Types of Addiction Interventions

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Get a free mental health assessment and find out what treatment options are most suitable for you. Depending on the extent of secondary behavioral disorders such as addiction we can first help assess your condition and thereafter guide you to suitable treatment options.

An intervention is an organized confrontation with a loved one about their drug or alcohol addiction. It can involve anyone (family, friends, and coworkers) who has a relationship with the individual.  They then use the opportunity to express how the person’s addiction has affected them.  An intervention is not a form of addiction treatment but often a means of convincing a drug or alcohol addict to seek treatment from a rehab facility.

According to the National Institue on Drug Abused (NIDA) [1], treatment does not need to be voluntary to be effective. Sanctions or enticements from family, employment settings, and/or the criminal justice system can significantly increase treatment entry, retention rates, and the ultimate success of drug treatment interventions.

Drug & Alcohol Abuse Intervention Services

Anyone who has been close to a long-term alcoholic or drug addict knows that getting someone to quit is tough.  Denial is a powerful force that keeps a tight physical and mental grasp on its habitual users. Ready to approach them to get help?  It’s crucial that you have the right strategy–and the right help.  The best way to go about such a sensitive topic is to work with a seasoned interventionist like one of ours at We Level Up FL.

Types of Interventions

Just as addiction treatment is not a one-size-fits-all process, neither are interventions.  There are multiple types and can vary on the setting, the number of people involved, as well as their relationship with the addicted person.


A simple intervention is the least confrontational of all.  More often than not, is merely a conversation acknowledging the person’s addiction and asking them to seek treatment.  Rather than involving a large group of people, it usually consists of one or possibly two individuals.  Despite the simplicity of this approach, this method can be quite effective even without the presence of an addiction counselor.


This kind is usually impromptu and occurs when the addicted person has become a danger to themselves.  The goal of this approach is simply to stabilize the situation and keep them safe. Convincing them to go to rehab can be a topic of discussion, but is not the prime objective in this situation.


Also known as the Johnson Model, like the name would suggest, this is the most mainstream type of intervention and the kind that comes to mind when the term is used.  It involves prior planning with all participants (except the addicted person) which usually includes close family members and close friends.  The key element of this intervention approach is that the confrontational is a surprise to the individual.  Alcohol and drug abuse intervention services can help tremendously in both the planning stage of the intervention as well as during to maximize effectiveness. 

Family System

This type of intervention involves other family members who suffer from the same type of addiction.  This approach is based on the family systems theory and can be a great motivation to recover and undergo treatment.  These family members are very involved in the person’s recovery efforts well beyond the intervention itself and will participate in family counseling along with the individual.  This method is very effective for repairing and strengthening family bonds.

Do Drug & Alcohol Interventions Work?

Yes, interventions can be successful in getting an addicted person to admit that they have a problem and to realize that they need help.  Addicts are more likely to undergo addiction treatment when there has been an intervention.  However, it does not necessarily increase the efficacy of their treatment or their likelihood of success.  Moreover, social support and family support is a major component in recovery and intervention has the potential to be an asset later on.

We Level Up FL Treatment Center offers Intervention Services

There are a number of factors to consider; such as the nature of the relationship the organizer has with the individual.  While deciding whether an intervention is the right choice for your loved one, is a major decision on its own, but they must determine which type of intervention would be the most effective.

Do I Really Need Intervention Services?

There is no assurance that an intervention will always be successful.  When done incorrectly, a botched intervention can strain relationships and further alienate the addicted person from their loved ones.  This is one of its main risks.  Also, one of the biggest reasons why professional intervention counselors should always be consulted prior to staging an intervention and present during. 

Substance abuse intervention services can help defuse tensions and help to mediate the conversation.  This can make interventions much more likely to be successful and result in the addicted person enrolling in rehab.

Who Should Come To An Addiction Intervention?

When holding an intervention, it’s essential to take careful consideration of who should participate. You want your loved one to be surrounded by people they trust. An interventionist can help you look at the list of possible participants and discuss each relationship in detail.

But, again, it’s important to weigh out the pros and the cons. This can help you to be sure that the list of attendees can be thought through carefully. It’s crucial to get addiction intervention right the first time.

Who Shouldn’t Come An Intervention?

People who have a negative or volatile relationship with your loved one should not participate. An intervention is a time of firm love and acceptance, not judgment and anger. When an addict feels judgment, running away is often the default solution. Interventions can sometimes be intense. The addict could end up saying harsh and hurtful things when confronted with their addiction

It’s best to avoid having children in the room during an intervention because some of the things they may hear could be hurtful or inappropriate. If children want to address the addiction with their loved ones, they could write a note for the addict to read or to have read to them.

Tips For Holding An Intervention

The We Level Up FL addiction services counselor will walk you through the planning process to minimize the possibility of negative outcomes.  Here are a few recommendations of how to do an intervention.

  • Guilt trips aren’t welcome here.  The purpose is not to or shame an addict but to open their eyes to how they have harmed themselves and others
  • Do not yell.  This can make them feel attacked and put them on the defensive
  • Be mindful of the time and setting.  Make this confrontation as non-stressful as possible and avoid doing it at a time when their emotions are already volatile (like after a breakup or getting fired) or somewhere that they’ll be distracted or intimidated.
  • Be as specific as possible.  It’s recommended that each participant has an itemized list of grievances that are short and to the point.
  • Write down speaking points in advance.  Doing so when your calm can help prevent things from being said harshly in the heat of the moment.

What Could Go Wrong During Intervention?

There are a number of things that can go wrong during an intervention, and understanding this can help you to be better prepared. Among the most common issues are:

  • The failure to prepare
  • Not allowing a professional to lead the intervention
  • Trying to spring treatment on a person who’s clearly not ready
  • Friends and family who aren’t ready to stop enabling the addict’s behavior
  • Emotionally charged testimonials that end in anger
  • An unproductive dialogue that accuses and belittles the addict
  • Trying to trap them or force them into treatment

Anything that can make a person feel targeted instead of supported can undermine the purpose of the intervention and lead to the person resisting treatment.

It’s also important that everyone be completely on board with the intervention. If someone is offering the addict an out that doesn’t include rehab, there’s a good chance that the intervention won’t end well.

How To Help An Addicted Loved One With An Intervention

Let us help you or your loved one today – visit We Level Up FL to learn more about intervention.

Most importantly for you or your loved one, working with a professional interventionist helps.  Not only will you have an expert to guide you through the process of planning the intervention event and coordinating an addiction treatment center.  But you will also have a moderator to make sure the event itself goes smoothly, supporting loved ones as well.  Sometimes simply having that neutral person in the room is all you need.  This is to find common ground and save a life before it’s too late.

Inpatient medical detox and residential primary addiction treatment may be available at our affiliated facility at Level Up Detox Treatment Palm Beach. For some primary behavioral health treatment clients, medical detox may be required first.  If you have a co-occurring severe substance abuse diagnosis, please contact us prior to beginning inpatient mental health therapy. Treatment services may vary. Please call us to learn which treatment options are most suited for your individual needs.


[1] NIDA – https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition/principles-effective-treatment