5 Signs Your Partner is Struggling With Xanax Abuse

Illegal drug use in the US is rising and we all know about the raging opioid crisis. But it’s not just illegal drugs and opioids that are dangerous. Prescription drugs are can be just as addictive and deadly when abused.

We see Xanax abuse glorified in rap songs, but those abusing it could be risking their lives. If you suspect that your partner might be abusing Xanax, you may become very concerned.

If you’re not sure whether they’re suffering from an addiction, there are a few tell-tale signs to look for. Here are a few of them that you might notice in your partner and it might be time for them to seek help.

How Dangerous Is a Xanax Addiction?

If your partner has been abusing Xanax, they could be putting themselves into a lot of danger. Doctors prescribe Xanax to people who suffer from anxiety, and when used as prescribed, it’s very effective.

But when abused and used alongside alcohol, Xanax can be deadly. It can cause users to stop breathing and even put them into a coma in some cases.

If your partner drives after abusing Xanax, their reactions will slow down. This means they could injure themselves or others as a result. When taken in high enough doses, it will have a sedative effect that can last for days.

Now you know about the dangers of Xanax. Let’s take a look at some of the signs that your partner might be struggling with Xanax abuse.

1. Their Behavior Has Changed

One of the signs of any kind of addiction to drugs is when the user’s behavior changes. You might notice that your partner acts differently around you and could be a lot more irritable.

They might also start to engage in risky behavior more often. This includes driving while clearly under the influence, getting into physical altercations, or even stealing from you or other people.

You might notice that their work performance suffers and they may fail to show up to work some days. This can quickly lead to some financial stress which can put a huge strain on your relationship.

2. Their Body Has Changed

As well as their behavior changing, you might also notice some changes in their body too. There are a number of physical symptoms that go with a long-term Xanax addiction that you should look out for.

You might notice that they’re more drowsy than usual and move around slowly. Their speech might be slurred and you might struggle to understand their speech more often.

Another common sign of a Xanax addiction is a dip in their sex drive, and combined with these other signs can also put a strain on your relationship.

There are a could of serious physical changes you need to watch out for too. These include your partner having breathing difficulties and their vision becoming blurry. If these things happen, make sure to visit the hospital as soon as possible.

3. They Experience Psychological Issues

As well as behavioral and physical changes in your partner, they may also experience some psychological issues. Because Xanax is a benzodiazepine, that means it affects the mind more intensely when it is abused.

Your partner may become much more annoyed and irritable, and you might feel like you’re sometimes walking on eggshells around them. They might also lose focus easily and forget the details of the conversations you’ve had together.

They might become manic or feel confused a lot more too. They could also experience issues falling asleep even when they complain about being tired. These are common psychological signs and if your partner suffers from these, it might be time to seek help.

4. They Lie About Drug Use

Addicts like to keep their drug abuse secret, so if your partner starts to lie about their drug use, that’s a big sign.

They might also become very defensive when you ask them about Xanax abuse and could become angry with you.

They might also lie to their doctor in order to get access to more Xanax.

5. They Push You and Family Away

Addiction is destructive and it could cause your partner to push away family and friends. They may do so in order to put their habit first, which is a common trait among people who struggle with addiction.

It might start slowly and be tough to notice. They might miss out on family events and gatherings. They might spend money you were saving in order to fund their habit.

These little things add up and can lead to a very stressful relationship with them. If this does happen in conjunction with these other symptoms of Xanax abuse, it’s time to seek treatment.

It’s Time to Help Your Partner Struggling With Xanax Abuse

As with every other addiction, you can’t force an addict to get clean if they don’t want to. They have to want to kick the habit for themselves, otherwise, they are bound to fail.

There are lots of great ways to get help for your partner though. You can stage an intervention to show them how much they are hurting themselves and their family. Then, you can find a treatment program that can help them get and stay clean from their Xanax abuse problem.

Looking for rehab programs to help your loved one with their Xanax addiction? Check out our range of treatment programs to see which ones could help your family heal from addiction.


crisis intervention

Holding an Intervention: How do you do it?

What’s wrong with you?

Is that a question you find yourself asking about someone you love. When a loved one’s battling addiction, they simply aren’t themselves anymore.

They won’t have any problem lying, stealing, or bullying, to get what they want. All you want is to help them, yet you feel powerless whenever you try.

Did you know that holding a crisis intervention could be the difference between life and death? Research shows that when done correctly, interventions can have a success rate between 80-90%. The small percentage of addicts that don’t agree to treatment during the intervention, usually do within 1-2 weeks.

If you’ve never held an intervention before, you may find yourself filled with doubt. Unsure if now is the time to act, you hold back, waiting to take action.

Don’t wait until it’s too late. Read on to learn about how to prepare yourself, when fighting for a loved one’s life.

When to Have a Crisis Intervention

There are many different types of addiction that can tear apart someone’s life. Yet, certain addictions, require an extra sense of urgency and require fast action. Failing to act, could result in irreversible damage, or even death.

Here are some life-threatening addictions that require immediate attention.

When an individual is abusing a substance, there are usually visible symptoms to friends and family members. Some of the symptoms may affect their behavior, while others may be physical.

Behavior Signs

You might see a loved one have less patience than normal. They may be more prone to aggression and anger than they used to be.

Yet, other times an individual may be more withdrawn, or lethargic than normal. The main thing you’ll be looking for is any dramatic or negative changes in their behavior, and priorities.

Physical Symptoms

Depending on the drug they are abusing, there’s a wide variety of physical symptoms that could appear. Things like bloodshot eyes or dilated pupils can be signs of drug abuse.

Once you know it’s time to act, you’ll need to move quickly. Next, we’ll look at the first step you should take to stage a successful intervention.

Learn What You’re Dealing With

First, take some time to research how addiction works. You don’t have to become an expert on the material. Instead, just focus on familiarizing yourself with what your loved one is going through.

You may think you understand what they’re struggling with. Yet, as you learn more about addiction, you will start to uncover things you never even considered were a problem.

For example, have you ever felt like your loved one just isn’t trying hard enough to quit? You’ll be happy to learn will power, and morals, don’t have anything to do with recovery.

Harvard Health published a research study, showing how addiction is a chronic disease. A disease that can alter your brain’s structure, and the way it functions.

You’ll want to share your research material with anyone who is attending the intervention. To be discrete, you can email the information to the attendees one week ahead of time. This will give them an opportunity to learn more about addiction before you hold the intervention.

Uniting Not Dividing

On top of learning about addiction, you’ll need to learn about what to express to your loved one during the intervention. You may be feeling hurt, or angry, but now isn’t the time to lash out, or look for an apology. An intervention is an opportunity to unite together, against a common enemy, addiction.

Avoid alienating an addict during their intervention. This includes pushing them away physically, or with words. The moment they walk into the room where the intervention is being held, offer them a hug. As they start asking questions, kindly offer them a seat between their two favorite people.

Remember, when they walk into the room they are likely to experience a feeling of fear. They are fearful that today is the day they face the ultimate rejection. In their minds, everyone is about to express all of their hate, anger, and pain, and blame it on the addict.

Let your loved one know this isn’t the case by using thank you statements and expressing love. Next, we’ll look at how to write letters to deliver during the intervention.

Loving but Honest Messages

Throughout your letter, try to use “I” statements whenever possible. Using “I” statements, is an assertive, yet nonaggressive, way to express how you feel.

Avoid starting your letter with evidence of how their addiction is ruining their life, and instead, open with a thank you. Have every attendee at the intervention open their letters with a personal thank you as well.

For example, your letter might read, “Thank you for all of the big and small things you’ve done for me.” Simply thanking them, will throw them off guard, and help lower their defenses a little.

Isolation is one of the scariest parts of substance abuse an addict faces. They start to believe that they are really alone, and always will be.

After you write down your thank you, transition into a loving statement. Once again, make sure every attendee is beginning their letters with the same, thank you, and I love you, format.

