family intervention plan

Creating Your Own Family Intervention Plan

Your loved one has been exhibiting symptoms of an addiction. You know something needs to be done to help them, but you’re not sure where to start or what to do. Your loved one probably doesn’t see the problem or doesn’t want to acknowledge that they are addicted. To start the process toward helping them get the help they need, you can create your own family intervention plan.

Why Create a Family Intervention Plan?

A family intervention plan can be beneficial to your loved one and to other family members who are concerned about that individual. An intervention will give your loved one an opportunity, in a structured setting, to make changes before the addiction becomes worse. When planned and conducted appropriately, the intervention can also motivate the individual to seek help for their addiction.

The process is carefully planned, in consultation with a professional who can guide you and your family through the steps of properly preparing for and conducting the intervention. As part of the intervention, you and your concerned family members will work together to get your loved one to recognize their destructive behaviors. They will need to see that they are hurting themselves, mentally and physically, and are hurting those who care about them.

Proper Preparation

Your family intervention can become a highly charged situation. Your loved one may display anger or resentment, thinking you are trying to “fix” them. Preparation can help you present your case in a more effective way, with knowledge of addiction and its effects as well as a solid plan for treatment.

Make sure that each member of the intervention team understands your loved one’s situation and knows as much as possible about addiction, including the fact that it is a chronic disease and not necessarily a lifestyle choice. Agree with each other on your goals and the steps you will take during the meeting.

Part of your preparation should involve making notes on what you want to say. Each person should be prepared to describe incidents when your loved one’s addiction has caused problems, including emotional or financial issues. These are not presented as accusations but as statements of fact. For example, maybe they couldn’t pay their rent or buy food last month because they spent all of their money on drugs or alcohol. Those are facts that cannot be argued.

What you will not want to do is prepare your loved one for the intervention. It is best that they not know what you are planning until the actual day of the meeting. Plan and prepare via phone calls, emails, or texts without your loved one’s knowledge.

Know What to Expect

A family intervention is not just a group of people who want to tell your loved one to straighten up and fly straight from now on. You should have a specific plan that includes research you’ve done on treatment options as well as a list of consequences your loved one will face if they don’t agree to seek treatment for their addiction. These consequences may be different for each person involved in the family intervention plan.

During the meeting, your group will take turns telling the loved one exactly what your concerns are regarding their addiction and their destructive behaviors. Don’t expect them to immediately open their eyes, realize what they’ve done, and promise to change.

Do expect to have an honest and open discussion, that includes each person indicating what changes they will make if your loved one does not accept your plan for treatment. Be prepared to follow through with those consequences. If the individual has been living rent-free with you or another family member, for example, the consequence of not getting help for their addiction might be that they have to find another place to live.

Plan to Follow Up

A family intervention plan is not a “one and done” event. If your loved one does agree to get treatment for their addiction, you and your family members may have to change your own patterns of everyday living to help reduce the potential for destructive behavior and to reinforce the positive steps they have taken. You also need to know what to do in case of a relapse, which is why you should follow up with the addiction treatment professional to be as informed as possible about realistic expectations.

If your loved one does not accept the plan your family has presented during the intervention, be prepared for possible additional behavior problems and even conflict between the individual and the intervention participants. Stay strong and maintain your focus on the consequences if this happens. You may be able to help your loved one realize the impact their addiction has on you and on other family members, further encouraging them to seek help.


At Whitman Recovery Service, we understand how you struggle when someone you care about is addicted. Our experienced intervention experts will help you plan a family intervention for your loved one, guiding your family through the process of getting them back on the right track. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we also provide telehealth services for your health and safety. Please call (210) 291-0278 if you or someone you care about is struggling with addiction or mental illness. Our team has the expertise to help your family begin the journey of recovery.