A diverse group of people sits in a circle in a warmly lit room, with a large window casting soft light across them. They are engaged in a support group meeting, with some holding mugs, suggesting a comfortable and safe environment for open discussion.

Interventions are structured conversations, often facilitated by a professional interventionist, involving a person struggling with addiction and their close friends and family members. The primary goal of an intervention is to help the individual recognize the severity of their addiction and motivate them to seek treatment or enter a recovery program. Here, we’ll explore the key aspects of interventions, including their purpose, types, and the steps involved in organizing one.

Purpose of Interventions

The core objective of an intervention is to provide a person with a clear understanding of how their substance use disorder affects themselves and their loved ones. It aims to:

  • Break through the person’s denial about their addiction.
  • Show the individual the impact of their behavior on their relationships, health, and life.
  • Offer a prearranged treatment plan with clear steps, goals, and guidelines.
  • Provide a platform for friends and family to express their concerns in a structured, supportive environment.

Types of Interventions

There are several models of intervention, each with its own approach and methodology:

  • The Johnson Model: A confrontational approach where family and friends communicate the consequences of refusing treatment.
  • The ARISE Model: A less confrontational, invitational approach that includes the addicted individual from the beginning.
  • The Family Systemic Model: Focuses on the family dynamics and how they can change to support recovery.
  • The CRAFT Model: Encourages positive reinforcement and communication skills to motivate the person to change.

Steps to Organizing an Intervention

  1. Forming the Intervention Team: This includes selecting friends, family members, and possibly a professional interventionist who will participate in the intervention.
  2. Planning the Intervention: Gathering information about the addiction, deciding on the best intervention model, and arranging logistics such as the date, time, and location.
  3. Gathering Information: Understanding the extent of the loved one’s problem and researching treatment options.
  4. Writing Impact Statements: Each participant prepares a statement to read during the intervention, focusing on how the addiction has affected them personally.
  5. Setting Boundaries: If the individual refuses treatment, each team member decides on specific consequences to enforce boundaries.
  6. Rehearsal: The team meets to go through the intervention plan, practicing what they will say and addressing any concerns.
  7. The Intervention Meeting: The individual is invited to the meeting without being informed of its real purpose. Each team member expresses their concerns and feelings.
  8. Following Up: Regardless of the immediate outcome, it’s crucial to follow up. If the individual agrees to treatment, arrangements should be made immediately. If they refuse, it’s important to enforce the stated boundaries.


Interventions can be a turning point in the life of someone struggling with addiction, offering them a pathway out of their destructive patterns. While the process can be emotionally challenging for all involved, it’s often a critical step in encouraging a loved one to seek help. If you’re considering an intervention, it’s beneficial to consult with a professional who can guide you through the process and increase the chances of a positive outcome.


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