Published by Raffa Bari | Last updated: 31st March 2023


Clinically Reviewed by Dr. Olalekan Otulana (Advanced Practitioner)

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All information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.
Last Reviewed: 20th June 2022

Addictions are very serious conditions and may require a professional intervention followed by evidence-based treatments in a rehab centre in order to overcome them. Many addicts will refuse to admit that they have a problem with drugs or alcohol and so will not seek treatment, even though they definitely need it. This is where the intervention will come in.

If you’re not familiar with interventions or if you know someone who is suffering from an addiction and you want to find out more about interventions, read on to find out everything you need to know about what an intervention is, how to stage your own intervention and the keys to a successful intervention.


addiction intervention


What is An Addiction Intervention?

An intervention is a controlled type of persuasive confrontation that is designed to help break through the addict’s wall of denial. When an intervention is successful, it helps to motivate the addict to seek professional treatment. Many rehab centres can help with the process of interventions through an intervention specialist. They can give you advice on how to conduct your own intervention or they can put you in touch with an intervention counsellor who can take the lead in the intervention.

An intervention is one of the best things that you can possibly do to help your family member or friend with their addiction. When you get involved in the process of an intervention, you will be showing your genuine concern for your friend or family member’s health and welfare. This is often enough to help motivate the addict to realise that they do need help and to start the process of recovery.


Why Should You Conduct an Intervention?

Interventions are a very useful thing when you have a friend or family member who is suffering from an addiction. If the person you know with the addiction is refusing to seek treatment for their addiction, interventions can be very effective in helping to open the person’s eyes. The intervention can help them realise just how much their addiction is affecting their health, wellbeing, and the lives of those people around them.

Bringing friends and family members together in this way can be quite a powerful way to express the message to the person and it makes it much more likely that the person will end up listening to what is being said to them. This powerful experience can result in the addict accepting the messages from their loved ones and agreeing to go to a rehab centre to get the help they need to overcome their addiction.


What Happens During The Intervention?

An addiction intervention will consist of the person attending a pre-arranged meeting with their family and friends. This is often unbeknown to the addict until they arrive at the scene of the intervention.

Every family member or friend will need to write a speech directed toward the individual. This speech is read out loud at the intervention. The letters should typically aim to express how much the addict means to them, the effect that the addict’s actions and addiction are having on them, a description of how they want the relationship to work moving forward, and asking the addict to accept the proposed addiction treatments that are being put before them.


How to Stage an Addiction Intervention

Before you stage an intervention, you must take the time to prepare in full. You have to be completely ready to stage the intervention. Be sure that all of the attendees know their role in the intervention so that everything runs smoothly.

Below is a list of steps that may help you run a more successful addiction intervention:


  • Select all of the people that are invited to the intervention. Be sure to keep in mind that the group should be a small group of people closest to the addict.
  • Ask all of the attendees to think about what they want to share with their loved ones during the course of the intervention. Encourage each member to speak compassionately and sincerely.
  • Remind all of the attendees of the goal of the intervention. Be sure everyone knows that the end goal is to get the person to go to recovery.
  • Make sure everyone knows that they should avoid confrontations and criticisms.
  • Make sure everyone is aware that the addict may react with frustration, anger, or resistance.


Keys to a Successful Intervention

When conducting an intervention, there are several things that you should keep in mind if you want to intervention to be a success. These include the following:

Your Attitude

The point of an intervention is not to accuse the addict or place blame on them. Instead, the point is to show compassion, genuine concern, and support. You need to make sure you go into the intervention with the right type of attitude if you want it to be a success. You need to encourage and motivate the addict rather than scare them away.



Preparation is key when it comes to addiction interventions. It’s very helpful to have a rehearsal before the intervention with everyone present. That way, you can practice the order in which things will be said and this can help ensure everything runs smoothly on the day. Make sure everyone has what they want to say written down on paper. This will help to prevent the person from being overcome with emotion and saying things they don’t mean or things that may not help in the intervention.


The Consequences

The intervention should end by your giving the addict an opportunity to make a choice. This choice should be met with some consequences. For example, if the person does choose to attend rehab for an addiction treatment programme, you should offer your support or maybe offer to pay for it if you have the means to do so. If the person refuses to go through with the treatment plan, you should set some limits on things. For example, refuse them access to finances so that they can’t feed their addiction or explain to them that you can’t see them anymore if they continue with their addiction. These should all be actions of love.

Need more information on drug and alcohol rehab? Find out more by clicking on the links.

Raffa Bari

Raffa Bari - Author Last updated: 31st March 2023

CQC Registered Manager

Raffa manages the day to day caring services here at Cassiobury Court. Dedicated to the treatment and well being of our visitors she is an outstanding mental health coach registered with BAAT (British Association of Art Therapists). Raffa has outstanding experience in managing rehabs across the country and is vastly experienced at helping people recover from drug and alcohol addictions.

Dr. Olalekan Otulana (Advanced Practitioner)

Dr. Olalekan Otulana (Advanced Practitioner) - Medical Reviewer - Last Reviewed: 20th June 2022

Dr. Olalekan Otulana MBChB, DRCOG, MRCGP, DFSRH, FRSPH, MBA (Cantab)

 Dr Otulana is a highly experienced GP and Addiction Physician. He has a specialist interest in Substance Misuse Management and he has a wide range of experience in the assessment, management (including detoxification) and residential rehabilitation of clients with various drug and substance addiction problems.  His main aim is to comprehensively assess patients with addiction problems and determine their treatment needs for medical detoxification treatments and psychological interventions. He is also experienced in managing patients who require dual drug and alcohol detoxification treatments.

A strong healthcare services professional with a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) degree from Cambridge University Judge Business School.