Your I love you statement can be short or long. All that matters is that you remind them of the love you have and always have had for them.

Find the Help You Need

Choosing to have a crisis intervention, is a major first step. Simply acknowledging an addiction is present, can take a major emotional toll on family members. Remember, you don’t have to go through this journey alone.

Addiction Treatment Services is passionate about helping families overcome struggles with substance abuse. We are on a mission to give families the support, and guidance they need, to feel whole again.

Are you thinking about planning an intervention, but still aren’t quite sure how? Let us help answer any questions you may have so you can take action today. Reach out to us using our contact us page, and we’ll be more than happy to help.


how to do an intervention

How to Do an Intervention and Do One the Right Way

Do you have a loved one who has completely spiraled out of control with their addiction? Are you worried about them constantly, and feeling like they’re never going to realize their problem on their own?

If the answer is yes, then it may be time to stage an intervention.

Oftentimes, an intervention is the best way to get an addict to realize their problem.

In fact, according to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, over 90 percent of people get help after experiencing an intervention.

But, this doesn’t mean that an intervention is easy. Interventions are very delicate situations. If you approach it the wrong way and upset the addict, the addict may decide to sever ties with you and you’ll have lost your shot at helping them completely.

With the stakes being so high, how do you make sure you do an intervention the right way?

Read on to learn how to do an intervention and do one the right way.

What Is an Intervention?

Before we dive into how to do an intervention, let’s first get an understanding of what exactly an intervention is.

An intervention involves planning a gathering with family, friends, and an intervention specialist to (lovingly) confront a loved on about their addiction.

During the intervention, you will typically present your loved one with examples of their destructive behavior, and let them know how these destructive behaviors have negatively impacted you.

You will also offer a solution to their behavior. Usually, this means presenting them with a pre-arranged treatment plan, whether that means inpatient rehab or counseling.

The treatment plan should not be vague. Rather, it should have very clear steps and guidelines. And you should explain the goals of this treatment plan.

Once you have announced the treatment plan, you should let the addict know what each loved one in the room will do if the loved one fails to agree to this plan.

This is the gist of what an intervention will consist of. However, each intervention is different and will vary according to the addict’s needs.

Now, let’s dive into what goes into planning and executing a successful intervention.

1. Select Your Intervention Team with Great Care

When planning an intervention, you need to be very careful when selecting the family and friends who will be present for it.

Only those who have a meaningful and loving relationship with the addicted person should be at the intervention.

If there is someone you know who loves the addict dearly, but is currently on bad terms with the addict, then this person should not be there.

The sole purpose of this intervention is to help convince the addict they need help. This is not a time to mend fences; that can be done later.

Also, make sure the people who come to the intervention are also people the addict is comfortable opening up around.

Once your team is assembled, make sure you keep them in the loop about what exactly will happen during the intervention. They should know who is going to speak first, who will say what, etc. No one involved in the intervention (other than the addict) should come in not knowing what the game plan is.

Having a clear game plan helps keep things organized and increases the effectiveness of the intervention.

2. Hire an Intervention Specialist

There is one member of your intervention team who shouldn’t know the addict very well: an intervention specialist.

Some people work solely as intervention specialists, while others are also social workers, therapists, or doctors.

An intervention specialist can help you form your intervention team, and they can help you put together a plan that will increase your chances of success. During the intervention, the specialist can act as the voice of reason when tensions run high.

3. Choose the Right Moment for the Intervention

Staging the intervention at the right time can make or break its success.

The best time to talk to a loved one about their addiction is most definitely when they are sober. If it’s extremely rare that you encounter the addict sober, then choose a time when they are at least close to sober.

If they aren’t sober, there’s a chance they won’t fully register what’s going on and won’t be able to think clearly. There’s a good chance they may not even remember what is said later on.

Plus, choosing a moment when the addict is sober helps ensures the safety of everyone. If they aren’t sober and become angry, there’s a higher chance of them lashing out in a violent manner.

Oftentimes, staging an intervention in the morning is the best bet. It can also be a great idea to hold the intervention after a big drug-related incident has occurred.

For example, if your loved one has been charged recently with drunk driving, holding an intervention shortly after can prove to be highly effective. This is because the consequences of their drug use will be fresh in their minds.

4. Choose the Right Location

Once you know what time the intervention will be held, it’s time to choose the location.

First and foremost, the location should always be private. You may think it’s “safer” to do it in a public place, but this can cause everyone to freeze up and feel uncomfortable about being overheard or causing a scene.

Also, many people think that having an intervention in their home is a great idea. However, this can often backfire, as the addict can simply retreat to their room or the bathroom if they start to get uncomfortable.

Oftentimes, the office of the intervention specialist or therapist is the best location. Being in this sort of setting usually forces people to be on their best behavior. Plus, an unfamiliar setting decreases the chances of the addict attempting to retreat to another room.

5. Choose a Speaking Order

It’s very important to choose a speaking order for the intervention. Otherwise, everyone will try to speak at once and you’ll end up overwhelming the addict.

Be very strategic about who speaks first and who speaks last. It’s usually a good idea to have the first person who speaks be someone the addict loves dearly and doesn’t have any “beef” with.

Usually, this is a child of the addict, or a niece or nephew. It’s someone who won’t have any bias in the situation and can really just speak from their heart.

The last person to speak should also be someone who is very close to the addict and who is directly impacted by their behavior. This is usually a spouse or a parent.

However, it may be the case that family members have already talked to the addict about their problem numerous times, and the addict may be sick of hearing it. In that instance, it can sometimes be best to leave the talking to friends and the interventionist.

Before the intervention, you can role-play different scenarios to find which one works best.

6. Hold a Few Rehearsals

Speaking of role-playing, it can also be a good idea to hold rehearsals before the intervention.

Emotions are going to be running very high during the intervention. This will make coming up with what to say on the spot very difficult. If you know exactly what you’re going to say beforehand, it’s less likely that your emotions will get in the way of you completing your speech as planned.

If someone cannot attend a rehearsal, it’s usually best to ask them to not attend the intervention, as rehearsing is a very crucial step in ensuring the intervention succeeds.

During rehearsals, you may also want to have one person role-play the addict. This way, you’ll be prepared with how to react when the addict tries to counter your statements.

An intervention specialist can be particularly helpful in these moments, as they can help you prepare what to say and coach you on ways to deal with the reactions of the addict.

7. Stay on Script

When planning an intervention, you are going to be spending hours developing the script for it.

This script will detail everything you want to say, how you want to say it, and the order you want to say it in. You will likely do multiple revisions of this script with the interventionist to ensure everything and everyone is included and heard.

When you get to the actual intervention, you may find your emotions taking over and therefore feel tempted to ad lib.

This is not a good idea, so try to stick to the script as best as possible. Don’t plan any sort of surprise speech. Catching other participants off-guard can easily derail the whole intervention.

8. Be Warm and Keep Tempers Controlled

It is never the point of the intervention to belittle the addict so they just feel awful about themselves.

If someone is an addict, their self-worth is already pretty low, and your goal should never be to make it lower.

Therefore, it’s very important to let the addict know that the intervention comes from a place of love and concern, not anger and spite. You can display this best through your body language and tone of voice.

Make sure your body language is warm and open. Do this by keeping your legs and arms uncrossed, leaning in and making eye contact with the addict when your speaking, and keeping your hands unclenched.

Your script will contain words of love and understanding, so make sure your body language matches that sentiment.

Tensions can flare up easily during an intervention, but it is absolutely necessary that everyone keeps their tempers under control. If the addict attempts to pick a fight or bring up old grievances, do not engage. Make sure the conversation always steers towards helping them and loving them.

9. Always Have a Plan B

In a perfect scenario, the addict will calmly and carefully listen to what everyone has to say and then agree to the treatment plan in place.

