What Is An Intervention? When Is Intervention Necessary?


A properly orchestrated intervention is a proven and effective method to get your loved one or co-worker the help they need. Ethical, accredited interventionists work with families and co-workers or employers to help get a friend or family member into treatment for addiction (substance and/or behavioral). Interventionists adhere to a strict code of ethics so as not to alienate the addict or exacerbate the issue; and through techniques involving loving family testimonials, the individual most often does agree to seek treatment to receive the help they need.

It is painful and frustrating to deal with a loved one who is abusing drugs or alcohol. Although you care greatly about them and recognize that they are a good person, their positive traits can be more and more increasingly overshadowed by the self-destructive, dangerous, and sometimes downright embarrassing things they do in the name of their addiction. You know this is “not really them”, and yet they are defensive or deny that there is a problem – they may even be unaware of the degree to which their addiction has progressed. Sometimes, it is obvious to everyone except for the addict or alcoholic that there is an issue in need of treatment.

These are the times when it is appropriate to employ the help of an interventionist. With the help of an interventionist, family members and loved ones are given the tools to help the addict in a compassionate and effective way. Through family testimonials and experiences, the individual is shown the detrimental impact their behavior has on themselves and on those around them. Interventions orchestrated in a professional or corporate environment can also be very effective; however, due to the nature of the corporate environment it is imperative that the intervention be conducted in a delicate, confidential, and professional manner. When conducted by a trained professional, interventions have a 96% or greater chance of successfully convincing the addict or alcoholic to enter a treatment program.

If you have any questions or concerns about how to choose a qualified interventionist, and to learn more about staging an intervention, please call Journey Malibu at (877) 673-4225.

Interventions are cost-effective solutions to substance use and co-occurring behavioral issues. Don’t let your loved one lose their job, their reputation, their relationships, and years of their life. Please keep in mind as well that our admissions directors will work closely with you and/or professional insurance advocates to ensure you receive as much reimbursement as possible for your stay at Journey Malibu.


The Seven Steps of Intervention

1. First and foremost, friends and family members must cease all “rescue missions.” That means stop trying to protect the addict and alcoholic from the consequences of their behavior. No more making excuses to others trying to explain their behavior, or bailing them out from drug-related jams. It is necessary to stop all such rescue attempts immediately, prior to the intervention if possible, so that the addict will have to face up to the natural consequences of their actions and, in the process, become more motivated to alter their behavior for the better.

2. On a related note…stop “enabling” the addict or alcoholic at the intervention. You must not reward the addict or alcoholic by paying his or her bills, bailing him or her out of jail, letting him or her stay on your couch for free, etc. all this does is – that’s right! – “enable” them to carry on with their self-destructive behavior without fear of penalty or consequence.

3. Plan the timing of your intervention carefully. If possible, try to pick a time when the addict/alcoholic is not under the influence of their drug of choice. Similarly, choose a time for the intervention when all of the people conducting the intervention are in as calm and peaceful a frame of mind as possible. This will allow you to communicate your powerful messages with clarity and compassion.

4. Be specific during the intervention itself. Tell your friend or family member that you are concerned about their drug or alcohol abuse and want to be supportive in getting help. Follow this up by laying out examples of the various ways in which their alcoholism or drug abuse has caused problems for you, making sure to list specific events and incidents.

5. Clearly state the consequences of the addict or alcoholic chooses NOT to get help after the intervention. The consequences can range from refusing to be with the person when they are under the influence, to asking them to move out of your house if they do not stop drinking or using, to anything you feel necessary to protect yourself from the consequences of their drug or alcohol abuse. Be sure you don’t make any threats you are not prepared to carry out. The intervention will hopefully help the addict/alcoholic see how much more miserable their life will be if they continue to choose drinking and/or using over seeking help.

6. During the intervention, confront the addict/alcoholic as a group; but speak one at a time. It may be wise to choose one person to serve as the initial spokesperson. An intervention is much more effective when you take turns addressing your loves one, rather than have everyone talking at once. We want the addict/alcoholic to feel as safe as possible, so they will be able to find the strength to come clean and ask for help.

7. Listen…then act quickly. If during the intervention the addict begins asking questions like “where will I have to go?”, “how long will I be there?” etc., consider this a positive sign that he or she is indeed reaching out for help. Once you have his or her agreement, get them admitted to a treatment facility immediately. It is a good idea to have a bag packed prior to the intervention, along with any travel arrangements that need to be made, and prior acceptance into a treatment program.

You are not alone. There is help.


“A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.”
Old Taoist Saying

If you feel a loved one may require an intervention,
call Journey Malibu at (888)-717-5643