The new year is an opportunity for renewal and wellness. If a drug or alcohol intervention has been on the horizon for days, months, or even years, the new year is your opportunity to make a positive change for yourself or a loved one. In many cases, it’s obvious when a person needs help. You may know deep down inside that you have been struggling with binge drinking or alcohol addiction, trying to hide the reality from your friends and family. Or you may have been aware of your loved one’s dependence on prescription medication, or your friend’s addiction to illicit drugs. You may be afraid to speak up in fear of insulting or accusing someone you care about.

But reaching out for help for a substance use disorder isn’t an inconvenience or a shameful expression of failure. It’s a symbol of strength and a mark of genuine integrity and love. Now is the moment to stand up and make a change that could impact the rest of your life. For some, that means staging an intervention for drug or alcohol addiction to help protect someone they care about. It could mean having an uncomfortable conversation with your father, who doesn’t even remember ringing in the new year because he was too drunk to take note. It could mean taking action for your spouse whose prescription pill use goes beyond treating chronic pain. Or it could mean encouraging your adult child to find themselves after months of heroin use.

If you need help encouraging a loved one to find treatment for drug or alcohol addiction, there are several guidelines to keep in mind for a successful intervention. It’s important to have a clear goal in mind when talking to someone you love about recovery, whether that means planning for participation in a rehabilitation program, utilizing local outpatient resources, or seeking guidance from group meetings like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous.  

When establishing a care plan for a loved one, use the following as guidelines to springboard an effective intervention:

Establish a Support Network

No one is alone, but those who are dealing with addiction may often feel that way. By gathering a group of supportive friends, family members and colleagues, you can remind your loved one that life is worth living without substances. With the knowledge that others truly care, and the understanding that so many are rooting for recovery, taking the first step toward accepting help can be made a little bit easier. Make sure that everyone is on the same page before approaching your loved one. Incorporating an intervention specialist may also help your group find the right way to address their concerns.

Provide Concrete Options and Care Plans

Before approaching someone struggling with addiction, be sure to do your homework on the best treatment plans available in your area and beyond. If you want to encourage your loved one to go to drug or alcohol rehab, narrow down a list of treatment facilities and contact each one to find the best fit. Offering concrete solutions to your loved one instead of an abstract idea of treatment can help them better understand the situation and take action.

Call Your Insurance Ahead of Time

Preparation is key when staging an intervention. The nuances of finding care can feel prohibitive for those struggling with addiction, so ensuring that all the details are worked out ahead of time can give everyone peace of mind, and offer fewer opportunities for stalling. If you are looking for treatment for a family member who is on the same insurance plan as you, be sure to contact your insurance provider first. They can help you find an in-network treatment center, or determine costs for out-of-network providers. Whether you are looking for inpatient care or local outpatient treatment, knowing the estimated costs ahead of time and planning for payment can make the process smoother for everyone involved, and take away unnecessary financial worry.

Write a Letter to Your Loved One

Many intervention specialists suggest capturing your feelings in a handwritten or typed letter. You can use this letter to guide you through the intervention, ensuring that you make peace with all the challenges and emotions that you have dealt with in regard to your loved one’s addiction. This letter should also emphasize your love and dedication for your friend or family member dealing with substance use disorder. After an initial intervention, these letters can serve as motivation for a person progressing through a rehab program. Having these comforting and heartfelt messages can offer solace and encouragement during difficult times, and provide a reminder of why sobriety should be a goal.

Follow Through Immediately

An intervention is usually only successful when active strides are taken toward finding help. By having a plan in place, including options for alcohol or drug rehabilitation programs or treatment centers, you can ensure that the next step is taken immediately. That next step could be making a life-changing call to enroll in rehab, scheduling an appointment with a doctor or therapist, or driving your loved one to a treatment facility. The most important part of an intervention is to have an actionable takeaway to ensure your loved one finds the help they need.


Don’t let another year, month, week or day pass before you address addiction. Sometimes, waiting too long could cost a life. When it comes to substance use disorder, every day that passes could mean an increased risk for reckless behavior at the hands of substances, or a deadly overdose. If you need help identifying the signs of addiction, or planning an intervention, The Recovery Village’s friends and family treatment portal offers consolidated resources.

If you or someone you know is ready to make a change this year, The Recovery Village is here to help. Call 352.771.2700 today to speak with a representative who can help you encourage a loved one to seek treatment, or schedule a treatment plan. With guidance, encouragement and love, your friend or family member can thrive beyond addiction.

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Intervention 101: Make This the Year They Get Help
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Renee Deveney

About Renee Deveney

Renée Deveney is a Florida-based writer dedicated to helping people overcome addiction and substance use disorder. A Southern girl at heart, she loves wraparound porches, chicken biscuits and overusing the word “y’all.” When she’s not writing for The Recovery Village, you’ll find Renée dreaming of her next travel destination, painting or catching up on classic films.

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