How Does Intervention Planning Work?

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Loving someone who struggles with addiction isn’t easy. You may express your concern, set boundaries, and have multiple conversations with them about getting help. The problem is many people who suffer from addiction also struggle with denial. Their addiction makes them believe they don’t need help or that their problems aren’t that bad. Sometimes, it takes a planned intervention to open a person’s eyes and convince them to get the help they desperately need.

Staging an intervention is a process with many steps. The planning phase is undoubtedly the most important part of the intervention process. If you fail to plan thoroughly and effectively, your intervention may not be successful and your loved one may continue using drugs and alcohol.

What Goes Into Planning an Intervention?

You should never go into an intervention blindly. Doing so will make it easy for emotions to take over, people to get heated, and the intervention to fail. Instead, it’s crucial to address each and every part of the planning process. Here are several different items you need to mark off your checklist if you want to plan a successful intervention.

Hire a Professional Addiction Interventionist

Addiction interventionists are people who specialize in convincing people to go to rehab. They are usually experienced substance abuse counselors or licensed social workers with many local community connections. These professionals can help you with every part of your intervention – from planning to follow-up care.

Interventionists have experience with crisis management and de-escalation. If emotions get heated during the intervention, this person is there to step in and make sure the process keeps going smoothly. They also know what it takes to successfully push a loved one into treatment, and they can supply your family with invaluable knowledge and support.

It is never advised to host an intervention without professional help. Here at New Jersey Addiction Interventions, our team of addiction specialists can help your family or your addicted loved one get the help they need.

Pick Your Intervention Group Members

After hiring professional help, you’ll need to figure out who exactly is going to be a part of this venture. Intervention groups usually consist of close family members like parents, siblings, and grandparents. They may also include close friends, extended family members, or co-workers. Anyone who has a close relationship with the addicted individual can be a vital part of an intervention.

If there is someone you aren’t sure about inviting, you have your addiction professional to consult with. Usually, the only people who aren’t appropriate for the group are those who do not have a close relationship with the addicted individual or those who are addicted to drugs/alcohol themselves.

Write Down What You Want to Say

Now that you have your group together and everyone is on board with the goal, it’s time to prepare and write down the things which you wish to say. It is always ideal to write down your ideas on a notecard or piece of paper so you don’t forget anything when the time comes. Interventions can be very emotional and stressful, so writing down the things you want to say can come in handy. It will also help you become more prepared.

Of course, knowing exactly what to say isn’t easy. You may feel as though you are walking on eggshells. Fortunately, you have a skilled professional by your side who can help you decide what you should and should not say during an intervention. Generally, you want to express your concerns, use “I” statements, and avoid placing blame on your addicted loved one.

Practice Your Intervention

The best way to prepare for an intervention is to practice as if it were the real thing. Sit down with your group and take turns practicing what you are going to say. Go through the motions as if your intervention is actually happening. When you are finished, the interventionist will give you and the group feedback. You may refine your statements or make any necessary adjustments. Practicing will help you feel more prepared when the time comes.

Pick a Date, Time, and Place

The next step in planning an intervention is to pick a time and place for the conversation to be held. It’s best to pick a neutral place where everyone feels comfortable and there is a level of privacy. A large restaurant or movie theatre is not the best idea. Instead, opt for someone’s home or a nearby park.

It’s also a good idea to pick a time in which your addicted loved one is less likely to be under the influence. If you know your loved one gets black-out drunk by 4 P.M., you may consider holding an early morning intervention to catch them while they are sober.

Make Arrangements With an Addiction Treatment Center Near You

Finally, before you put your plan into action, it’s important to make arrangements with a nearby rehab center. The interventionist you hired may have some recommendations or can refer your loved one to a reliable treatment center. You can also investigate local treatment options on your own to figure out what is best for your loved one.

Be sure the rehab center has an available bed on the day of your scheduled intervention. Make sure they are aware that you are staging an intervention and that they have any information about your loved one they need.

Get Started With Planning a Drug and Alcohol Intervention Today

Here at New Jersey Addiction Intervention, our addiction specialists will help you and your family stage an intervention and convince your loved one to seek professional help. Our innovative and solution-based techniques will help guide your loved one to the drug and alcohol rehab facility that will best meet their individual needs. We will be with you every step of the way.

If you or a loved one is in need of addiction resources for drugs and alcohol in New Jersey, contact us today for an assessment.

Medically Reviewed: July 14, 2021

Dr Ashley

Medical Reviewer

Chief Editor


All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

Dr Ashley Murray obtained her MBBCh Cum Laude in 2016. She currently practices in the public domain in South Africa. She has an interest in medical writing and has a keen interest in evidence-based medicine.

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

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