Helping a Loved One
Tips for How & When to Hold an Intervention

If you have been watching someone you love struggle with addiction for weeks, months or years it has probably become apparent to you that addiction treatment is necessary. Despite your best efforts your loved one might repeatedly refuse treatment, desperately trying to convince you that there isn’t a problem and that their substance use really isn’t all that serious. You have most likely set boundaries, carried out consequences, even begged them to stop, maybe more than once. So what steps can you take when all else fails?

At CuraSouth we offer crisis intervention services to the loved ones of an addict or alcoholic who refuses treatment. We work directly with professional interventionists who have extremely high success rates and years of experience under their belts. If you have an addicted loved one who has repeatedly refused to seek professional help, rest assured that all is not lost. To learn more about our crisis intervention services or to be put in touch with a professional interventionist in your area, contact us today.

How Do I Know I Need to Hold an Intervention?

How can you tell if a professionally staged intervention has become necessary?

An Intervention is a Good Idea if:

  • Your loved one is in physical danger or they have become a danger to others – For example, your addicted loved one might be driving while intoxicated on a regular basis. They might have experienced an overdose and continued to use their substance of choice despite this. Maybe your loved one is the sole caretaker of a dependent, and you learned that they are frequently intoxicated while the dependent is in their care. If your loved one is in danger or is putting others in danger, holding an intervention is a smart move to make.
  • Your loved one repeatedly refuses treatment – People who struggle with addiction often struggle with denial (an inability to see or accept the severity of their situation). Perhaps a licensed medical professional advised your loved one to seek professional help, but your loved one is adamant about handling their problems on their own. If treatment has been repeatedly offered and consistently refused, an intervention might be a good idea.
  • The addictive disorder has progressed & rational decision making has completely flown out the window – Over time, the brain adjusts to the presence of chemical substances and cognitive functions change. The addicted individual is no longer capable of making healthy decisions. Substance use becomes completely compulsive. At this point it is important to seek professional help and advice. At CuraSouth we are happy to answer any questions you have regarding what steps to take, and we are happy to put you in touch with a professional and highly experienced interventionist as soon as you reach out for help.
  • You feel like you are at your wits end, both mentally and emotionally – It is important to take steps to help your addicted loved one, but it is also critical to take your own needs into consideration. Have you been neglecting your own obligations and the rest of your life in order to help your loved one function? Are you continuously rescuing your loved one from precarious situations? If you feel like you’ve had enough, we are available to help. It might seem like you are coming from a “selfish” place, but remember that it is impossible to pour from an empty cup.

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What Does an Intervention Look Like?

When you make the decision to stage a professional intervention, what exactly is the process going to look like? We have broken down the intervention process into several distinct steps.

Steps for Holding an Intervention:

  • The first step we recommend is educating yourself on addiction – How does addiction develop and what steps can you take to treat it? When you take the time to educate yourself it allows you to come from a place of compassion and understanding rather than a place of anger, frustration and hurt. For more information on the disease model of addiction, contact CuraSouth today.
  • Next, you will need to be put in touch with an interventionist – The moment you make the decision to give us a call we put you in touch with an interventionist who will guide you through the remainder of the process. You are going to have the opportunity to speak with the interventionist in depth before you make the final decision to move forward.
  • The interventionist works with you to develop a viable plan of action – First of all, the interventionist will help you decide who is going to be present at the actual event. It is important to keep the intervention group small and intimate, and only include people who have been directly impacted by the addictive disorder. The intervention team then writes out personal letters describing how they have been impacted. It’s always a good idea to include specific examples. These letters are going to be read aloud the day of the event.
  • Find treatment options – One of the most important parts of the process is finding a medical detox center that your loved one will be admitted to the day of the intervention, should they agree to receive professional help. Medical detox will help your loved one safely and comfortably withdrawal from drugs or alcohol. Your interventionist can help you plan for the steps following detox, which could include your loved one transitioning into a residential inpatient facility or intensive outpatient program. Transportation and logistics should be figured out ahead of time so the transition from the intervention to detox is immediate and easy.

Planting Seeds

When staging a professional intervention it’s important to keep your expectations in-check. Most interventions are effective, though there is a chance your loved one will still refuse treatment. You might feel as if you are right back where you started, but remember that seeds have been planted and as soon as your loved one does decide to seek treatment they know exactly where to go for help. You can also feel good knowing you have done everything in your power to do. The interventionist will offer support and guidance after the event. For more information on CuraSouth and the intervention services we provide, contact us today.

When should I hold a professional intervention

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The Benefits of Staging an Intervention

  • Your interventionist has the ability to provide valuable insight on which treatment options are best for your loved one – Medical detox is a recommended first step on the road to recovery. Following detox, there are several options for continued addiction treatment, including residential inpatient, partial hospitalization or intensive outpatient programs. Your interventionist will help you determine which level of care is the most appropriate.
  • It helps to have an unbiased professional present – Your loved one has heard your side of the story countless times and has probably reacted defensively. Hearing an outside opinion can help, and your loved one is likely to respond better to someone who understands their situation and is familiar with helping other addicts and alcoholics.
  • The interventionist will be your support throughout the process – Your interventionist will help you develop a multi-phased treatment plan and remain available throughout the process. If you have a question about the treatment process or about resources or services available in your area, the interventionist will be there to help.

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When you or someone you love is ready for help, CuraSouth is here Our admissions process is simple and can be completed in as little as 15 minutes. During our initial phone call we will provide a complimentary addiction assessment, a free, no obligation insurance benefit check and help coordinating local travel to our detox facility. All you or your loved one has to do is ask for help. We will take care of the rest. If you would like to be put into touch with one of our experienced interventionists or if you would like to learn more about the detox services we provide, contact us today.

Travis Atchison

Reviewed for accuracy by: our Clinical Director:

Travis Atchison
LCSW, MCAP


Travis is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Certified Addiction Professional. He has worked in various community-based settings, where he served families and couples, addressed issues related to homelessness and crisis and worked in a substance abuse setting.