Intervention: How to Intervene on a Loved One Dealing with Addiction

Intervention Picture

Man in need of intervention

Addiction is truly destructive. Discovering a family member or a close friend is suffering from addiction can be overwhelming and frightening. Finding the right way to approach your loved one in need can be challenging as you seek to curtail their self-harm and end their painful reliance on drugs or alcohol while not alienating someone in need. This predicament often brings up an important question: how do you approach a loved one when you think they are suffering from addiction? What are the signs? How do you intervene?


What are the Signs of Active Addiction?


The nature of addiction is hard to understand as it can affect anyone, no matter how grounded or unsusceptible to it they appear. Countless factors can be linked to addictive tendencies including depression, anger, lost, pain, heartache, confusion, despair, anxiety and many more. These psychological factors may not always be apparent; however, there are a number of physical indicators that may be present such as noticeably bloodshot eyes, dilated or constricted pupils, seizures, strokes, heart attacks, self-harm (especially for intravenous users where a cut or hole is made for the substance to enter), and abrupt weight gain or weight loss. These physical traits may be complemented by changes in behavior, such as:

  • Disappearing without cause or explanation, especially from planned obligations such as work or school
  • Borrowing money inexplicably
  • Not attending going to school or work
  • Heightened paranoia, depression, restlessness, anxiety, and reported hallucinations
  • Extreme depression spikes
  • Noticeable mood swings and personality changes
  • Loss of appetite or intense over eating
  • Insomnia
  • Over sleeping
  • Violent, angry outbursts, especially towards close friends and family

Why It may be Helpful to Enlist the Services of a Professional Interventionist.

It is important to remember the emotional and relationship history when intervening on a loved one as these factors have the potential to create a hostile situation. While this isn’t always the case, people are sometimes overconfident in their ability to handle the intervention and too often do not have a contingency option for what to do if things don’t go according to plan. Enlisting a professional interventionist to mediate the intervention can help keep the conversation from boiling into an emotionally charged and fruitless argument while improving the chances of your loved one receiving professional help.


What Does an Interventionist Do?

Before an intervention: The interventionist will learn more about your loved one’s situation and teach you how to begin the difficult conversation.

During an intervention: The Interventionist will serve as an active, unbiased moderator for the intervention. Having a third party present whose sole purpose is to facilitate getting a loved one treatment for their addiction helps to keep the conversation moving in a productive direction and away from destructive topics.

After an intervention: If the intervention is successful, they interventions will most likely help facilitate your loved one’s transition to treatment while providing your family continued support and advice during the early stages of your loved one’s recovery journey. If they intervention successful, the intervention will provide continued support and professional guidance.


To learn more about interventions or Green Hill Recovery and our academically-oriented recovery program call us at 984-204-1106 or send us an email at