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Drug and Alcohol Intervention

Intervention Services for Drug and Alcohol Addiction

Intervention can be the key role in assisting an alcoholic or addict with making the critical decision to get help. An intervention is an orchestrated attempt by one, or often many, people (usually family and friends) to get someone to seek professional help with an addiction or some kind of traumatic event or crisis. It can also refer to the act of using a technique within a therapy session.

Interventions are either direct, typically involving a confrontational meeting with the alcohol or other drug dependent person (the most typical type of intervention) or indirect, involving work with a co-dependent family to encourage them to be more effective in helping the addicted individual. In the same sense, direct interventions tend to be a form of short-term therapy aimed at getting the addicted person into inpatient rehabilitation, whereas indirect interventions are more of a long-term therapy, directed at changing the family system, and therefore promoting healing of addiction.

Plans for a direct intervention are typically made by a concerned group of family, friends, and counselor(s), rather than by the addict. Often the addict will not agree that they need the type of help that is proposed during the intervention, usually thought by those performing the intervention to be a result of denial. One of the primary arguments against interventions is the amount of deception required on the part of the family and counselors. Typically, the addict is surprised by the intervention by friends and family members.

Prior to the intervention itself, the family meets with a counselor (or interventionist). Families prepare speeches in which they share their negative experiences associated with the target’s particular addiction-based lifestyle, to convey to the target the amount of pain his or her addiction has caused others. Also during the intervention rehearsal meeting, each group member is strongly urged to create a list of activities (by the addict) that they will no longer tolerate, finance, or participate in if the addict doesn’t agree to check into a rehabilitation center for treatment. These usually involve very serious losses to the addict if s/he refuses.  Addicts generally choose to go to the treatment center rather than accept the consequences.


Our articles are written by individuals who have seen addiction up close. They may have watched addiction take a toll on someone they loved or had their own battles with substances, and they write for us to spare others some of that pain and confusion. If you find these writings useful and would like to speak to someone who gets addiction, call us at (844) 826-1700.

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