However, we all know that things are rarely perfect. Therefore, you need to come into the intervention with a backup plan in the event that things don’t go well.

When someone is in the throes of addiction, you never know how they are going to respond. The addict might yell and scream at everyone, leave the room, hysterically cry, or even say horrible, vulgar things that they don’t mean.

Having a backup plan in place will help you be best prepared for this scenario.

Be prepared to wait out the addict’s aggressive behavior. Make sure you are prepared to not cave into it. If the addict gets aggressive and someone else gets aggressive back, then you’ve entered a situation where you are trying to fight fire with fire.

Make sure everyone is prepared for the addict to lash out. Everyone acting in calm solidarity will help the addict calm down and re-engage in the conversation.

10. Never Give Up and Prepare for the Journey Ahead

There’s a chance the first intervention will be a complete fail.

But this shouldn’t stop you from staging another intervention in the near future. It may take multiple interventions and conversations to finally get through to your loved one.

As we said at the beginning of this article, 90 percent of people who undergo an intervention seek treatment after.

However, this doesn’t mean that the same 90 percent who seek treatment stick with their treatment and come out the other end healed. The percentage who do that on the first try is likely much lower.

Therefore, while getting the addict to agree to treatment is a great success, it is only the first step in the journey to recovery. Be grateful for this big victory, but also be prepared for the ups and downs that lie ahead.

How to Do an Intervention: Wrap Up

Now that you know how to do an intervention, it’s time to plan and execute your own.

Remember, you shouldn’t try to do the intervention alone. Check out our intervention specialist page to learn about hiring a qualified interventionist.

Out interventionists will be in your corner every step of the way!

intervention help

Drug Intervention Help: 12 Facts to Know Before Hosting an Intervention

Since 2016, the U.S. death toll due to drug overdoses has escalated out of control, with over 63,000 people dying from this scourge in that year.

According to the latest CDC Drug Surveillance Report, these numbers continue to climb. During October, President Trump declared the current opioid-abuse crisis a Public Health Emergency under federal law.

If you worry about a friend, family member, or colleague’s drug use, it’s easy to feel that there’s nothing you can do about it.

There is something you can do, but you need to move fast. Arranging a drug intervention could save their life. Will an intervention help though?

In many cases it can, here’s what you need to know before you try.

1. Intervention Basics

The first thing you need to understand is what an intervention is.

An addiction intervention is basically a meeting of concerned people who want to help a drug addict get clean. This get-together can informal or take a more structured approach with the help of an intervention specialist.

The goal of any intervention is to help the addict gain a realistic picture of their problem and help them to acknowledge it. Ideally, you should be able to persuade the drug-user to seek professional help with overcoming their addiction. This can take the form of group therapy or a stint in a rehabilitation center.

The intervention should serve to educate the person on the dangers of their behavior and offer them support and guidance.

2. What an Intervention Is Not

No intervention is ever an excuse to throw blame at, gang up on, or belittle the addict.

It is not a slanging match or an opportunity to vent your anger and frustration with their behavior.

All communication during an intervention should take place in a calm and logical manner. It’s a subtle version of tough love.

Losing your cool means you are having an argument, not an intervention.

3. When to Consider an Intervention?

You can’t stage an intervention for someone who has had a one-off binge. Prime candidates for an intervention should have one or more of the following ”symptoms”:

  • Personal, financial, professional, or social difficulties as a result of their drug use
  • Health issues due to drug use
  • An inability to control the quantities or frequency of their drug use
  • Pretending these problems don’t exist or rationalizing them away
  • Unwillingness to listen to advice or concerns about their predicament

Many addicts live in denial, trying to convince themselves that they can stop at any time. Often behind this belief, there is a deep-seated knowledge that in reality, they are far from in control any more.

When it’s done right, an intervention can show them there are people who care about them and want to help. An intervention gives them a plan for freeing themselves from drugs before they hit rock bottom.

For many, this is all the encouragement they need to start seeing things as they really are. For a few, it can be the start of a brand new future.

4. Who Should You Invite to the Intervention?

Please don’t invite people that the individual does not like, or anyone who holds a grudge against them. This will get their defenses up from the moment they lay eyes on them.

Likewise, don’t include anyone that actively supports their drug use or is likely to make excuses for them.

Only involve those with a genuine concern for the addict. The usual candidates are those who are closely related in some way, such as siblings, parents or a spouse.

Often, an intervention could include an employer or colleagues, but this would depend on their work environment and circumstances.

Getting a professional to assist you is a good way to keep things on track during the intervention. You could also include a counselor, a therapist, a recovering addict, addiction specialist, or even a church leader.

If you are staging an intervention in a work environment, the HR manager should be present.

5. Steps for Planning an Intervention

Once you’ve decided on who to include in the intervention, you need to get their buy-in. Some of your chosen few may not want to get involved.

You’d rather have fewer participants than include others who aren’t a good fit for the task at hand. Those who are genuinely concerned about the welfare of your loved one will make the time to be there.

If you’re using an intervention specialist or another professional person, find out about their availability.

Choose a Time and Place

The next step is to decide on a date and venue for the proceedings. The addict’s home or office are usually good choices. It’s easier to anticipate when they’ll be around these places. Otherwise, you can invite them to another private place where you won’t get interrupted.

Choose a time of day when the addict is likely to be drug-free – mornings are usually best. If you can hold the intervention during a time when the person is battling with a lot of remorse over their drug use, you will often get a more favorable response.

Plan Ahead

Get all the participants together to discuss guidelines for the discussion, as well as the desired outcome.

The goal of this meeting is to ensure that you stay on topic as well as educate everyone. Asking an experienced drug counselor to attend can help everyone to understand how addiction works and how to deal with objections.

Reading up on drug addiction beforehand will help you to better understand this issue and how you can help.

Ask everyone who is attending the intervention to make a list of the ways in which the individual has harmed them. They should bring this list to the meeting and stick to these topics only.

Have Solutions to Hand

Knowing what you want to achieve beforehand is imperative. It’s not enough to tell the person that you want them to stop using drugs.

Plan the desired outcome. This could take the form of contacting a rehabilitation center, getting them to agree to counsel, or booking them in for treatment right away.

6. When to Get Professional Intervention Help

It’s important to get an intervention right the first time around. If you approach it in the wrong way, you could drive your loved one further away.

They may feel bullied and resentful towards you, which will increase their secretive behavior. It will also make them reluctant to reach out to you in the future.

If there’s a chance the person is going to respond in a negative way, don’t be afraid to ask a professional for help. They know how to hold an intervention to increase your chances of success.

It’s important to get a professional to help you if your loved one is:

  • Taking a variety of mood-altering drugs
  • Suicidal or depressed
  • Known for violent outbursts or retaliation
  • Affected by serious mental health issues

Likewise, if you feel uncomfortable involving friends, family members, or co-workers in the matter, a professional counselor, therapist or intervention specialist is the answer.

7. Types of Intervention

“While each intervention is unique, there are two main types of intervention, according to the situation you face.

Direct interventions are when family and friends confront the addict and ask them to undergo treatment. These work best when the individual is starting to realize they have a problem and need a nudge in the right direction.

Indirect interventions involve professionals who work with the family to help them encourage the addict to stop using. These often occur after a direct intervention has failed or when the family is hesitant to approach the addict.

8. Steps in an Intervention

It’s preferable if the intervention comes as a surprise to the addict. This prevents them from preparing excuses and objections beforehand or avoiding the meeting altogether.

The most important step in any intervention is explaining to the individual that you’re all there out of love and concern for them.

Step two is asking them to admit that they have a problem. If they do this straight away, it’s game over. You can proceed to the last step in the intervention, which means getting them the help they need.

If they deny they have a problem, make excuses or become confrontational, the intervention should get underway.

Interventions usually take a round-robin format, with each participant reading out their list of grievances in turn. Often, when confronted with these facts, the addict will realize that they do, in fact, need help.

