Addiction Intervention

A decision to carry out a formal intervention is underpinned by the stark recognition that when it comes to a loved one’s addiction, things simply cannot carry on as they are. If allowed to do so, suffering will only increase. The addicted person may well die. Read on to learn more about addiction intervention that can help your loved one.

The Addiction Intervention Process

The Stubborn Obstacle of Denial

The person who is consumed by the addiction is most probably not receptive in any way to the idea they need help. They may be in complete denial as to the damage they are doing to themselves and others. Their addictive relationship with a substance or behavior and protection it will have won out over the preservation of other relationships. While everyone else can see the harmful consequences racking up only too clearly, the addicted individual ignores them.

A Collective Confrontation

An intervention is a confrontation by a group of people close to the addicted individual. It is one that is structured, carefully planned and, above all, communicates care. While it may come as a surprise to the person, it should not take the form of an aggressive ambush, which is only likely to provoke resistance or cause the person to flee. The aim is to help the individual accept the need for help, hopefully motivating them to enter a substance abuse treatment program such as is provided by our luxury addiction treatment center here at Clinic Les Alpes. This will have been arranged on their behalf in advance. Intervention experts are sometimes attached to a private alcohol and drug rehab center although it is best to have several options available.

Careful Planning

If it is to have any chance of success — of which there is no guarantee — the intervention must be very carefully planned. It is not something to be taken casually or rushed into. Failure to acknowledge the range and strength of feelings involved or to give thought to how best to manage them could see the intervention go horribly wrong. It could make matters worse, presenting on a plate an excuse the person may be looking for to continue their self-harming behavior.

Professional Help

It may be wise to seek the guidance of an addiction professional and preferably one who is a qualified interventionist like our colleague here at Clinic Les Alpes. Having a thorough picture of the subject of the intervention by the family, including any particular aspects of the person’s condition, such as co-existing mental ill health and personality profile, will help the professional to advise about the best approach. It may be decided that they do not need to be present at the intervention itself, although this is generally thought advisable as the professional can help to ensure that everyone sticks to the purpose and in the manner that was earlier endorsed by all.

Who Should and Who Shouldn't Take Part in the Addiction Intervention?

Agreeing who should take part is a vitally important decision. Numbers may vary and there is no hard and fast rule. However, an intervention by several people may have more impact than just one or two and may help indicate a breadth and unanimity of view. The trusted professional’s advice will be helpful when it comes to selecting the people in the addicted person’s circle who will be there on the day. Only people who the person knows well and is known to respect, trust, love and rely on should be included.

No one should be part of the team who has the urge to punish, shame, or condemn, or seeks some sort of retribution for the hurt suffered or who is looking to take control of the subject. Nor should anyone take part who has difficulty containing their feelings or who may themselves suffer from untreated mental illness or addiction. While being open about their own feelings and the impact on them personally, love, empathy, and compassion must lead.


Adult people on chairs during intervention for substance abuse.Once formed, the team can begin preparing for the intervention. This involves members collecting and sharing information about the loved one and how their addiction has or is affecting them. The where, when, and for how long can be determined at this time. An invitation to the subject of the intervention will not be issued until very near to the chosen date, a check having first been made as to their availability. It will be important to allow sufficient time as it may well not go smoothly. Patient and calm persistence may be required.

The Process

With the help of the professional, the team will agree on how the meeting will be facilitated, the nature of the feedback to be given and how it will be communicated to their loved one. Usually, participants compose short letters, their contents and tone having been approved by the others. These letters must focus solely on the addiction and present clear evidence of the problem and its effects. They will be read in an agreed order. They inform the family member of the writer’s concerns and how they have been affected by that person’s addiction. They will explain their desire, born of love and care, to see the person accept help, enter treatment, and take the steps necessary for recovery. They will make clear the support that will continue beyond the intervention. Hopefully, this will include the willingness of family members to be involved in the treatment process as well as seek support for themselves in their own right. To avoid the risks that come with procrastination, the addicted person will be asked to make a decision there and then.

In the Event of Refusal

Each member of the addiction intervention team will have clarified with the others what the consequences will be as far as they are concerned if the person refuses to accept the help being offered. This should not be presented in the form of a threat but simply as a statement of how that person will cope with such a refusal.

Optimism but No Certain Outcome

While it is impossible to conduct an addiction intervention that will pre-determine a positive outcome, it is known that some approaches rarely help or even make matters worse. These are generally the ones driven by anger, frustration, a sense of lost control, and despair. It is as well to remember that this is not a place or time for judging a person who no doubt judges themselves more harshly than anyone else. The aim is to help a loved one come to accept the offer of help they clearly need; help that may save their life. A private rehab center like Clinic Les Alpes, often described as the world’s best luxury rehab, is ready to receive people admitted after intervention and does so with the utmost care.

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