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Intervention is an orchestrated attempt, by one or more people, to help a person get help with addiction. This usually happens in a group setting and is a surprise to the addict.

Intervention Overview

Do you think a friend or a family member is struggling with substance abuse? Are they are using some of the denial tactics mentioned below? If so, it may be time to stage an intervention.

“The motivational goal of an intervention is to make the addict understand.”

They need to know how their substance abuse is affecting their friends and families lives. The family members and friends should work to promote how being clean will have a positive impact on the addicts life. They want to highlight how unhealthy the addiction is and how it may lead to serious illness or even death.

Friends & Family Are Important

In the end family members and friends involved in the intervention may need to leave the addict with a choice. If the person believes that they have a choice in the matter than the belief is that the addict has influence in the action required to make change.

They feel that they can take responsibility and have a positive impact on their own life. A lot of addicts say they don’t need help so giving them the option to make the change themselves can be empowering.



Many people who abuse alcohol and drugs are unwilling or unable to admit to themselves, and others, that their substance abuse is a problem that needs to be addressed. It is common knowledge that the first step to recovery for anything is admitting that you have a problem. If you do not admit that a problems exists and are not willing to take the steps to address the problem than you are in denial.

Researchers claim a primary challenge in working with patients with substance abuse problems is breaking through the barrier of denial.  Successful confrontation (intervention) sets the stage for the addict to take action in regards to their substance abuse problems.

Common denial tactics addicts use:

  • Distorted perception of reality
  • Refusal to admit a problem exists
  • Claiming their substance abuse is controlled or not an issue
  • Outside pressures like work or relationships are there reason they are using
  • Hostility when confronted by friends or loved ones about the issue
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When Rehab is the best Option

Often times when a substance abuse addiction has gotten out of control and an intervention is taking place, the best option for an addict is to go to a residential (inpatient) rehab facility.

The addict has to choose to go themselves but it is best for the family and friends who are staging the intervention to make it a zero sum option. “Either go to rehab or we cut you off”. Make the addict understand all the benefits of a residential rehab facility and how it will positively impact their lives and those of the ones around them.