If this doesn’t lead to an admission, then each person needs to come up with an ultimatum. This could mean the threat of getting fired or demoted at work, withdrawal of financial support, accommodation or anything else that the individual relies on. It’s vitally important to stress that you are not withdrawing love, friendship or support.

In 90% of cases, when faced with no acceptable alternative, people will agree to undergo treatment.

9. Plan for the Best but Expect the Worst

Sometimes, the individual will be so far gone that they’ve lost all concern for their own welfare. In this case, they may refuse to cooperate. Other times, they could insist that they can stop using drugs on their own.

The best thing for you to do in this regard is follow through with the ultimatums. Let them know that you’re available for support and help, but you can’t continue to enable their destructive behavior.

Hopefully, before too long, your loved one will realize that seeking treatment is the better option.

Recovery is a personal journey and everyone has their own route to follow. There’s a good chance they’ll get there if you stick to your guns.

10. Tips for Success

Ultimately, you want the first go-round to be the clincher when it comes to an intervention. Here’s how to increase your odds.

  • Prepare thoroughly and get expert advice
  • Choose a private venue where your loved one feels safe and comfortable
  • If your loved one arrives at the venue under the influence, call it off. They won’t get the best out of an intervention unless they’re in their right mind.
  • Try talking to them one-on-one before arranging an intervention. This will get them thinking.
  • During the intervention, offer guidance, understanding, assurance, and support. Judgmental, aggressive, and shaming behavior will lead to disaster.
  • Follow up. Make sure they get the help they have agreed to.

First prize is to get your loved one to enter treatment immediately after the intervention. Don’t give them a chance to enjoy a “last blast.” Have everything prepared beforehand.

11. Finding Solutions

During the planning stages of your intervention, take a long time to research possible options to help your loved one recover. You need to find an option that works with their health insurance coverage as well as their circumstances.

It’s important that you’ve made up your mind and are ready to get the ball rolling following the intervention.

These are the most common treatment options:

  • In-patient rehabilitation
  • Psychological counseling
  • Outpatient treatment
  • 12-Step meetings
  • Group counseling

You’ll find that there are many people out there willing to help you and your loved ones escape the clutches of drug addiction.

One thing to remember is that it’s imperative that your loved one undergo a supervised medical detox. When you stop taking addictive drugs, you can expect a range of withdrawal symptoms. These can be life-threatening.

12. Why You Need Intervention Help

A licensed drug counselor, social worker, psychologist or interventionist can help you to better understand what your loved one is going through. They will guide you through the process of staging an intervention according to your specific needs and help you to achieve success.

If you choose to have them present during the meeting, they can help to keep emotions and tempers under control. They can also suggest excellent treatment options for your loved one.

They know all the tricks in the book and will be able to counter objections and excuses immediately by offering workable solutions.

Take Steps Today

Whether you are looking for intervention help or anything to do with getting your loved one on the road to recovery, get in touch. Every minute you waste, they’re getting more wasted.

We’ll get you in contact with the best, most affordable recovery center for your needs. Call us today.

substance abuse intervention

What’s an Intervention? Everything You Need to Know About Drug Interventions

If your loved one is fighting addiction, the last thing you want to do is confront them. Especially if they’ve been battling for a long time or they don’t think they have a problem.

Unfortunately, addiction is not a problem you can afford to ignore. Alcohol and other drugs cost us $740 billion annually in health care expenses, crime, and lost productivity.

At this point, you need options, and you’re probably wondering, “What’s an intervention?” It’s the first step in addiction treatment, and it’s an important step to take. Keep reading to find out what an intervention is, how it works, and how to stage one.

What’s an Intervention?

An intervention is an opportunity for family and friends to offer help to a loved one struggling with addiction. Alternately, it’s the addicted person’s opportunity to accept the help they need.

Basically, it’s an act of love.

How Does It Work?

That’s all fine and good, but how do interventions work?

Most people know interventions from TV, like Christopher’s intervention on The Sopranos in which everyone sits in a circle and reads a letter. But there’s a lot more to it than that.

An intervention is a carefully planned process in which the friends and family of the addicted person confront their loved one about the consequences of their behavior and ask them to accept treatment.

The most common model is when loved ones read from a letter they wrote for the occasion, though there are several types of intervention.

What is an Interventionist?

It is often recommended that interventions are staged under the supervision of a professional interventionist.

An interventionist is a trained professional who helps identify the people who will become part of the recovery team. Once they find these people, the interventionist guides them through the process of staging a successful intervention.

This involves supporting, educating, and training the recovery team so that they can approach the intervention with the right tools. Often, an interventionist will help prepare the script for the intervention and help the family rehearse beforehand, offering coaching and guidance.

It’s often recommended that the interventionist is present during the actual intervention. It might seem awkward to have a stranger in the room during a deeply personal moment, but the interventionist can actually be a huge help in keeping the intervention on track.

Do Interventions Work?

There’s been some debate as to whether interventions work. Part of the problem is defining a metric for success.

If the metric for success is getting the addicted individual to accept treatment, then interventions are often successful. If the metric for success is the success of the treatment, then things get murky.

Keep in mind, however, that the importance of interventions for recovery has less to do with treatment success.

The truth is, interventions don’t have a direct impact on treatment success. They’re not supposed to. The goal of an intervention is simple: to make your loved one accept treatment.

Your loved one’s success in treatment has to do with their commitment to sobriety.

Planning an Intervention

If your loved one does need an intervention, then it might be time to consider planning one.

Interventions are often used as a last-ditch effort when the addicted person has refused treatment several times, fell off the wagon, or refuses to acknowledge that they have a problem at all. However, families shouldn’t wait for rock bottom before addressing addiction.

If anything, you should start the intervention process as soon as you recognize the problem. The sooner addiction is addressed, the easier it will be to recover.

That said, interventions are not spontaneous. They’re planned down to the last detail to convey your message and get your loved one to hear you. Let’s talk about the stages of planning an intervention.

Gather Information

The first step is to make a plan and gather information.

You should start by gathering information on your loved one’s specific addiction. Alcohol addiction is different from cocaine addiction and should be approached differently.

You should also take the time to research the treatment options in your area. It’s a good idea to bring the family in on this if you can, as several different people will be able to provide a comprehensive picture of the person. It’s also easier to get a handle on finances that way.

This is also when you should look for a professional interventionist. Ideally, you should find someone with experience in your loved one’s specific addiction. They can help guide you through the remaining steps.

Form the Intervention Team

From here, it’s time to form the intervention team.

This does not mean it’s time to call in every relative. Quite the opposite, in fact.

An intervention is a highly emotional time for everyone. You’re going to tell your loved one something they don’t want to hear, and you need to make them listen anyway.

When assembling the intervention team, you want to choose the group of people who can best deliver the message. Family dynamics can be a barrier here. If your loved one has a complicated relationship with their parents, it may not be the best idea to have Mom and Dad in the room.

Sometimes, friends are a better option than family members, as they help to focus on facts and shared solutions rather than emotional responses. Children of the addicted person may also be a good option, depending on their relationship.

Either way, try to keep the group small–no more than 10 people at most, including the interventionist.

Write Your Intervention Letters

Once you have your team, it’s time to prepare for the intervention. Part of this process is writing your intervention letters.

The intervention letter is an important tool to keep the intervention on track. The letter is your script, making sure that you avoid tangents and stick to the main messaging. Since interventions are so emotional, this is a vital roadmap.

This will also keep you from becoming overexcited, frustrated, frozen, or bewildered. Letters are written in a relaxed, direct fashion, and that language will help you stay relaxed regardless of what’s running through your mind.

That said, the letter is not the place to air grievances. Save that for therapy. The goal of the letter is to communicate your love and concern for this person and your heartfelt desire for them to be healthy.

