn’t get the help he or she needs.

But, what can you do about it? If you’re like many others who are in your situation, you probably feel that there’s nothing you can do. Addiction is a disease and you can’t simply talk someone out of using drugs or drinking excessively. So, is there anything you can do to help the person you love?

Simply put, yes!

You can help the individual you care about by performing an alcohol or drug addiction intervention. And, with your help, your loved one can get the treatment he or she needs and work towards living a sober and clean life.

What is an Addiction Intervention?

Many times, people feel unsure about what to do for their loved ones who are suffering from substance dependence. It often seems like, no matter what you say, the individual seems to return to drug or alcohol use.

The truth is that dependence is not your loved one’s choice. In other words, the person you care about didn’t choose to become dependent on alcohol or drugs. And, most likely, the individual doesn’t want to be in this situation. But, his or her body depends on substances like drugs and alcohol. And, when the individual doesn’t drink or use a particular drug, he or she experiences extreme discomfort (withdrawal). So, in order to stop feeling that way, the individual resorts to substance use. 

Often, people who struggle with addiction feel trapped. They feel stuck in a lifestyle they never asked for, never expected. But, thankfully, there is hope for each one who is suffering!

Helping Your Loved One Through an Intervention

Of course, the best thing people can do when they’re trapped in the world of substance dependence is to ask for help. But, it’s not always easy to do so. Sometimes, people may not really even realize how far their substance use problem has gone.

So, it takes a little nudge from people they love and trust to bring the truth to their attention. This nudge comes in the form of an alcohol or drug addiction intervention. If you have a loved one who is struggling with substance dependence, you can help him or her by intervening in an understanding, loving, yet serious way.

Interventions are never easy for people to perform. But, sometimes, it’s the best way to help. Your loved one may not really see the truth about his or her substance use disorder. The negative effects that substance use disorder has had in the individual’s life may not be very clear or evident to the person. This is where you come in.

During an alcohol or drug addiction intervention, individuals select a neutral and comfortable setting where they and their loved one can meet to talk about the substance use disorder. 

There are a few things to keep in mind when planning and performing an intervention. It’s best to reach out to your loved one he or she is sober, if possible. And a calm, loving demeanor will always get the best reaction. An intervention should never be confused for an attack. 

Essentially, the family members and/or friends gather with professionals to talk to the individual about the consequences of the person’s drug or alcohol use. They also work to persuade the person to get professional treatment for their substance dependence. 

Signs That an Intervention is Necessary

The idea of performing an intervention may make you feel a little nervous. That’s completely understandable! No doubt, you’re wondering if you really need to do this. Well, it might help to know about a few signs that an intervention is necessary. If you do see any of the following signs, it might just be time to contact a professional and discuss the best way to intervene and help your loved one.

Your loved one may need an intervention if he or she:

  • Has difficulty avoiding drug or alcohol use.
  • Struggles to control how much he or she drinks.
  • Has become a danger to him- or herself and others. 
  • Becomes defensive whenever you talk about his or her substance use.
  • Seems unaware of how his or her substance use has affected others.
  • Avoids taking responsibility for his or her behaviors and actions.
  • Has experienced major health problems as a result of addiction.

Again, if you’ve noticed any of these signs, then an intervention is likely necessary. But, if you’re not sure how to go about it, professional alcohol or drug intervention programs can help you!

The Intervention Process: What to Do and What Not to Do

Staging an Intervention graphic

During a drug or alcohol intervention, a number of people that are close to a struggling individual come together to confront the person about their concerns. This should be done with love and kindness because a person in active addiction will not respond well to criticism and anger positively. The goal is to get the individual to see how many people are concerned about them and to see for themselves how harmful their addiction is.

With that being said, it’s important to be aware of the correct way to hold an intervention. There are specific things you may want to avoid in order to have a successful process. But, there are also things that are encouraged! Being mindful of these things can help you to properly prepare for the intervention.

What to Do During an Intervention

When holding an intervention, be sure to gather family members and/or friends that your suffering loved one trusts. These should people who make the individual feel comfortable. These should also be people that can remain emotionally stable throughout the meeting. After all, things may become challenging and difficult as you all speak about this serious and sensitive topic. The individual who is struggling with addiction may become very emotional. But, those who are holding the intervention should avoid letting emotions hinder them from doing what is necessary to help the struggling person.

Another thing you should do is choose the location wisely. When you meet with your loved one, you should do so in a neutral atmosphere. Be sure that it is not an environment that makes the individual feel uncomfortable. 

Finally, it’s a good idea to practice and rehearse before holding the intervention. This entails discussing who will speak and when. During the rehearsal, you should also discuss what should be said and what should be left out of the conversation.

What To Avoid in an Intervention

As you plan to hold an intervention, you should keep in mind the things that might prevent the meeting from being successful. Firstly, you should avoid holding the meeting without preparation. While it might seem somewhat spontaneous or unexpected from your loved one’s point of view, it should be extremely planned on your part. In other words, your loved one will likely not expect to be addressed about his or her substance use. But, you and your intervention team should be ready for the meeting so that the meeting goes smoothly.

Another thing you should avoid is the “blame game”. Your suffering friend or family member will already feel uncomfortable or uneasy as you discuss his or her substance use. Blaming the individual or making the person feel guilty will not help the matter. It will also prevent you and the individual from reaching a healthy solution. Also, introducing blame to the situation will only heighten negative emotions, causing the conversation to be unfruitful and, in most cases, hurtful.

Finally, avoid moving slowly. It’s important to act quickly when addiction is in the picture. It’s not likely that there will never be a moment when it “feels right” to intervene. The idea of approaching your friend or family member about their addiction may make you feel awkward or nervous. So, it’s natural to feel inclined to wait. But, the longer you wait, the more difficult it will become. 

Simply be sure that you do not hold the meeting when your loved one is intoxicated. Once you have the right team and location, it’s time to prepare for the intervention. Although it may be challenging, the intervention will prove to do more good than bad!

Getting Help From Drug and Alcohol Intervention Programs

At Discovery Institute, we realize how difficult it can be to get a loved one to agree to go to treatment. For this reason, we encourage and support interventions.

Discovery Institute offers guidance to those who are working to perform an intervention. From the planning process to helping with intervention best practices, we can help give you bring your loved one to recognize the severity of his or her addiction and agree to get help.

Our staff can also recommend people to assist with your intervention process. Many doctors, therapists, and even religious leaders are specially trained in alcohol and drug addiction interventions and can be present to help facilitate the conversation.

If you are able to get your loved one to agree to treatment, it is best to act quickly. You can contact us here at Discovery Institute to arrange treatment today.

At our treatment facility, we offer resources that can help both you and your loved one. We know that the addiction your family member is facing is serious. It is absolutely necessary for him or her to get treatment right away. But it is also important for you to have support and guidance throughout this time. So, allow us to provide all that you and your struggling loved one may need, including individual therapy, group therapy, and family counseling. 

Here at Discovery Institute of New Jersey, we work to help each person who comes to us for help. We also walk right alongside the families that are dealing with the effects of addiction. So, reach out to our staff today to get the help you need! We will do everything possible in order to help your family member or friend to recovery from addiction. Our team of compassionate and certified substance use counselors is ready to assist! Contact us today!

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MD

Dr. Jeffrey Berman is a psychiatrist in Teaneck, New Jersey and is affiliated with Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. He received his medical degree from State University of New York Upstate Medical University and has been in practice for more than 20 years. He also speaks multiple languages, including French and Hebrew.