How to Stage an Intervention Without Making Your Loved One Feel Attacked

Almost one out of every seven Americans will struggle with some type of substance abuse problem during their lifetime. 

But getting someone who’s addicted to drugs or alcohol to recognize what they’re doing as a problem can be difficult. This is especially true if your intervention goes less than well. 

That’s why we’ve put together this guide to teach you how to stage an intervention without making your loved one feel attacked. 

So make sure you keep reading below. 

Come up with a Plan 

You should never hold an intervention for a loved one without being prepared. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you’re more likely to end up fighting during the intervention or not making any progress. 

Plan a date, a time, and a location. It’s better to avoid public places so your loved one doesn’t feel embarrassed if other people overhear what you’re talking about. 

You should also find rehab centers you can present to your loved one as treatment options. Think about what you’ll do if they accept treatment, how you’ll follow up with them, and what you’ll do if they refuse treatment. 

Get the Right Team Together 

Putting together your intervention team will play a big role in determining whether your intervention will be a success or not. Pick a small number of people who are close to your loved one, such as family members or friends. 

Don’t bring anyone along who might sabotage the intervention. This might include people who you know won’t stick to the program or whom your loved one dislikes. 

Never include a person who is struggling with their own substance abuse problem

Rehearse What You’re Going to Say 

Create a script of what everyone will say during the intervention. Hold a rehearsal intervention to decide when each person will speak, where they will sit, etc. 

This will ensure the real intervention runs smoothly.

And choose your words carefully. Don’t use negative lables—like addict, junkie, etc.—that might belittle your loved one or make them feel attacked. 

Have Consequences – But Don’t Hold Them Over Their Head

If your loved one refuses treatment, there should be consequences. For example, parents of a grown child might ask them to move out. Friends might have to limit their relationships. 

This is important to stop any enabling behavior. 

But don’t hang these consequences over your loved ones head during the intervention. Let them know what the consequences are, but do it in a loving, rather than an angry or scolding, way. 

Show Your Support 

An intervention isn’t the place to get angry or overwhelmed with your own emotions. This can be hard, but do your best to control your personal feelings and avoid getting upset. 

Instead, show your loved one how much you support them. Make them aware of how much they mean to you and how important this is to you. 

Be gentle, understanding, and willing to listen. How you act can make all the difference in how your loved one reacts. 

How to Stage an Intervention Without Your Loved One Feeling Attacked

The last thing you want to do is make your loved one feel worthless or attacked. When you’re thinking about how to stage an intervention, be patient and supportive. And remember to manage your expectations. 

You loved one might not agree to treatment. Make sure you have a plan for what to do next if they say no. 

Not sure how to learn more about your loved one’s substance abuse?

Take a look at these websites that are just like WebMD.


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