Staging an Intervention – Helping Addicts Make a Change

Help substance abuse addicts change by knowing how to stage an intervention 

Staging an intervention has proven to be an effective tool for helping addicts make a change. Whether an addict is in denial about their drug addiction or not, a well planned intervention can bring the addiction problem to the forefront and get the addict to admit that he needs help. Many addicts are in denial about their addiction and will often blame their problems on other people or events. This is a psychological defense mechanism called compartmentalization where an addict can separate opposing values and emotions. The addict has trouble admitting that his problems are caused by his addiction, but an intervention can connect his opposing viewpoints to bring his addiction into sharp focus. The goal is to lead the addict into a recovery program where he can get help.

There are many things a person should know before staging an intervention. The first thing to consider is the addict’s age. Seniors who have a drug or alcohol addiction often do better with less people in attendance. If the addict’s family decides to stage an intervention for drug abuse they should put one person in charge to lead the conversation. This person should be someone that the addict cares for and trusts. If you don’t think that your group is well equipped to manage the intervention, then you should hire an intervention specialist.

There are rules and a plan in operation when staging an intervention for drug abuse and everyone must stay in accord with the interventionist who will lead the dialog. There are specific drug abuse intervention techniques that should be followed for the intervention to be successful. Other things to take into account may be if the addict has a history of violence, suicidal behavior, mental illness or if he is taking mood-altering drugs. It is better to stage an intervention while the addict is in early addiction rather than wait to see if things will change. Most often any change an addict makes will be for the worse without an intervention.

There are specific goals that you should try to meet using drug abuse intervention techniques, such as:

  1. Help the addict realize that his behavior is not only self-destructive but that it is also negatively affecting his family and friends.
  2. Let the addict know that his family and friends will not continue to tolerate his destructive behavior and there will be consequences if the addict continues on that path.
  3. Get the addict to agree about changing his behavior.
  4. Let the interventionist explain how a drug treatment program can help the addict reach his goal to change.
  5. Explain the many things that a recovery program at a drug rehab center can offer the addict.
  6. Have the addict’s bags packed in advance and a place reserved for him at the rehab center, and after the intervention you can escort him straight into treatment.

A certified drug rehab center will physically and mentally assess the addict and a treatment program uniquely designed for him will be prepared. The first phase of treatment is the detox process to slowly wean the addict off of the drugs or alcohol. After the detox is successfully completed there are other therapy programs to help the substance abuse addict change his behavior.  Some of the therapies that the addict may be given are: individual and group counseling, family counseling, behavioral therapy, contingency management therapy, support group meetings and relapse prevention techniques.

To help substance abuse addicts change after they have completed the recovery program, they should be given a list of priorities such as:

  • Regularly go to support group meetings
  • Avoid high risk situations and toxic people
  • Celebrate every small victory as you progress in your recovery walk
  • Be honest with yourself
  • Learn how to say no
  • Ask for help when you need it
  • Make new friends who support your recovery
  • Develop a healthy, holistic lifestyle that feeds your body, mind and spirit
  • Rid yourself of negative thinking and destructive behavior
  • Be grateful for your new life and enjoy it to the fullest

The beautiful thing about staging an intervention is that you are helping addicts make a change for the better. Learn more about interventions at

If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

is a proud alumni member of WhiteSands Treatment. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At WhiteSands Treatment, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.