Confronting a Drug Addict with an Intervention

Confronting a Drug Addict with an Intervention


What do you need to know about confronting a drug addict?  Well in most cases you basically have 2 options that you can use: you can try to be confrontational, in-your-face, and maybe even a bit threatening, or you can be loving, caring, and supportive.

Believe it or not people have had success in confronting addicts using both approaches.  In the old days they basically used the former approach of being fairly aggressive.  Nowadays they tend to lean more towards the loving and supportive approach as the best way to confront an addict.

One thing to keep in mind if you are planning on doing this is to get clear about your goals beforehand. Most people do not do this and instead they just start talking with the addict without any real plan or forethought.  Instead, sit down and figure out beforehand what you want to get out of the confrontation.  What is the best possible outcome for you and the addict?  Is it to get the addict to admit that they have a problem?  Is it for the addict to agree to get some help?  If this is the case then you need to get more specific.  Just getting them to admit they have a problem does not help either of  you, even though this admission may be a necessary step for them on their journey (admitting it to you means very little….admitting it to themselves is what is truly important).

Tech@NYU Startup Week Spring 2011
Creative Commons License photo credit: techatnyu

Any addict who is cornered can agree to “get some help” and then basically walk away and revert back to their current lifestyle without changing anything. You don’t want this to happen.  The real outcome that you want is for the addict to agree to take specific action in getting help for their problem.  In most cases this will be going to a treatment center or a drug rehab of some sort.

- Approved Treatment Center -


Now most treatment centers and rehabs do not actually take spur of the moment walk in clients unless they have a large amount of cash to pay for treatment services.  Therefore, if you are serious about confronting the addict in your life and getting them some help, you should make some calls in advance and see if you can set up an appointment for treatment.  If you can have a situation where you confront an addict and can take them immediately to rehab, then this is really the best possible outcome for everyone.

The goal should be immediate action.  Getting a verbal agreement is less than ideal.  You need the addict to actually do something if you want any hope of seeing results.

You do not necessarily need to pay big money for a formal intervention in this case.  Just do the footwork yourself and set them up for inpatient detox and residential treatment.  Then confront them and urge them to go.  Having a specialist to help in this type of effort is not necessarily going to give you the huge edge that they want you to think that it does.  Informal interventions can work just as well.


- Approved Treatment Center -call-to-learn-about