Work with the interventionist in crafting your letter. Include statements of love and support along with specific examples of your loved one’s behavior while on drugs (not accusations). The letter should not contain an ultimatum, as this will only make your loved one defensive.

Rehearse with a Professional

Once everyone has their letter, it’s time to rehearse with the interventionist. Ideally, this should occur several times so that everyone is calm and confident during the actual intervention.

During rehearsal, you should establish a clear order of speaking. This is for your benefit–if everyone knows the order of speaking, then they can patiently wait their turn instead of worrying.

Decide on Specific Consequences

You should also decide on specific consequences if your loved one does not accept treatment.

If these consequences are mentioned during the intervention, they should not be couched as ultimatums. Instead, phrase them as ways to help the family stay healthy if your loved one won’t get help.

For example, you might say that your loved one has to move out if they refuse to get clean. Work with the interventionist to figure out how to phrase these consequences.

Do not threaten a consequence unless you’re prepared to follow through.

Intervention and Follow-Up

Once you’ve rehearsed, it’s time to stage the intervention.

Ideally, the intervention should occur when your loved one is most likely to be sober. People under the influence aren’t good at emotional regulation and may agree to something that they don’t remember later. If they’re defensive when sober, they’ll be even worse when drunk or high.

Besides, it’s hard to calmly ask your loved one to seek help when you know they’re drunk or high.

Usually, this means first thing in the morning, before your loved one has had a chance to start using. Probably when they first wake up.

It should also be in a neutral location that’s soothing without being too comfortable. Many families want to stage an intervention in their homes. The issue with that is that it’s easy for your loved one to flee to their bedroom or the bathroom and the whole intervention falls apart.

If you attend church, you might ask your pastor if you can use a spare room in the church. You could also use the interventionist’s office. Ideally, it should be somewhere private that won’t immediately alert your loved one to what’s happening (or feel like an ambush).

Once there, everyone proceeds through the intervention as rehearsed. The intervention is over as soon as your loved one accepts treatment, so in the best possible scenario, you won’t need to go through everyone.

What to Do (and NOT Do)

Interventions are highly structured processes with clear rules. There’s a reason for this.

Emotions run high on all sides during an intervention. The rules and structure of an intervention exist in order to keep everyone calm, even if your loved one does get combative.

With that in mind, let’s talk about what you should and shouldn’t do during an intervention.

DO Communicate Calmly and Stick to the Script

The point of writing a script is so that you know what to say. If you go on tangents, there’s a stronger chance that you’ll get distracted, get upset, or start making accusations.

No matter what you may feel during the intervention, stick to the script. Read your prepared words and then let the next person take their turn.

That said, you don’t necessarily need to remain silent the whole time. If you do say something, though, it should be constructive. Your interventionist can help you figure out what you can and can’t say beforehand.

And throughout the intervention, you should communicate calmly and openly, even if you are frustrated.

DO NOT Yell, Raise Your Voice, or Get Upset

However, there is a good chance that you will become upset, angry, nervous, frustrated or anything in between.

Whatever you might be feeling, it’s important that you do not raise your voice, yell, or vent your frustrations.

Interventions come at a difficult time for families. Everyone in the room has as many grievances as you do. But speaking in anger or passing judgment won’t make your loved one listen to you.

As soon as you yell, you open the door for your loved one to start arguing. Soon, everyone will be yelling and there’s little chance your loved one will agree to treatment.

DO Maintain Open Body Language

Everything you say in an intervention matters. Even the things you say unconsciously.

Body language goes a long way towards making a person receptive. Try to maintain open body language throughout the intervention.

Your arms and legs should not be crossed in any way. Crossed arms are the biggest indicator of hostility, so keep your arms at your side, in your lap, or moving as you talk.

You should also try to look around, especially at the other person. Looking off to the side of the person is a major sign of being closed off or a lack of receptiveness.

If possible, try to wear loose clothing, as this will help you relax. Take off your jacket or unbutton the top button of your shirt collar so you have room to breathe.

DO NOT Accept Excuses

Finally, you don’t need to be harsh during the intervention, but you shouldn’t accept excuses.

It’s common for people on the receiving end of interventions to try to negotiate. They’ll try to negotiate the circumstances of going to treatment, or offer excuses like “I can’t go until after X is done,” or, “I can’t leave my job/kids/pets.”

Be prepared for these excuses, and don’t accept them as reasons to back down.

You know your bottom line. You knew it before the intervention. Don’t fall back on it now.

After an Intervention

Now that you know the answer to the question, “What’s an intervention?” you might be preparing to stage one.

If so, you need to be prepared for the next step in treatment.

If you need to assess your treatment options, learn about the varying levels of treatment and get in touch with us today to see what we can do to help.

Do Drug and Alcohol Interventions Work

Do Drug and Alcohol Interventions Work? (The Answer: Yes!)

Do interventions work? In short, yes but it will require the willingness necessary from your addicted friend or loved one.

In the paragraphs that follow, you’ll find a guide to helping the person you care about to get back on track and beat their crippling addiction. However, it’s important to remember that it’s not up to you rather they decide to give up their addiction.

Remember that recovery from addiction has everything to do with their own willingness to acknowledge the problem and seek help. While loved ones and friends of alcoholics have often spent years trying to convince the addict to seek help, the addict’s will is not something that anyone outside can control.

Read on to learn more about addiction and the options available.

What You Need to Do

Show empathy. Living or working with an addicted person can cause much unnecessary resentment, but it’s important that you hold your fire for the time being. Showing empathy, love, and concern in a nonjudgmental way is important when conducting an intervention.

In short, this isn’t the time to express anger or your own grievances. This can make it difficult for the addict to practice the vulnerability and acknowledgment required to make a change in course.

If your loved one feels that it is too late to repair the damage they’ve caused, they can be likely to turn back to the self-soothing substances or actions that they’ve long used as a coping mechanism.

Different Intervention Types

Sometimes interventions aren’t a choice. Forcible interventions may be conducted if the addict runs into the legal troubles that are so closely linked to addiction. This may be a court-ordered or state-mandated treatment program and while this level of intervention can be successful, it’s not a preferred choice.

Conducting an intervention with the help of trained interventionist is an example of one of the more preferred voluntary methods. This involves soliciting the help of someone who is experienced in getting your friend or partner to commit to a treatment program.

While these professionals can’t guarantee how your friend or partner will respond to the recovery process, they can be very helpful in ensuring that the addict takes the first steps necessary toward recovery.

If you don’t have the means to bring a professional interventionist in, ask for the help of other concerned parties. If you’re already attending Al-anon, group members can also be an excellent sounding board for advice, experience, and support as you take this next step.

If you aren’t already attending an Al-Anon group, be sure to check out the section entitled “There’s a Meeting for You Too” in this article.

Do the Homework for Them

Offering your addicted friend or loved one an array of options can be helpful. Asking someone to change everything can be overwhelming, so offering information on first steps can help direct them towards meaningful change.

This means giving your loved on a few options that may work for them, such as information on rehabs or a list of local AA, NA, or SLAA meetings. Do the initial legwork of making their next step clear.

Making your expectations clear can help ensure that the addict knows what you’re expecting from him. Vague expectations about behavioral improvement can lead to half-measures that end in defeat. An addict will almost always look for ‘an easier, softer way’ that doesn’t include giving up his/her addiction entirely.

While clarity is necessary, don’t make the addict feel like treatment is a punishment for bad behavior. You need to ensure that your intervention leads them toward recovery and not just further away from their support system.

Listen, be empathetic, offer support, and stand strong in your expectations. There are many books available that can help you learn more about addiction, how it functions, and how you can best offer help.

Helpful literature is also available for free online and can help you prepare for the days and weeks ahead.

Know What They’re Going to Say (Before They Say It)

One of the most common rebuttals heard from addicts is “I can’t afford to take 30 days off to go to rehab”. In reality, however, it’s likely that the addict you care about has been functioning at a fraction of their potential for years or even decades.

