What is an Alcohol Intervention and How Do They Work? June 17th, 2021 The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake
Blog & News What is an Alcohol Intervention and How Do They Work?

What is an Alcohol Intervention and How Do They Work?

alcoholism intervention

You may have heard the term intervention before, whether it’s the T.V. show or a word used casually amongst friends when they want to tell a loved one something important. The key thing to know here is an intervention should not be thought of as something casual.

An intervention is a tool used to help those who are suffering from an alcohol or drug addiction. It can be the doorway to a new life for someone in need. And if you haven’t heard the word intervention before, I’m going to tell you everything you need to know about alcohol interventions.

What is an alcohol intervention?

An intervention is a planned meeting. The meeting is generally planned by family, friends, and loved ones of someone who has an alcohol addiction or dependence. The person’s addiction has affected their life and the lives of their loved ones in a negative way. An intervention is an opportunity to express concerns about the health and well-being of your loved one who has an alcohol addiction. During the intervention, the goal is to get your friend or family member to attend a detox or addiction treatment program, or at the very least, to see a doctor or a therapist about their alcohol issues.

In an intervention, you’ll have the chance to express your concerns about the alcohol issues of your loved one. You’ll be asking them to accept that they have an issue with alcohol and to address this issue with treatment. Not only will you be able to talk about the negative impact their addiction has had on your life, but you’ll also be able to suggest a course of action for treatment and present your loved one with a set of personal consequences (often called a bottom line) if they choose not to get help.

The most important thing to remember is that your friend or family member is in pain and needs help if they want to live and get well. The ultimate goal of the intervention should be to help them get the help they require and deserve. Through treatment, your loved one will learn how to live a life free from alcohol and drugs.

How does an intervention work?

There are several steps involved with an alcohol intervention. First, you’ll need to plan out the intervention.


Interventions require careful thought and planning beforehand. The plans need to be in sync with your loved one’s needs and circumstances. What you tell them, how you get them there, and how to approach them are all unique depending on their situation. It’s important that there is a schedule with times on when you want the intervention to start and end, and the order in which the intervention attendees will speak and what they will say. The thought of planning something so important can be overwhelming—that’s why we recommend you get help from an intervention team or a trained medical professional.

Intervention team

You’ll need to think about who should be at the intervention. You should invite the closest people in the life of the individual who needs help. This normally includes parents, children, best friends, close family members, and significant others. It also could be helpful to seek out an interventionist, or other trained professional such as a social worker or addictions counselor. These people normally have experience with organizing and leading interventions. A professional of this caliber can also help you deal with issues that may arise, such as if your loved one wants to leave the intervention or gets upset about being confronted.

Intervention content

You’ll need to research the disease of addiction to make sure that everyone who attends the intervention is informed. You’ll also need to research addiction treatment centers so that you have options ready to offer to your loved one. You can have arrangements and travel plans ready to ease the process after your loved one makes a decision. Each person who attends the intervention should have a letter or notes, detailing concrete examples of how the person’s addiction has affected their life and showing their love and support.

Intervention schedule

After your loved one arrives at the meeting, each person will read their letter and express their concerns. Then the offer of treatment will be presented to them, and they will be asked to accept this offer on the spot. Your bottom-line consequences will be given, so your loved one knows what to expect if they don’t accept this offer. It’s important not to threaten a consequence unless you are prepared to follow through. If your travel plans are organized and your loved one agrees to treatment, they will go to treatment as soon as the intervention is over or the following day. If they choose not to accept treatment, the intervention attendees should be prepared to hold their bottom lines.

In some cases, the person who has an addiction in your life may not be ready to accept responsibility for their addiction and take the steps to get help. It’s important to stay patient and show your support. If they decide not to accept help at the intervention, they may have more information and options for help later on. Interventions are an excellent way to show your loved ones you care, and also to help them start their journey to recovery.

Written by: Kelly Fitzgerald

Kelly is a sober writer based in Cape Coral, Florida, best known for her personal blog The Adventures Of A Sober Señorita. Follow her on Twitter.

Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.