Addiction Intervention

Addiction intervention is one of the most important steps in addiction recovery. It is often one of the first steps toward treatment. An addiction intervention helps a person realize their problem while letting them know they have support along the way. 

Contrary to popular belief, there are actually many different ways to hold an intervention. Depending on your loved one’s situation, some of these other intervention types might work better. At the end of the day, addiction intervention should create incentives and a supportive environment. 

What is An Addiction Intervention?

An intervention is usually a planned and carefully laid out process. Friends and family should be present during the process — this is to avoid unforeseen actions like what they say, where they gather, and when they gather. Having family present also helps the intervention stay on topic while avoiding blame, saying hurtful things, or accusations. 

Intervention should be positive and productive. Addiction intervention is not meant to put blame on the person or judge them. The person should understand the situation and the effects that their addiction has caused. It should be an open and safe environment to communicate and learn.

Friends and family can either stage an intervention themselves or consult a professional interventionist. A professional interventionist can set up the intervention and essentially lead the discussion. You might not need a professional, but it can certainly help in some cases. 

10 Steps for How to Stage an Intervention

Setting up an addiction intervention takes time and patience. There are steps you need to take to ensure an accurate and effective intervention. Here are a few steps that can help make an intervention successful. 

  1. Get Extra Help

Professional interventionists, social workers, and doctors can all be valuable additions to an intervention. This can also involve getting in touch with close family members and friends. Having a supportive group by their side can be a great help during an addiction intervention.

  1. Form a Team

This intervention team will be the core organizers. Typically, this group includes one or two close family members, coworkers, and friends. This group would also include the professional interventionist if available. It is also worth noting that if someone is struggling with addiction themselves, they should not be on the core organizing team. 

  1. Gather Information

It is best to be prepared and informed before the intervention. Seek out rehab centers, treatment options, substance abuse effects, and detox programs. Addiction intervention is a great way to segue into these options. CNV Detox offers a number of these services, and we’re ready to help you and your loved ones. 

  1. Make a Plan

An addiction intervention should be a planned event. Take the time to schedule a specific day, location, and time for it. You can also include a guest list to see who is coming. Additionally, you can map out how it will happen and who will speak. 

  1. Impact Statements

During addiction intervention, everyone involved should say something about the person’s addiction and how it has affected them. Impact statements help put in perspective how a person’s addiction not only affects them but everyone around them as well. Each statement should be honest and non-confrontational; it should not be an attack on the person. 

  1. Setting Boundaries

As hard as it can be, you must set some boundaries if the person refuses treatment. In many cases, people can unintentionally be enabling someone to continue using drugs or alcohol. It is effective to set the boundaries and make sure a consequence is put in place if the person refuses treatment. If a person refuses treatment, their relationship with friends and family should change accordingly. 

  1. Be Willing and Ready to Help

Everyone attending should be willing to help throughout the addiction treatment process. It can go a long way to offer help through detox, rehab, and treatment in general. You can help by attending therapy sessions and other support groups when the time comes. 

  1. Realistic Expectations

As planned out as an intervention might be, sometimes things don’t always go as planned. It’s important to know that the person may not be so willing to accept the intervention right away. Be realistic about your expectations and make sure to follow through on the consequences set in place beforehand. 

  1. Rehearse Beforehand

It can be beneficial to gather everyone together beforehand and rehearse. This way, everyone can be prepared to say their statements. The session may be emotional and vulnerable for some, which is why you should be prepared for the actual intervention. Plus this will give them a clearer look at what happens when someone will speak and when they don’t. 

  1. After the Intervention 

You should follow up with your loved one after the intervention. Whether they decide to accept help, making sure you check up on the person can be crucial. Their emotions and stress may be running high, it can be especially concerning for those struggling with addiction to be stressed. This can lead to relapse and can deter the rehabilitation process.

What Not to Do During An Addiction Intervention

There are a lot of mistakes that can come about if you aren’t careful. An addiction intervention should be an honest yet supportive event. Making sure everyone involved is on the same page is vital for a successful intervention. 

Here are a couple of things to avoid during and after intervention:

Intervention should not be an ambush, angry, hurtful, or based on shame. It should be an open and supportive environment that seeks to help the person, not attack them. 

Types of Interventions

What many people don’t realize is that there are a lot of different types of interventions. Let’s take a look at the different types of addiction intervention. 

The Johnson Model

The Johnson Model is the most common form of intervention with substance abuse cases in the U.S. It’s very similar to the style laid out above and seeks to help a person towards treatment and recovery. The Johnson Model lets a person know that they are surrounded by loved ones that want the best for them. 

Crisis Intervention 

Crisis intervention includes the help of police officers as they offer medical resources to those struggling with substance abuse, or mental health disorders. Clinical support and police help are used to treat these cases of addiction. While police may be involved, the person is not treated like a criminal. 

Brief Intervention 

Brief interventions are using small, one-on-one meetings with the person struggling with substances and a counselor/medical professional. These forms of interventions are typically seen after a person is admitted into a hospital for an overdose. 

You may also see these at some schools or community programs. You may set up a brief intervention with a professional interventionist, therapist, or social worker. They can be quicker and more intimate than other intervention options. 


SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-specific. As the acronym suggests, the SMART model is based on the idea that you should set clear and achievable goals for the person. This sort of method can be used during The Johnson Model or community intervention.  


ARISE is an intervention technique that is similar to The Johnson Model and uses some of the same techniques. It is a little newer than the Johnson Model. It is non-confrontational and seeks to enroll a person struggling with addiction into a rehab center and ultimately get them help. 

Family Systemic Intervention 

As the name suggests, family systemic intervention focuses on the family side of a person’s addiction (along with their struggles). In most cases of addiction, the situation affects not only the person but everyone around them as well. Family, friends, spouses, and coworkers are all impacted by addiction. 

How to Have a Successful Addiction Intervention

Having a plan and sticking to it can be all that’s needed for a successful intervention. Here are a few more pointers to ensure success. 

Get Help for Substance Use Disorder Today

Drug addiction can have crippling effects on a person and everyone around them. Getting professional treatment can help you or a loved one on the road to a happier and healthier life. CNV Detox is here to help you on your path to sobriety. Contact us today for more information on our detox and treatment programs.