It’s because of this that rehab should be viewed as a momentary albeit necessary hiccup that will likely lead to a much more productive and full life. Addicts often spend the majority of their day thinking about their addiction, planning their next chance to use or cleaning up the wreckage caused by their most recent episode.

When viewed through this lens, 30 days isn’t much of a trade-off. The tools they’ll gain while in treatment will help them re-engage with their addiction-free life and stop squandering their days in search of their next high.

If you’re an employer, this can mean telling your addicted employee that time off won’t be an issue and making them aware of just how much their health coverage can pay for.

If the addict you care about is your spouse, this can mean detailing a plan of attack that you can work on together. Talk about household financial responsibilities and how they can best be managed.

There’s always a way if your partner has the willingness to give a new way of life a try. Ensure that your partner doesn’t feel too guilty to go and show him or her just how manageable the process can be.

When Rehab Isn’t an Option

When rehab isn’t an option, there are still ways that your friend or loved one can get clean. While there are separate considerations that may need to be made depending on the addiction, free services are available for nearly every addiction.

In some cases, your friend or partner may need a medically supervised detox. Depending on the level of physical dependence they’ve formed, hospitalization may be unavoidable.

These free services have some of the highest success rates in addiction treatment and are virtually everywhere. Addiction is incredibly common and affects people of all backgrounds and financial situations.

Because of this, addiction meetings are free and are often comprised of a diverse mix of people. Meetings welcome wealthy business owners and celebrities with the same level of compassion and respect that they give those who are struggling with the financial implications of severe drug abuse.

A quick web search (‘your hometown’+’alchoholics anonymous’) can provide you with a meeting finder. This printable list will detail meetings currently being held in your area.

Meetings are free, however, at the conclusion of the meeting, a basket is typically passed for donations. The typical donation is around a dollar and goes to pay for group expenses. This typically includes room rentals and providing literature to those who can’t afford to purchase ‘The Big Book’.

‘The Big Book’ and the ’12 and 12′ are the two quintessential pieces of the literature suggested for AA members. NA, on the other hand, uses it’s own blue book, as well as a Step Work guide and a book entitled ‘It Works: How and Why”. If the group lacks the funds to pay for literature for a new member, other members are likely to let the addict borrow the literature needed.

Groups are self-supporting, however, donations are never mandatory. Meetings occur everywhere (Hint: Even if you’re on a cruise ship, there’s a good chance that there may be a meeting onboard, check the events and activities section) and show the addict just how common their own experience is.

Through groups, addicts can meet people with similar stories who have turned their lives around and get the hope they need to get and stay sober.

Look for the Similarities (Not the Differences)

While Alcoholics Anonymous is the most common 12 step meeting, dependence on alcohol isn’t the only substance it can help your loved one recover from. Groups focused on an addiction to narcotics (NA) or sexual addiction (SLAA) are common, but may not occur as frequently in your area.

The basis of all of these groups is the 12 step program developed by Bill W. for Alcoholics Anonymous because of the similarities faced by all addicts. These similarities include loss of control, damage caused to relationships, and the ensuing wreckage caused.

If an NA, CA, or SLAA meeting isn’t regularly available in your area, you can encourage your partner to attend AA to seek help for their addiction of choice. This is unlikely to reduce their chances of recovery because of the commonality of experience in addicts.

Hint: Most ‘traditional’ alcoholics have used drugs or created a sexual wreckage of their own before entering recovery.

There’s a Meeting for You Too

If someone you love is an addict, there’s a meeting for you too. Al-Anon meetings are an important component of recovery.

Al-Anon meetings help to give the friends and family member of alcoholics the tools they need to support their loved ones and themselves. Dealing with the pain caused by an addicted loved one isn’t easy.

Al-Anon groups are easy to find, free, and can provide members with the group support and fellowship necessary for friends and family members of alcoholics, regardless of rather or not the loved one is currently in recovery.

Young people who have been affected by the actions (or inactions) of an addicted family member can also attend meetings. Alateen groups are often suggested as a tool to help young people deal with the memories, feelings, and responsibility that often plague younger family members.

If the person you’re hoping to reach isn’t responsive to your requests, it’s important to know that it’s not your fault. An addict won’t get clean until it’s a choice he makes for himself. Interventions can help to show an addict just how much is at stake, but the choice is out of your hands.

Having a network of new friends who know exactly what you’re going through can help you create the necessary boundaries you’ll need if the addict you love isn’t ready yet.

Still unsure? Try a virtual meeting and see for yourself. Keep an open mind and look for the similarities you share with the regular members.

Do Interventions Work? More Answers

If you’re reading this article and wondering ‘Do Interventions Work?’ chances are that the person you care about has an issue with addiction. If you’re still unsure that what your friend or loved one is experiencing is ‘addiction’, take the Al-Anon quiz for yourself and see if you could benefit from joining their ranks.

Millions of people have been negatively affected by addiction and it’s important to know that there are resources available to you. You aren’t alone.

Isolating or continuing to hide the wreckage caused by the addict in your life deprives you of the life and happiness you deserve.  It’s no secret that isolating can make friends and family members feel alone in the world.

Fortunately, you’re part of a strong bunch. Exercise your own bravery by attending an Al-Anon meeting and share your experience with someone who needs it.

Without the willingness to expose your own truth to individuals who find themselves in similar situations, your own recovery can’t begin. This of this as a show of solidarity with your addicted friend or partner, who will need to do it same.

For more information on how you can help the addict that you love and begin to repair the damage that’s been caused, call the professionals at Addiction Treatment Services. We’re here to help.

treatment programs

A Thorough Explanation of Types of Addiction Treatment Programs

In 2016, 63,632 Americans died of a drug overdose. It’s an overdose epidemic, and it’s spreading across geographic and demographic groups like wildfire.

Helping a loved one through addiction is a frightening time. And although it’s an uphill battle, it’s not one your loved one can afford to fight alone.

The fight gets easier if you have the right treatment program to support the process. Here, we’ll break down several different types of treatment programs and therapies to help you find the best fit.

Types of Treatment Programs

Before we talk about specific therapies, let’s talk about the types of treatment programs offering them.

Most people have only heard of rehab through celebrity gossip magazines. But the truth is, there are many options available to help ordinary people beat addiction.

Most treatment programs start with a medically-supervised detox and withdrawal. The patient then goes to the next stage, which involves learning to live a sober life.

Long-Term Residential

One of the best-known programs is long-term residential treatment. It’s also the most immersive treatment option available.

Long-term residential treatment provides 24-hour care in a non-hospital setting. This is usually a treatment facility using a therapeutic community model. The patient will stay at the facility for a predetermined length of time – usually 6 to 12 months.

The focus of these programs is resocialization of the individual into a community. It utilizes every aspect of the community as a therapeutic component.

Addiction is viewed in social and psychological terms. Treatment develops personal accountability and responsibility, teaching patients how to lead productive lives.

The important difference here is long-term inpatient treatment as opposed to outpatient care. The period after detox is riskiest, and because of this, supervision is vital to the patient’s success and resilience.

Short-Term Residential

Short-term residential treatment is a lot like long-term but smaller.

Long-term residential treatment removes the patient from their old routines. Short-term residential operates on a modified 12-stop model, usually lasting between three to six weeks.

The original model consisted of intensive three to six-week in-hospital treatment followed by extended outpatient care and participation in a self-help group.

The key to success with programs like this is the patient’s ongoing commitment to outpatient care. Long-term residential programs use a supervised environment to keep patients honest. Short-term programs demand more conscious choice on the part of the patient.

This can make them feel riskier than long-term inpatient. However, they are often more affordable than long-term care. They may be more accessible to those with work or family commitments.

Outpatient Treatment

The next step on the ladder is outpatient treatment.

There’s some debate as to the efficiency of inpatient vs. outpatient care. Both options are intensive and demand equal commitment from the patient–they just focus on different things.

