Addiction Intervention – Is It Time For An Intervention?

Is someone you love on the path to destruction? Act now, before it is too late.

There is no harder role in life than to love an addict. If that person is your spouse or significant other it can be wearing, trying, and financially and emotionally draining. However, it isn’t always obvious when a loved one is suffering from an addiction. Perhaps a friend has been acting distant, is frequently drunk, and doesn’t show up to important occasions any longer. It might be something that you don’t notice for years, until one day the addiction comes to light in catastrophic circumstances.

yellow-dead-end-sign-during-day-time-163728-400x267 Addiction Intervention - Is It Time For An Intervention?

We here at Help4Addiction have heard it all. We have dealt with everything from the phone call from the worried relative, to the significant other worried that drug use is leading to affairs. The question we get asked the most from relatives and friends of addicts is when it is time for them to hold their intervention. In response, and to put this question to rest once and for all, here is your Help4Addiction guide to staging an intervention of your own.

Don’t forget that our organisation exists to connect you with the rehab services that best meet your needs, and that you can call us at any time of the day. We can be reached on 0203 955 7700 if you need one-on-one advice, or you can fill in our online consultation form and we will get back to you. In the meantime, let’s take a closer look at interventions: what are they and how do you use them to help your friend, family member, or lover?

What is an Intervention?

Let’s start with the basic concept – what is an intervention, anyway? This is the name we give to the act of interjecting ourselves into the addict’s life in a way that they cannot deny. If a group of friends, family, or loved ones, come together to tell you that they think you have a problem with drugs or alcohol, you are more likely to sit up and take notice. The intervention usually lasts for an hour or two and consists of people telling you the things they dislike most about your life as an addict. There are two main ways that this is done. We have covered each in more detail, below.

Focus on the Addict

When you stage an intervention and focus on the addict’s life, you would tell them all the ways they have changed, or how their life has declined, since they started using drink or drugs. When you put the spotlight on all the areas of their life that have suffered at the same time, the addict is forced to take these things into consideration. When confronted with an overwhelming sense of personal regret, the addict is in a more pliable position to be convinced to go through drug detox, alcohol detox, or to start rehab treatment.

Focus on the Friends and Family

If the friends and family of the addict gather for an intervention that focuses on themselves, this can work too. Some people (particularly addicts who have eroded their self-esteem) have no confidence in their own being. The result of this is that they no longer care what happens to them. If you find yourself in this position, focusing on how friends and family have been hurt by their addiction is often the best method. Even if an addiction has stopped a person from being them true selves for a while, it doesn’t mean that they don’t love you anymore. If you can appeal to this sense of love, you can successfully persuade the addict to seek drug rehabilitation clinics near them, or to convince them to stop drinking.

Either Technique Results in Successful Intervention if Properly Performed

If you get your intervention right, either of the two techniques above will work to get your loved one into rehab care. The problem with interventions is that they don’t always work, particularly if you choose the wrong way to get their attention. On the plus side, there is no limit to the number of interventions that you can have. If your loved one doesn’t listen the first time around, you can always repeat the process and try the other method this time to get their attention.

Recognising the Symptoms of Drug or Alcohol Abuse

Another factor that will help you determine whether or not you need to stage an intervention are the signs of addiction. If the person you love suffers from some of the following signs of drink or drug addiction, you really should consider that intervention.

The most commonly noticed signs of an addict are:

  • They can drink or use drugs from first thing in the morning. In fact, they will often abuse their substance before they have had coffee or breakfast.
  • They hide their substance misuse from you or attempt to hide how big of a problem it is.
  • They suffer the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal if they have to go a single day without the substance they are hooked on. If you need help identifying what those symptoms are you can follow this link to our page devoted to symptoms of withdrawal.
  • Do they ignore the risk factors involved in using their drug or having a drink?
  • Have they become more and more isolated until they do not spend time with the family or with their friends?

If you see any two or more of the signs above in your loved on, then you might be dealing with an addiction. It is worth remembering that you can stage interventions for all sorts of things, and not just for addictions. For example, if a friend or loved one is becoming obsessive over a toxic ex-partner, you might want to stage an intervention to point out all the ways that they are being badly treated.

In short: if you do stage an intervention because you think your SO is addicted to something but it turns out you are wrong about that addiction, their behaviour has still worried you enough for you to put together the intervention in the first place. Ergo, it’s hard to go wrong. Even so, we covered the things you should do during the intervention process to help you along the way.

