how to stage an intervention

Change a Life: How to Stage an Intervention for Friends and Family

Dealing with a person that has a drug or alcohol problem can be quite difficult, emotionally and mentally. That’s why it’s so important to get help for your loved one as soon as you notice that he or she has a problem. It’s not likely that they will ask for help on their own, but if they do, you need to be receptive to that, too.

But, how can you help?

The first step is actually recognizing and becoming aware of the problem yourself. This way, you can take the necessary steps toward staging an intervention to get the person help.

If you have questions about how to stage an intervention, then you’re in the right place. In this article, we’re discussing some tips that will help you get started. Keep reading to learn more.

10 Tips for How to Stage an Intervention for Your Loved One

The first step in learning how to have an intervention is to understand your end desire. Most interventions end with the addict entering rehab for a specified amount of time. You should have a rehab facility and intake plan prepared before you begin intervention proceedings to make the final transition as smooth as possible for your loved one.

Otherwise, here are some guidelines for staging a successful intervention:

Select Your Intervention Team

An intervention team should consist of friends, family, and maybe even close co-workers of the person with a drug or alcohol problem. You may also want to enlist the services of an intervention specialist. Someone that can act as a guide and mediator during your intervention to keep emotions from getting in the way.

Be careful not to make your team too large. Four to eight people should yield plenty of stories and help you maintain an intimate environment for all involved. You may consider how well your intervened may react to a smaller or larger group of people.

Create a Script

It may sound cheesy, but the best thing you can do to prepare for your intervention is to prepare a written script. This will help you talk about things that are important without allowing too many emotions to cause a disturbance in the progress of the intervention.

You may include stories about how the addict has hurt you or offer them love and compassion to prompt them to want to get better. Try sharing reasons or steps for them to become sober.

Create the script together with everyone in the group so that all parties feelings have an opportunity for expression.

Select an Order

To stage a successful drug intervention, you should also select an order in which those involved in the intervention will speak. For example, if one child is particularly close with the addict, allow he or she to speak first in order to yield successful results.

Remember, your end desire is to get the person into rehab. Having the person closest to the addict speak first may prompt this desire in them sooner.

Rehearse the Script

Once you have a written and detailed script in order and you have chosen the order of speakers, it’s time to practice. Make sure that all parties involved are in attendance to practice at all times scheduled. It’s important that everybody knows their part on intervention day and practice is the only way to guarantee this.

Find a Neutral Location

You may opt for a private and formal setting or a more neutral but comfortable location for staging an intervention. It’s not recommended to perform the intervention within the home of the addict because it will give him or her more opportunity to escape or retreat to bathrooms and bedrooms. Find some common ground where everybody can feel at ease.

Schedule a Time

In order to stage an intervention successfully, you’ll need to schedule a time when the addict is sober. Mornings are probably best.

Whatever time you schedule, make sure everybody arrives on time and the intervention starts precisely. This is an important event and should be regarded with high respects.

Body Language

Keep your body language relaxed and warm. Consider keeping your legs and arms uncrossed and unclench your hands. Tilt your head and shoulders toward the person when they’re talking so that they can feel your desire to hear them.

Also, look at the person as much as possible during the intervention. Keep your attention focused on him or her for best effect.

Stick to the Script

It’s important to stick to the script that you’ve practiced so that emotions don’t get out of hand. You may have your intervention specialist on hand to help guide you through the script and stay on task.

Don’t be embarrassed to simply read from the script if you forget your lines. The point is not to get off topic with other stories or emotions that could conflict and cause the person to close off.


Watch your temper. This is why it’s so important to stick to a script. If you notice your temper rising, consider taking a sip of water and maybe even walking away for a moment. Count backward from ten under your breath.

Whatever you do, don’t yell try to inflict pain upon your addict. This should be a time of understanding and willingness.

Develop a Backup Plan

An addiction intervention doesn’t always go as planned. It’s important to have a backup plan prepared in case your loved one reacts out of character. You may expect your loved one to leave the room or yell and scream and cry hysterically.

Prepare for these types of outbursts and other unexpected behavior while writing and rehearsing your scripts to ensure a successful intervention.

Final Thoughts

The best thing you can do for your friend or family member when considering how to stage an intervention is to never give up. There is even a likely chance that the intervention won’t work. But you’ve got to keep trying.

Statistics show that interventions will prompt an addict to seek help at least eighty percent of the time. And, while this is a trying time, it is well worth the effort for everybody involved.

If you liked this article and you’re interested in more life hacks, check out this blog post to share with your loved one during or after a successful intervention.