How to Intervene So They Hear Your Message

How to Intervene So They Hear Your Message

The science of interventions has much to tell people about how and why interventions for people with addictions work. It is a tricky situation to confront a loved one with active addiction but it is done with best intentions and, when done well, can lead to the person seeking treatment and entering a whole new journey towards recovery. Find out ways to intervene on a loved one’s behalf so the message gets heard loud and clear that addiction does not get to have the last word.


Studies on Interventions


Families who struggle with addiction represent nearly half of all Americans. Many of the families are under-served and under-recognized. The ‘war on drugs’ is a critical source of influence in fighting on behalf of loved ones who are struggling. The following approach provides a good chance for success when faced with a loved one’s substance abuse issues when used appropriately.


Steps to Success


The topic of intervention can be a tricky one to handle with a loved one who has addiction. An intervention does not have to be big and dramatic to be successful. It may also be a quiet moment set aside to talk to the person about what has happened. Family members struggling with addiction and are resistant to help may be amenable to different types of interventions. Included are the following:

Al-Anon: though not designed to get a loved one into treatment, it helps for a percentage of people. A powerful message exists which can motivate people to enter treatment.

CRAFT: close to 2/3rds of loved ones enter treatment based on studies of CRAFT. Family members struggling with drugs and alcohol can find support through this intervention style.




Three steps exist to a CRAFT-style intervention that may be helpful for a loved one with addiction:

Step 1: Create a list of treatment options

The loved one may not be in any shape or position to figure out what to do at this point. It may help to have a family member make calls, ask about insurance, availability, wait lists and admission criteria.

Step 2: Identify wishes or dips

The motivation for change can ebb and flow. Learning to recognize the moments may help provide ideal moments to bring up the subject of treatment. A dip conveys a sense of frustration or may be evident in a sense of sadness, embarrassment about something that occurred due to drug or alcohol use.

Step 3: Practice what to say

Families learn in CRAFT how to communicate in a way that is gentle and positive. Step 3 is about using improved communication techniques and scripting what to say around the kitchen table and practice it.

CRAFT is an approach taught to a family, delivered by the family and can be used to convey the message of intervention in a respectful way which will have the best chance for success.

Treatment is a great goal to have but not every person is ready when a loved one thinks they should be. If your loved one is struggling with addiction, call The Villa. We can provide you with information and resources to support you in trying to help a loved one make a decision about treatment.