Keep in mind that Help4Addiction is here for you, should you get through to your loved one and want to connect with detox or drugs/alcohol rehab services, we are waiting for your call. You can reach us on 0203 955 7700 at any time.

What Happens During the Intervention Process?

When you do choose to go ahead with the intervention, you will need to do some planning beforehand. First of all, contact the other affected people in the situation and plan a time for the intervention to take place. Next, each of you has to work out what to say. You also need to consider the location carefully. It should be somewhere that has enough room for all of you but that the addict themselves has difficulty leaving. A home intervention is usually best for these reasons.

If you are wondering what happens during an intervention, it ought to take this format. You and the other people involved gather together in the addict’s home and wait for them to return, or in the designated location you have arranged. When they arrive, one of you will tell them why everyone has gathered together in as gentle a way as possible. Expect it to be emotional and even tearful.

At this stage, the person may choose to walk back out again. To get them to stay we suggest making things as comfortable as possible for them. Inform your addict that you are all gathered because you care about them and you want to see them get their life back together again. Offer them tea or feed them but keep the room patient and quiet until they are ready to begin.

Next, each person that has gathered has the right to tell the addict all the ways in which they have been hurt by them – or even to tell them all the ways their personality has changed in recent months. Each person should get a chance to speak and it can help to write down the things you want to ask or say. Below, we have gone into detail of example questions and statements you might want to use, to help get the ball rolling.

Finally, the people that have gathered and the addict themselves need to take the time to address their emotions. If correctly managed, an intervention can be a positive experience where the addict emerges feeling more loved, protected, and cared for than they did to begin with. In the case of a person with low self-esteem, this could be all they needed to hear in order to reach out for help. Remember to give them Help4Addiction’s phone number before you leave them, as well as soothing their emotions totally before they are left alone. Call 0203 955 7700 when the time is right for them to go into rehab. We also have a helpful informative article regarding the costs of rehab that you might direct them towards, if money is an issue.

Some Example Questions/Statements You Can Use During Interventions

To make the process as smooth for you as we possibly can, we put together some common questions and/or statements that you might use when confronting your loved one with addiction problems.

Things you Could Say During an Intervention Include:

  • I feel worried about what is happening to you because xxx
  • I am concerned that this disease is taking over your life
  • I love you
  • Thank you for staying and listening to what we had to say
  • We are all here for you and we all want you to get better
  • Can you imagine if our roles were reversed and you were watching this happen to me?
  • We will support you as you recover
  • We/I have already found a firm that will make the rehab process easy

As well as things that are positive to say, there are a few things that you shouldn’t do or say. Try to use ‘I’ and ‘we’ as much as possible, seek professional advice if you need it, and don’t focus on identifying deliberate past acts that have caused you pain. The point is not to project guilt onto your loved one, but rather to make them feel encouraged and supported. They may have been avoiding rehab because they didn’t want to admit there was a problem and your intervention is all they needed to reach out to rehab clinics… you just never know. When dealing with an addicted loved one, you are willing to try everything.

What To Do Next?

During this article we have outlined a viable method by which you can stage an intervention of your own. We have identified exactly what that intervention is and what its purposes are, as well as given you pointers on what to say and what not to say. Alas, addiction is not a one-size-fits-all disease and there will always be those circumstances that just don’t fit. In those situations, feel free to call our expert team here at Help 4 Addiction so we can tackle it together.

The next stage for you is to ascertain whether or not your loved one has an addiction, and to then start planning who will come to your intervention should the answer be in the positive. Once your loved one has decided that they need to seek help, you have a wealth of options at your fingertips. Indeed, services like ours are necessary to narrow those choices down. The first stage of recovery is the detox process, which you can do at home if you are an alcohol addict and if you qualify. To find out more about our alcohol home detox kits or to book an initial consultation, call us today. We can be reached at 0203 955 7700 where we will be waiting for your call. Whatever happens, we are only ever a phone call away.


We are here 24/7 to help get you and your recovery on the right path.

    Our promise to you

    thumbOur advice will always be led by your needs and is free, confidential and impartial.
    thumbOur experienced professionals will treat you with compassion and understanding.
    thumbOur purpose is to provide you with all the information needed to make informed decisions.

    Detoxification (detox) is the medical intervention required for someone who is physically dependent to drugs or alcohol. If required, medical detoxification would be the first step taken in residential rehab. Detox is used to prevent uncomfortable and dangerous (even fatal) withdrawals symptoms resulting in suddenly becoming abstinent from alcohol/certain drugs.