The specific content of outpatient care depends on the provider in question. These services tend to be less expensive than residential care. They may be more suitable for those with job commitments or an extensive social support network.

12-Step Program

The most famous of all the treatment types is the 12-step program, created by the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous. Today, there are 12-step programs for many different types of substance abuse.

As the name implies, 12-step programs take each individual through the 12 steps of recovery. This is done with guidance from fellow recovering addicts and focuses on community support and accountability.

There are two main drawbacks to 12-step programs.

First, these programs are often faith-based, and so may not be as accessible to non-Christians and atheists. Second, these programs are most successful for European-American men, as they tend to focus on volunteering to speak up.

The 12-step program has also inspired several similar programs. One is the SMART recovery system, which treats both addiction and behavioral disorders. Where 12-step emphasizes powerlessness over addiction, SMART focuses on self-empowerment to change behavior.

Detox Centers

Finally, there are detox centers.

Detox centers tend to be more of a stepping stone, as many patients pass through detox centers on their way to a different kind of treatment.

Detox centers are facilities offering 24-hour medical supervision to patients undergoing drug detox. This ensures that the patient goes through withdrawal safely to prevent relapse.

Types of Therapy

There are several different types of therapies which treatment programs use.

The specific therapies depend on the treatment center and their recovery philosophy. It’s important to research what would benefit your loved one and what treatment centers in your area offer the appropriate therapies.

There are many more therapies than the types listed here, but these are among the most widely available.

Individual vs. Group

The two best-known types of therapy are individual and group therapy. The basic difference can be summarized as one-on-one meetings with a therapist or a therapist running a meeting with a group of patients.

However, the techniques vary depending on whether you’re receiving individual or group therapy. In fact, many of the techniques listed below can be used as part of individual or group therapy.

The key is to figure out which form your loved one would benefit from the most. Would they talk one-on-one about their problems with a therapist? Or would they empathize with other individuals who share their struggles better?

Some people are more comfortable with the idea of group therapy. Others are uncomfortable speaking about their issues in front of strangers. Sometimes people do both or switch back and forth. It depends on what the specific patient needs and wants most.


Biofeedback therapy is a type of therapy designed to help addicts regain control of their minds and bodies during treatment.

During biofeedback, electronic sensors are wired to the patient’s skin. These sensors are wired to a special medical device giving the doctor feedback on biological signals. These include:

  • Heart rate
  • Breathing rate
  • Blood pressure
  • Skin temperature
  • Sweating
  • Muscle contraction

The idea behind this is simple. Addiction and withdrawal cause heightened physical stress and involuntary responses. By reading signals as cues, biofeedback helps the patient regain control of their own body.

For example, if during biofeedback the doctor saw that the patient had an elevated heart rate, they could then cue the patient to do stress-relieving techniques like mindfulness meditation or progressive muscle relaxation. By practicing these techniques, the patient can see their heart rate going down.

Cognitive Behavioral

Cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, is a popular therapeutic method founded in the 1980s.

CBT shows that many of the harmful actions of addiction are not logical or rational. A cognitive behavioral therapist works with a patient to identify the negative automatic thoughts behind these behaviors, based in impulse and arising from internalized feelings of fear, anger, or self-doubt.

By identifying and working to dismiss these harmful thought patterns while replacing them with healthier thought patterns and self-help tools to improve mood and communicate more effectively, CBT works to uproot the harmful patterns of addiction by stopping a negative spiral before it begins.


About 7.9 million people in the U.S. experience a co-occurring substance abuse disorder and mental illness. Dialectical behavior therapy is designed to address both problems at once.

Originally used on patients with borderline personality disorder and suicidal thoughts, dialectical behavior therapy focuses on helping patients build the coping skills and confidence to handle stressful situations in a healthy, productive manner. Commonly emphasized skills include:

  • Distress tolerance
  • Mindfulness
  • Communication skills
  • Interpersonal effectiveness
  • Emotional regulation
  • Self-image empowerment

This is typically achieved through a combination of skills training, individual therapy, team consultation, and support groups.


Whereas many therapeutic methods involve sitting back and talking with a therapist to puzzle out the heart of a problem, experiential therapy is much more hands-on.

One of the more nontraditional therapy methods in the therapist’s roster, experiential therapy focuses less on talk therapy and more on putting a patient in an environment where they feel comfortable expressing themselves and addressing issues. Common experiential therapies include:

  • Art therapy
  • Music therapy
  • Recreation therapy
  • Rock climbing
  • Ropes courses
  • Sculpting
  • Wilderness therapy

This may be a good option for patients who aren’t comfortable sitting in an office to talk to a therapist. It’s not just fun and games though. It’s about helping those in recovery develop a stronger sense of self in order to address past traumas and deal with difficult situations without turning to drugs.


For recovering addicts who consider themselves religious, getting clean isn’t just a process of learning to live without drugs. Many people struggle with their faith in relation to their addiction, questioning what their addiction means for their spirituality and their belief in God.

Faith-based rehabilitation addresses both physical and spiritual concerns – the difficulty of getting sober and the difficulty of wrestling what that addiction means for their faith.

Faith-based therapy provides all of the same medical services and therapies offered by other therapies. But it offers them with spirituality as the bedrock, which can be comforting for individuals who have spent their lives with religion as a foundational support system.

Many of the therapies listed here may also be considered faith-based if they are provided with a faith-based foundation by a treatment center with a focus on faith and spiritual healing.

Finding the Right Substance Abuse Program

On one hand, knowing that there are so many potential treatment options out there can be a great comfort. On the other hand, it can also make the whole process more confusing if you don’t know where to begin.

The trick to finding a good addiction recovery program is not to find the best possible one, but rather to find the best possible option for your loved one.

For example, it won’t do much good for your loved one to go to a Christian faith-based treatment program if they’re an atheist or non-Christian.

Steps to Finding a Treatment Program

There are a few simple steps you can follow to find the right program for your loved one.

For starters, you should do your research and know your loved one. Are they more of a rational, hard logic-type, or are they more spiritual? Are they the type of person who’s good at talking through their thoughts when prompted, or do they work through problems by using their hands?

Once you have a handle on what your loved one would best respond to, do some research on treatment options in your area relative to what you can afford and what option is most realistic for your loved one in terms of work, family, life, recovery balance. Bring the family in on it to help.

After you’ve narrowed down a few options, don’t be shy. Start calling each individual program with a list of questions about their treatment options, what type of substance abuse recovery they specialize in, and their treatment philosophy.

If at all possible, you should visit treatment facilities, especially detox centers or inpatient treatment centers. Take a tour of the facilities and get a realistic assessment of what you see.

For example, is the staff helpful and engaged? Can they readily answer your questions about treatment, day-to-day routines, and patient care? Are they attentive to patients? Do the patients there seem happy to be there? Can you talk to one of the doctors who might treat your loved one?

If your loved one is receptive, bring them in on the process. They know themselves best and will be able to help choose the right treatment center for them. If they’re not comfortable with a certain treatment facility, it’s not the right fit for them. This is also an opportunity to help them conquer myths and fears surrounding therapy and mental health treatment.

Do You Need to Find Treatment Programs?

We know that you and your family are going through a difficult time. Addressing your loved one’s addiction at all is a huge first step towards helping your loved one, and your family, begin the healing process.

It’s a scary process and it may take time, but that doesn’t mean you have to do it alone.

If your loved one is fighting addiction, we’re here to help you explore your treatment options. Use our search tool to find a treatment program in your area, or get in touch with us 24/7 for a confidential consultation.

when intervention fails

Can You Force Someone to Go to Rehab? When Interventions Fail

As more than 23 million Americans are dealing with drug addiction at any point in time, there are many ways to approach recovery. If you want to help a family member or friend who might be stubborn, you might wonder “can you force someone to go to rehab?” Well frankly, the answer is no, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do other things if your intervention fails.

