Are Drug & Alcohol Interventions Effective?

 In Addiction Recovery, Drug Addiction Treatment, Intervention

If addiction has taken over your loved one’s life there are probably a few things that you wonder on a regular basis…

Will they ever recover?

Are they going to die addicted?

What if they never seek help?

Will this addiction kill them?

Why are they making the choice to live their lives this way?

If they do want to get help, how do I help them? 

It’s important to know that these are normal things to ask yourself in this situation.

But at some point, you’re going to have to start thinking about taking action as well.

Take Action With Addiction Intervention

Interventions are effective because they get the addict to say yes to treatment about 90% of the time. This is when you may consider hosting an addiction intervention for your loved one.

It can be confusing on how exactly to approach someone with an addiction. Even more so, it can be complicated to assess what intervention tactics would be the most effective.

Below, we have outlined intervention tips and some complications as well. This is in hopes of giving you and your loved one a higher success rate because a successful intervention depends on the family unit and their participation.

What is an Addiction Intervention?

An intervention is exactly as it sounds.

The goal is to intervene between the loved one and the addiction, separating the two.

Most times, an intervention takes place in a comfortable location with a group of family or friends.

A family unit is most likely to confront an addict, due to them suffering the most from the addict’s actions.

Addiction interventions are used to express concern from the loved ones to the addict, but these concerns are usually grim in nature to highlight the severe consequences they’ve been dealing with because of the addict’s actions.

It’s important not to sugarcoat anything during these interventions.

Interventions usually occur when a family unit is strained, stressed and is left with no other option than to stage an intervention.

Sometimes, interventions can be overseen by a therapist or other mental health professional.

Interventions will either lead to the addict seeking treatment or denial of treatment and sometimes denial of the addiction.

This can lead to family strain and emotional distress.

In order to help facilitate an addiction intervention with a high probability of succeeding, we outlined some tips and information down below.

Tips for a Successful Intervention

  • Avoid guilt trips. Try not to point fingers at the addict or blame them for their behavior. Once they get into treatment, they can work on taking responsibility for their actions.
  • Make your loved one aware that addiction doesn’t define them. Make sure they know that you’re not mad at them, but rather, you’re upset at what the addiction and realize they are sick.
  • Do not be vague. The addict needs to know specifically how their actions are affecting you and the family.
  • Follow through. If you say that you will no longer be giving them money, mean it. If you don’t follow through, you’re not only enabling but also setting a bad example.
  • Be positive. Thinking and saying positive thoughts can lead to a more successful intervention. This is especially true if the whole family unit is keeping a positive mindset. This will make a more comfortable and inviting atmosphere to host the intervention.
  • Make a plan together. Seeking help for addiction can become overwhelming fast. Portray treatment in the way that it should be portrayed, as a positive experience. Talk about the plan moving forward and the positive things that will happen after they graduate treatment.

Addiction Intervention Risks

Does intervention have any risks?

The short answer is no.

You and your family attempting an addiction intervention will not make the addiction worse; however, hosting an intervention can lead to increased tension between you and the addict, so be prepared.

You may experience them lashing out, becoming disruptive or shutting down.

When faced with this challenge, explain how much support and love you’re willing to still give them.

Nevertheless, you should stick to your guns and follow the tips we’ve provided. Do not give in and continue any enabling behaviors because this will only make the situation worse.

About Family

You may be wondering how effective are interventions.

The truth is, it all depends on how strong your family unit is. If you continue to allow the addict to borrow money before and after the intervention, then it lowers the chance that the addict will seek help.

Enabling can be a huge hindrance during the intervention process; often, families are taking part in enabling behavior that makes the addict less likely to seek treatment for their addiction.

You will want to stick to anything you have taken away, whether figuratively or physically, from the addict.

More times than not, the enabling behavior consists of giving the addict money or giving them a place to stay. Keep in mind that you are doing this for their betterment.

Thinking positive thoughts, instead of thinking, “This intervention will never work,” is the first step to creating an environment perfect for growth.

Be aware that becoming a strong family unit could put a strain on your relationship with the addict; the family must communicate and stay strong. This will give the family and the addict hope for the future.

If You Are Still Wondering About Intervention’s Effectiveness

An addiction intervention is the best option to get a person into treatment. This intervention consists of a family unit coming together to confront the addict in, hopefully, a very positive and progressive environment.

However, these interventions can sometimes lead to hostility from the addict and increased family tension. It’s important to express your concerns and goals to the addict.

More so, you must stick together as a family and stop any enabling behaviors immediately. This gives the intervention the best chance at being successful and shows the addict that seeking help is the best option.

If you have more questions, reach out to us at 1(877)245-2384 and see how we can help you put an end to your loved one’s addiction.


[1] NIDA. (2018, January 17). Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition). Retrieved from on 2019, February 21

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