    The goal of a medical detox is to aid in the physical healing required following long term addiction and rid the body of all together of substance whilst providing a cushion for unpleasant symptoms of withdrawals. Detox is not considered the whole treatment for drug/alcohol addiction and it is always recommended that a comprehensive rehabilitation program is used along side to help maintain long term abstinence.

    Medication is often required for alcohol detox. If you are dependent on alcohol and experiencing withdrawal symptoms it is vitally important to seek medical advice prior to stopping. There is a long list of medications used when treating alcohol addiction and the exact medication given to an individual will depend on their needs/medical history. Some of these include;

    • Chlordiazepoxide (Librium)
    • Lorazepam (Ativan)
    • Diazapam (vailium)

    Librium and Valium are the most commonly used detox medication in the UK. All medication used to help with alcohol detox have been proven to help reduce the effects of withdrawal symptoms.

    There are also a number of drugs recombined by the NHS to help treat alcohol misuse. Some of these include:

    • Naltrexone
    • Disulfiram (Antabuse)
    • Nalmefene
    • Acamprosate (campral)

    Medication is always required for heroin detox. For someone suffering from heroin addiction, the thought of detoxification (detox) can be exceptionally daunting. Withdrawal symptoms from opiates, such as heroin, can be severe and include pain, vomiting, nausea and shaking.

    There are different ways that heroin detox can be carried out, most usually either ‘maintenance therapy’ or ‘full medical detox’.

    Attempting to switch from heroin to a heroin substitute, usually on a controlled prescription, is known as Maintenance therapy. Subsites used are most often methadone or buprenorphine.

    A full medical detox from heroin will always be carried out in a residential rehab setting and will allow the individual to switch form heroin to a substitute and slowly withdraw completing treatment free of all substances. Someone using a heroin substitute can choose to have a full medical detox at any time, however detoxing substances such a methadone can often add to the length of detox required. Drugs most commonly used to fully detox from heroin are, Subutex, Suboxone and Methadone. Much like alcohol, the exact drugs used will be dependent on the individuals needs/medical history.

    Once detoxed from heroin the risk of overdose is much higher following relapse due to tolerance following withdrawal.

    The length of treatment in a residential rehab depends on a number of elements. Some substances require longer periods of detox than others.

    Private paying patients will also often choose a length of stay that suites their therapeutic and financial needs. As a rule, a full treatment program in a rehab is considered to be 28 days (often referred to as a month), however, treatment is offered in several different ways and lengths starting at 7 days.

    Treating alcohol addiction will always require a minimum of 7-10 days, this would be considered the detoxification (detox) faze. The length required for treating drug addiction can vary drastically depending on the substance being used. Detox for Heroin addiction is generally around 14 days minimum, with more time required if substances such a methadone are being used. Treating prescription drug addiction can often take the longest. The time required for treating gambling addiction, eating disorders and sex addiction will be based on the individuals needs.

    Rehab programs can be as long as an individual requires but primary treatment is normally caped at 12 weeks, with the offering for further secondary and tertiary treatment thereafter.

    *based on average rehab stays, everyone will vary dependant on needs and medical requirement/history.

    There is no need for your employer to know that you are seeking help for trauma and addiction unless you choose to involve them with the process. All employers should have a policy that explains what you do if you cannot come to work due to illness – illness to include treating alcohol addiction/treating drug addiction.

    If your work absence extends over 7 days your employer is likely to require an official statement of fitness to work which would be obtained from your GP. This would need to supply evidence of your illness as well as any adjustments required for returning to work, fazed return or reduced hours, but does not need to specify in detail the reason why you have been absent.

    If you are absent from work for 7 days of less, for example entering rehab for a detoxification (detox) on a Saturday for 7-10 days taking a full week away from work, you can self-certify your illness by letting your employer work you will not be attending work for that period of time. Exactly how an individual would do this would be dependent on a specific companies’ policies on taking sick leave.

    Any time longer than 7 days it is likely an employer will require a note from the individuals GP certifying their sickness and a fit note on return. Most companies have a clearly outlined policy on sickness and receiving sick pay so the exact requirement can vary. A rehab will always be willing to advise on time off work.

    How much does rehab cost is a very frequently asked question. The cost of treatment can range from £1,000 per week upwards depending on the place, with luxury rehab being the most expensive.

