April 4, 2018

Someone you love is lost in addiction. It seems you have done everything you know to do. You have even begged, pleaded, rescued and cried a mountain of tears. You are emotional, physically and spiritually exhausted. The effects of addiction go far beyond the family – to friends, the church family, and the workplace. You may even have lost all hope that your loved one will ever be set free from the bonds of addiction.

Since you’ve tried everything else you may be looking at Intervention as your last resort but have to no idea what it is, its purpose or if it’s right for you. Simply stated, an intervention is a process that provides an event that consists of family and friends who come together because someone they love is lost in addiction and out of control. Through the intervention, the hope is to help the addict admit to the severity of the problem and surrender to the help that is being provided.

An Intervention is a priceless gift of opportunity for change by stopping the destruction of addiction.

An Intervention presents the truth in such a concentrated way that most often the eyes of the addict open for a time so that they can see the truth about their addiction. Once the truth is seen in its ugly nakedness, he or she is more willing to accept the immediate help that is being offered. The nature of addiction is such that some catastrophe or emergency may be just around the corner. The hope of Intervention is to stop it before it takes place.

Most often the “help” that family and friends offer is actually the enabling kind and that serves only to prolong the insanity and may even contribute to the addicts’ destruction. With an Intervention, you stop caring for the addict and begin to show how much you care about him or her. The driving force behind Intervention is love and concern for the addict. Intervention isn’t about anger, resentment or a desire to punish and hurt. These have NO place in the intervention process. The intervention provides motivation for change; however, it doesn’t use intimidation, manipulation or humiliation. These tactics don’t work! With an intervention, the addict is forced to look at the ways his or her addictive behavior has hurt those who love them most. Pain and consequences are great motivators for change. Both are part of the power of intervention.

The intervention process brings all participants together…in unity and communication there is power! I’m sure you have felt powerless in the midst of lies and manipulations.

But everything changes after intervention! Beginning with you!

It all begins with a power shift from the addict’s wants and demands…to what you want. Intervention removes the power from the addict and transfers it to you. You get off the roller coaster of addiction by learning to set healthy, livable boundaries. You are no longer enabling. Lines are drawn between what is acceptable behavior and what’s not.

The Goals of Intervention

There are two goals of a intervention. The primary goal is to motivate the addict to seek help immediately by breaking down defenses so that reality can shine through long enough for the person to accept it. Prior arrangements are made so that the addict can go immediately to a recovery facility. This takes place at the conclusion of the intervention.

The secondary goal is set in place only in the event the addict refuses to accept help. As a group, you desire to shatter the enabling system which makes it very difficult for the addict to continue in addiction. Consequences are communicated and set in place. The lines of communication have now been opened between all concerned parties. All lies have been exposed and you will speak openly and freely. No more secrets will be kept. Because of all the preparations, you will be aware of recovery center options at hand when you need them.

The biblical foundation for Intervention: Love and Truth

It is important to remember that the underlying and overriding basis for intervention is love… an unconditional love of the addict. Let’s face it, some people are hard to love, especially after the person has hurt, lied and deceived again and again. Yet, love is not a choice. Jesus is our example and He loves the “unlovable.” The Bible calls us to love in the same way Jesus loves us – with an everlasting love.

In John 13:34 Jesus says “love one another as I have loved you.”

God’s love for us is deeper than we could ever fathom – and in His love, He disciplines and allows consequences of behavior to happen. Not because He is cruel, but because these are the very things that bring about change for our good and His glory. (Romans 8:28)

Addiction is a breeding ground for the lies of Satan.

John 8:44 says “When he [Satan] lies he speaks his native language for he is a liar and the father of all lies.”

Both you and the addict are easy prey. When you are confused and full of despair it’s easy to believe his lies. Intervention exposes the lies and brings them out of the darkness and into the light.

The intervention provides a time for you and your loved ones to come together and in love expose the lies you all have been living under and do it bathed in love and truth.

It all begins with a phone call

All it takes is one phone call from a concerned loved one (friend or family) who have exhausted all other avenues of help. Yet, that call is the hardest thing to do.


  • Only 1 in 10 families who call for help actually follow through
  • After an intervention, 9 out of 10 addicts get treatment(65% go directly into treatment – 25% go into treatment in the weeks that follow)
  • Conclusion: It is 10 times harder to get a family to intervene than it is to get an addict to surrender.
  • Intervention has a high success rate of getting an addict into treatment. In this, there is a great hope for a new life. The truth is the addict doesn’t just need a changed life but a new life. This is what Jesus wants to give. 2 Corinthians 5:17 “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone the new has come.”

 Who does the Intervention?

It’s important to remember that Interventions should not be coordinated and presented without the presence of a neutral third party. This is necessary to maintain control and oversee the process. There are professional Interventionist and those who do interventions as a means of ministry (Professional Interventionist, some trained pastors, people in recovery, employers, or teachers and counselors)

The Intervention process consists of:

  • Making a phone call to an Interventionist and following through
  • Interventionist plans a strategy, gathering a group of concerned family and friends (6 – 12 people best or as little as 2) who are committed to the process and follow through with consequences – discussed and agreed upon beforehand
  •  Interventionists
  • Considers all possible angles and outcomes
  • Sets a time and place
  • Contacts a recovery facility able to accommodate immediate entry
  • Family and friends write a two-part letter (the heart of the intervention) to be read at the Intervention.

Part 1 – Includes personal feelings about the problem, facts (what you have witnessed) and what you have felt as a result of the addicts’ behavior, ends in confirming love

  • Hope and help are offered. It is explained a rehab has an immediate opening and a decision must be made to either accept or reject the help being offered

Part 2 – Read-only in the event the addict refused help. This outlines consequences. Also ends in confirming love. Consequences go into effect immediately.

Intervention is never a failure

Even if the addict decides not to go for immediate help the Intervention isn’t a failure because everything changes after an Intervention.

  • There has been a power shift  – out of the addicts’ hands and into yours
  • All tricks and manipulations are now out in the open and you won’t fall for them again
  • Most importantly you have given the addict hope, love and established boundaries
  • Many times intervention is so convicting that approximately 90% of the addicts who say “no” to treatment come back within 30 days and ask for help. (when consequences are followed through)

Intervention is not a quick fix, easy or a guarantee your loved one will be set free from addiction. Through Intervention the hope is a life-changing encounter with God.

Digging Deeper

For more help on this topic or for information on the multi-faceted ministry of America’s Keswick, call 800.453.7942

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