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Posted: September 30, 2020
Updated: February 11, 2021

Friends and family members play an important role in the life of a substance abuser. Their involvement and support can turn an addict’s life around for the better.

An intervention is a meeting held by families and friends of the addicted party. It lets the person know that their loved ones are concerned about them. It is intended to make the addicted party agree to get help.

Interventions are often hosted by a mental health professional in who knows how to communicate with people dealing with addiction. These intervention services can make all the difference when it comes to getting loved ones to agree to treatment.

One way to show support is by offering intervention services. Keep reading to find out more.

What are Intervention Services?

An intervention is a planned conversation between an addicted person and their loved ones. Usually, a licensed alcohol and drug counselor or an interventionist supervises the conversation. 

The presence of a specialist is essential if your loved one has a history of:

  • A serious mental disorder
  • Violence
  • Suicidal attempts
  • Abusing mood-altering drugs 

Often, an addicted person does not seek help. It is because they do not think their addictive behaviors are problematic. Meanwhile, their loved ones have difficulties communicating and showing their concern. It is exactly when intervention services can act as a bridge.

Interventions help:

  • Encourage an addicted person to enroll in a treatment program
  • Set specific treatment goals and guidelines
  • Prepare you to respond positively if your loved one becomes hostile and rejects the treatment plan

What’s an Intervention?

Interventions are similar to a wake-up call. They help bring back individuals who’ve gone too far down the addiction road to be able to help themselves.

The harsh truth is that anyone who abuses any kind of substance will deny having a problem. That’s why having a caring friend or family member is so important.

Signs That a Loved One Needs an Intervention

Before you consider staging an intervention, look at the following checklist. Do you notice any of the signs?

  • Sudden changes in mood
  • Unexplained irritability
  • Preferring to stay alone more than usual
  • Missing out on usual commitments and responsibilities
  • Changes in appearance, such as weight loss, pale skin, or sunken eyes
  • Legal or financial problems that are out-of-the-ordinary

Different Types of Intervention Services

There’s no perfect moment for staging an intervention. It’s better to set it up as soon as you feel confident that there’s a real problem.

Here are four intervention types with a basic description of each.

Simple Intervention

This is an informal one-on-one session between you and the addict. Make sure it’s in a place where they feel safe and secure. Then, express your feelings and thoughts about that person’s addiction problem.

If you prefer, you can have a professional interventionist there during the intervention. They can provide answers to any questions either of you may have.

Family System Intervention

Interventions can also be a bit more formal. This is where family and friends join in to show their love and support.

You can even seek the help of a professional interventionist or therapy counselor. These experts are qualified to provide reassurance and support during the intervention.

Classical Intervention

This type of intervention is known as the Johnson Model. It includes everyone taking part in the intervention without the addict. It’s a way for the family and friends involved to discuss and prepare for all the possible outcomes.

Crisis Intervention

If an addict reaches a point where they become a danger to themselves and those around them, a crisis intervention service is necessary.

This is more impromptu with very little planning. It’s meant to assess and stabilize the situation.

The Dos and Don’ts of Interventions

There are certain things you should do and not do as recommended by medical experts.


Be Honest
Listen attentively
Gently explain all the risk factors including what they risk losing
Provide treatment options in an easy way


Say judgmental comments
Threaten them in any way
Come across as verbally attacking
Stage the intervention in a public area

A Final Note

Intervention services remind addicts of their value. They show them that there’s still hope for the future. If there’s someone in your life who shows any of the signs of a potential addict, don’t wait until it’s too late.

Watch out for the signs we mentioned. If you notice one or more, then you owe it to your loved ones to step in and rescue them. You could be the lifeline that saves them before it’s too late.