    There are free options available on the NHS but the waitlist of those looking for free treatment is longer than that for privately paying patients. Some private health insurance policies will cover treatment in some rehabs around the country.

    Choosing the right rehab centre will often be based on priced but it is important to follow guidance on the most suitable treatment centre for an individual’s needs which our expert team of advisers are on hand to offer.

    There are certainly pro’s for both treatment near by and traveling for treatment with one of the most asked question being should I get rehab near me? There are rehabs all over the UK and around the world that all offer expert programs, let’s look at how to choose a rehab.

    Local treatment

    Being close to home gives certainly has benefits. Visitors are normally permitted in rehab following the first 7 days stay, therefore if an individual is in treatment for a length of time longer than that being local will make it easier for loved ones to visit.

    Most rehab centres will also provide a full aftercare plan for someone following treatment, this will include ongoing aftercare in the specific treatment centre. Living close by can make it easy to take full advantage of ongoing aftercare. There can also often be the option for ongoing care with an individual therapist, again being close by will allow that treatment to be carried out face to face.

    Some individuals wish to be local but are willing to look broader, for instance the greater city of residence (London, Manchester, Liverpool, etc)

    Treatment Away

    Getting treatment away from home can be very appealing to some. Being out of the local area makes it a lot harder to just walk out of treatment as resources locally are unknown. Some also take comfort in knowing that they are not near home and focus more on treatment.

    As the price for treatment can vary so much from one residential treatment centre to another, private paying patients often would rather travel to keep the cost down. Those using private health insurance may also have to travel to find a treatment centre covered in their policy.

    When opting for treatment away from home this can be anywhere in the UK and also abroad. Aftercare can still be carried out and very successful using tools such as The Online Rehab.

    There is no right or wrong when choosing where to go to residential rehab, but our expert advisors are always on hand to help provide information on all possible options.

    Whilst millions of people in the UK have taken recreational drugs (amphetamine, cannabis, cocaine, crack, crystal meth, GHB, heron, ketamine, methadone, and prescription drugs) and drank alcohol not all become ‘addicted’. Most recent reports show that 279,793 individuals were in contact with drug and alcohol misuse services in the last year with over half of that being from opiate addiction and a quarter for alcohol.

    There are several risk factors invoiced in addiction and those using drugs and alcohol socially, simply take the risk. These risks are as follows;

    Tolerance – basically, if a substance is used repeatedly an individual’s tolerance to it will build. This will result in more of the same substance being required to get the same effect. In the long run this can easily lead to addiction and physical dependencies.

    Environmental risks – these can include influences such a peer pressure and stress as well as physical or mental abuse of an individual (particularly as a child). Overall, those who live with frequent pressures and stress are more likely to reach for a substance to cope and are therefore at higher risk of becoming addicted.

    Drug type – it is very well known that certain drugs are simply more addictive than others. Using substances such as heroin increases the risk of becoming addicted for need to ‘chase’ a high as well as physical dependency.

    Drug administration – how a drug is administered can affect its addictive qualities. A drug injected rather than smoked or snorted will release a quicker and more intense high thus making it psychologically (and in many cases physically) more addictive.

    Biological factors – it is now widely reported that being an addict is not only psychological but also biological. This includes your genetic makeup, mental health, sex and age. It is also reported to be 8 times more likely for the child of an addict to become an addict themselves.

    Its believed that addiction is approximately half genetics and therefore some are 50% more likely to become addicted than others.

    How do you help a loved one trapped in addiction?

    The first step is to help and encourage the individual to become willing to accept help. They do not need to be shouting this off the rooftops, but they do need to be willing to go into treatment. There are ways to help someone become willing to get treatment for alcohol or treatment for drugs.

    Set boundaries – set boundaries and stick to them. Once you have laid them out follow through with whatever consequences you have set however hard it is.

    Stop finances – if you are financially supporting someone stopping these finances can be the quickest way for the addict needing to ask for help. With no money to acquire a substance an addict’s options become very limited.

    Intervention – getting together with other family members/friends/colleagues and staging an intervention is often very successful in the fist stage of acceptance and gaining an admission to residential rehab.

    You can’t make them quit, this can lead to dangerous withdrawal. Boundaries are very important in helping someone become willing to get help. Unfortunately you cannot do someone’s recovery for them and without self-motivation it is very hard to make it work.

    The next step is to call our highly trained advisers 0203 955 7700.

    There is a huge range of rehab options available and where to start can be completely over whelming so let us help.