What Can We Expect from a Family Drug Intervention?

What Can We Expect from a Family Drug Intervention?


Drug and alcohol intervention programs may be a last ditch effort to help a loved one receive treatment. Individuals who need treatment may not be ready to receive it right away which is why a family intervention can be a great strategy to support a person’s journey to recovery. Planning and treatment support are part of an intervention. Learn what else is expected from a family drug intervention and how to know if this is the right avenue to pursue for a loved one with addiction.


Planning an Intervention

Planning and preparation are key to a family drug intervention. The following are some key points to consider when developing a plan for an intervention.


Planning participant list

Prior to a drug and alcohol intervention, planning needs to take place. People specialized in staging interventions can be contacted to offer guidance and support through the process, which reduces stress and increases chances for success. Decide who will participate but keep in mind anyone who joins should not condone the actions of the person with addiction.


Planning place and time

A place and time should be decided upon prior to the intervention. Choose a place which offers privacy at a time when the person with addiction will be sober, lucid and most likely to consider treatment as a viable option (which is the ultimate goal of the intervention).


Planning what to say

Each person in the group should plan, even write out, what will be said. Many find it helpful to write a statement which is read to the person during an intervention to keep things concise and focused on how the person’s behavior impacted the individual.


Contact a treatment center ahead of time

Treatment should be prearranged for the individual with addiction. Childcare should also be prearranged to make it easier to go off to treatment without any excuses.


What to Expect

An intervention must be done at the right place and time. Inviting people who are impacted by the individual’s actions helps set the stage for a successful intervention. The following may be expected during an intervention:


  • Irritation – the person may become agitated but can be calmed by people offering reassurance everything is OK
  • Sharing – once the individual calms down, each member of the group may speak in turn, using factual information about the person with addiction’s behavior. Emotional outbursts and judgemental statements should be avoided
  • Ultimatum – group ends with providing ultimatum for person to decide whether to seek treatment or loved ones will stop enabling abuse. May include removal of financial support or excluding individual from family until treatment option is taken seriously



The Aftermath

Following through on promises made during the intervention will be important. Some individuals will comply while others may not. Be prepared to follow through with presented consequences that, while difficult, demonstrate the serious nature of the addiction and that everyone will do what is necessary to help the person recover.


Follow through is important with loved ones who need treatment. If you are thinking about staging an intervention, call The Villa to find out how we can support your loved one afterwards with our resources and programs.