Here are 9 things to do if an intervention fails and you’re left struggling to get your loved one the help they need.

1. Don’t Give Up

If you go through the trouble of putting together an intervention, you might be exhausted from all the effort. Even if you did everything right, it might not seem like anything at all has changed. The best interventions will end with a specific request that your loved one either sign up for a specific program or take another specific action.

Interventions can end with a drive to a rehab clinic moments after the intervention ends. Others are not as firm and will lead to a promise that your loved one might immediately break.

If they break their promise or refuse to go to treatment, don’t blame yourself. You went through the trouble of putting together an intervention out of love. It might take some time and even more work, but your loved one will eventually come around.

Brace yourself for what’s to come. Getting your loved one to go to another intervention might not be possible. In fact, it may have to get worse before it gets better.

However, that doesn’t mean you need to suffer as well. Following this guide will help you to prepare.

2. Make a Strong Case

Take a look at your intervention and scrutinize how things went down. Perhaps you let some people talk too much. Perhaps things got heated and people said some things that they regret.

Regardless of what happened, you now know what an intervention can look like so that you can learn for next time.

Next time, you need to make sure you make a stronger case. Look for where your loved one could have disputed their behavior and how their addiction has affected the family. Rather than trying to figure out what your loved one did wrong, learn about what you might have done wrong.

Instead of trying to plan for another intervention, you need to think about the next steps. However, in the event an opportunity presents itself to make another intervention, you need to know how to make your case stronger.

Be ready with a defense if your loved one tries to avoid an intervention. While they might not think they need one, you need to be ready to tell them why they need it.

3. Understand Their Perspective

One of the most important ways to think about this intervention is through the eyes of the person you’re dealing with. They have their reasons for falling into addiction. There’s something that keeps them going back even when things get bad.

What might have started as an escape from trouble or a fun adventure then becomes a biological need. Addiction can’t just be eliminated by removing the thing that someone is addicted to. Addiction changes the addict’s brain chemistry and the person’s reactions to the things around them.

If you don’t think about how your loved one is impacted on a day to day basis by their addiction, you’ll keep trying to get them to do things that they just can’t do. Pushing them to “just quit” isn’t possible when it could be dangerous. Quitting cold turkey might seem simple to you, but your body isn’t addicted to something the way their body is.

You also need to think about the ways that they are triggered to engage with their addiction on a regular basis. There are triggers that have to do with work stress, family life, or past trauma all around them. You need to find out what they are so that you can help them see past those triggers.

4. Try Another Approach

If your intervention didn’t work, you need to try another type of approach. An intervention only works if your loved one wants it to work. You need to find something that might appeal to what they want and need.

Try looking at ways that you could help them improve their life. If you’re going out on an outdoor adventure or spending a day hiking in the woods, that could break whatever pattern they’ve fallen into. Addictions are treated in a wide variety of ways, and breaking bad patterns is certainly one of the most useful approaches.

Give your loved one more reasons to leave their addiction behind. While they might know how their addiction impacts the people around them, perhaps realizing they can’t hike as far as they used to could wake them up. It’s hard to figure out what changes an addict’s behavior, so try different things.

Make sure you ask questions all along the way. One of the things that drives a wedge between addicts and their families is that families impose their perspective onto addicts. It’s hard to come to an understanding of why your loved one is acting the way they are, but do your best.

Sometimes just asking questions makes them feel heard enough to change.

5. Do More Research

If you feel like you don’t understand your loved one’s addiction, the truth is that you probably don’t. Addictions are complicated and unique. If you don’t understand your loved one’s addiction and you want to help them, it’s your responsibility to do some research.

Be wary of “one size fits all” solutions. There are no quick fixes to addiction. There are no shortcuts to getting better.

The only answer is hard work, and reality is that it could take years.

If you tried to get your loved one to go to a specific program, contact counselors there. If you fear they’ll lean into a sales pitch, look for addiction counselors in your region who specialize in what your loved one is going through.

Finding someone local is very important. In some rural areas, a combination of a local industrial plant closing and health epidemic could create a crisis. If the doctors or pharmacists in your region are feeding prescription painkillers to these vulnerable people, a local counselor will know all about it.

After dealing with some patients, they’ll know what typically works for people and can help you. While you might find some interesting articles on the internet, someone who has experience that closely matches your loved one’s experience is essential.

6. Make Some Ultimatums

You might find that you have to make some ultimatums to get your loved one to pay attention. These will take a wide variety of forms. They can be as broad as “we’re going to have trouble being there for you” to something as specific as “you will be taken out of the will“.

Every family’s situation will require a different approach. The important thing to remember is that you have to be firm and stand behind your words. If you back down, your loved one will expect that and won’t respect your approach.

Ultimatums are difficult to stand behind, so make sure yours aren’t as hard to get behind. Make your ultimatums as clear as possible so that you don’t have to back down or change them later on. Make ultimatums that aren’t harmful but still motivate your loved one.

If they rely on you for housing or for health insurance, you can’t take those things away. Things can always get worse, so don’t try to stoke those flames.

However, if you’re lending your goodwill, your money, and your time to your loved one and they’re abusing you, you can tell them to stop. If that means you have to cut them out of parts of your life, so be it. You can’t help them if you don’t have anything to help with.

7. Don’t Force Them

You can’t make someone go to rehab. As much as you feel like that’s the answer, forcing them is the worst thing you can do when you’re trying to get someone to improve their life. Making someone go to rehab will ensure that they don’t take it seriously.

They are more likely to leave, to make life difficult for the staff, and to waste your time and energy. Forcing someone to do something they’re not ready to do is never okay. Even if you’re sure it will save their life, forcing them into rehab will ruin your chance at getting them the help they need.

When you force someone to go into rehab, you’re going to be fighting against their intuition, their addiction, and even their brain chemistry. Addiction causes us to prioritize our addictions over everything else. When challenged, those addictions will fight back and risk damaging relationships with friends and loved ones.

8. Build A Strong Network

You and your loved one will benefit from building a strong network of people to help you with your next steps. If your intervention didn’t work, you might want to attempt another one.

You’ll be able to get everyone together to brainstorm on what would be good for your loved one. Rather than struggling to come up with answers on your own, the help of people who you know love that same person will help you build a strong bond. Together, you can ensure that you take an approach that will be productive and positive for the person you love.

The more important thing to do for one another is to all stay on the same message. It’s vital that you all work to assert the same thing over and over to your loved one who is struggling with addiction. If you change your approach or the action you want your loved one to take, make that change together.

If everyone in your loved one’s life is telling them the same thing, it’ll be much easier to get them to change.

Stay in communication and with each change in the situation, keep everyone informed. You’ll rely on one another to get your loved one the help they need, so make sure you’re always working together.

9. Protect Family Members and Children

While you’re coming up with a plan for helping your loved one, remember that there could be vulnerable family and children involved. If you’re a friend or family member of someone struggling with addiction, they could also be helping an elderly parent. Their negligence could have ramifications that reach beyond just your loved one’s life.

You need to also protect any children that are around. Negligence can have a seriously negative impact on children who aren’t old enough to know how to care for themselves.

Your next move might be to get the authorities involved. If you fear that children could be taken away and moved into foster care, you could get involved and take custody. If you fear they could fall into the hands of an abusive partner, step in and make sure the authorities know.

If part of the reason for your intervention is to help out vulnerable family members who your addicted friend or family member care for, don’t take risks. Get people involved who can step in and help.

Still Asking Can You Force Someone To Go To Rehab?

If you’re still wondering “can you force someone to go to rehab”, you need to let that battle go and prepare for the fight ahead. If you’ve tried to get them to go to rehab once and it didn’t work, you need to take on a different approach. Instead of telling your loved one what they need, why not try asking?

If you want to know more about what options are available to your loved one, check out our latest guide.