If you are a loved one of someone struggling with an addiction, you might at some point participate in a family intervention. This is a pre-planned attempt by a family to strongly encourage a loved one to seek treatment for their addiction. Because these are sometimes uncomfortable experiences, you might not know what to say or how to respond. This article will explore some of the important things to say when you’re participating in a family intervention.

In order to best communicate what you want to say to your friend or family member, it might be a good idea to write down your thoughts and feelings first. Here is a list of what you may want to include:

  • –Changes you’ve noticed in the addict’s personality, sense of responsibility, and self-control
  • –The way that the addict’s behavior and choices has affected you personally
  • –The way you’ve seen the addict’s behavior and choices affect the family overall
  • –Any wrongdoing you feel needs to be addressed
  • –Dreams and hopes you have for the addict after treatment
  • –How much you love and care for the addict
  • –The ways in which you can provide your support while the addict is in treatment
  • –How the addict is really in charge of his own life and that no one else can help unless they want to be helped


This is a general list of the messages to include while at a family intervention. However, you may be as specific as you feel would be most appropriate. You want to be honest and truthful but also keep in mind the desired goal: for the addict to realize that he needs treatment for addiction and to realize that the time is now.

It’s important to remember that an intervention isn’t going to bring a person’s addictive behavior to an end completely. In fact, even if a person went to treatment, he may still engage in addiction-related behaviors for a period of time while he grows and heals. Addiction treatment might end the destructive cycle of addiction and the harm of using substances. However, the behaviors, thinking, and poor lifestyle choices might continue for a period of early recovery. Also, an intervention isn’t met to gang up on a person. Instead, it’s meant to communicate just how widespread the addiction is and how it’s affecting all members of the family.

Of course, not all interventions are successful. Sometimes, a person might feel hurt, angry, and rejected. An addict might get angry and storm out of the room instead of listening to what their loved ones have to say. If an intervention is not done at the right time and in the right way, it might make a person turn to substances even more. For this reason, it’s best to have a mental health provider facilitate the intervention. There are professionals who specialize in this work and can assist in the preparation and facilitation of the intervention.

If someone you know is experiencing an addiction and if you feel an intervention can help, contact a mental health provider for assistance.

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