Getting Detox Help for a Family Member

Convincing a loved to go to drug detox is not always easy and finding the appropriate type of detox help for a family member only adds to the challenge. At Briarwood, we understand this struggle and many of our staff members have been there before. In an effort to lessen the burden, we are happy to provide intervention assistance to potential detox clients.

Getting detox help for a family member is often challenging for a few different reasons. Most often, the addicted person:

  • does not realize that he/she has a substance abuse problem
  • does not want to admit that he/she has a substance abuse problem
  • believes that he/she can get sober without treatment
  • is scared to go to treatment
  • thinks treatment doesn’t work due to past experiences that were negative

Whatever the case may be, in order to successfully get detox help for a family member, you may need to plan an intervention for your loved one before and/or after detox treatment to ensure they get the proper treatment they need.

What Is an Intervention?

If your loved one is addicted to drugs or alcohol, he or she may not realize the damage their addiction is causing. An intervention is a carefully planned process in which close family members and friends confront an individual about their addiction problem and present them with an opportunity to change their lifestyle before things get worse.

There are two primary goals of an intervention: to get a loved one to admit that they need help and to convince them to enroll in a treatment program right away. An intervention meets these goals by presenting the addicted individual with clear examples of behaviors that have harmed the people in their life, providing a clear plan of action for treatment, and outlining specific consequences each person will enforce if the person does not accept treatment.

Professional Interventionists

At Briarwood Detox Center, our staff can provide much-needed assistance to help you get your loved one to accept the treatment they need. If required, we may step in personally to address your loved one and family, but in most cases, we will connect you with a professional interventionist that we trust.

An interventionist is a person who is educated and trained to hold effective interventions. Our recommended professionals all have the necessary credentials to lead families in this endeavor and are trusted, experienced experts. Interventionists possess a number of skills that can help you and your family navigate this delicate process.

  • An interventionist can utilize various intervention techniques to most effectively reach your loved one.
  • An interventionist will facilitate the process by working with your family members and friends to prepare for the intervention and then conduct it.
  • An interventionist can help you practice communicating effectively with your family member to encourage them to accept help.

We match our clients with professional interventionists based on their individual circumstances and financial ability to make sure your loved one can get the help that he or she needs.

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Myths About Interventions

There are many myths surrounding the idea of interventions, but contrary to popular belief, an intervention is not a yelling match or a dramatic feud fueled by accusatory statements. In fact, an effective intervention is very much the opposite—a carefully planned, loving yet firm discussion.

Here are a few other common intervention myths debunked.


  • If they just tried hard enough, they could quit using drugs.


Drugs change the way the brain works, resulting in extremely strong cravings and compulsive urges. This makes it very difficult for an individual to quit without assistance.


  • My loved one isn’t severely addicted yet. We don’t need an intervention.


Ideally, an intervention will stop a person in their tracks before they hit rock bottom. Instead of waiting until the person is at their worst to confront them, early intervention may help them avoid ever reaching that point.


  • We’ve tried it before, treatment doesn’t work.


Just because your loved one relapsed doesn’t mean they are a failure or that all treatment is ineffective. Your loved one may just need additional recovery support or possibly a different, more individualized treatment method.


  • We don’t need to plan a whole intervention, we can just talk to them.


In some cases, a heart-to-heart conversation may be enough to get your loved one into rehab. But an unplanned group intervention comes with serious risks, and your loved one may end up feeling attacked and alienated. This could push them further into isolation.


  • They have to want treatment for it to work.


While it’s true that you cannot force another person to get help, treatment is still very effective for many people who are enrolled in treatment primarily due to pressure from family members or legal circumstances. Initially, they may resist treatment, but after they have had time to clear their body and mind of addictive substances, they may begin to think more clearly and understand their need for treatment.

Intervention Preparation

Once we connect you with a professional interventionist, he or she will meet with your family and friends to discuss preparation. This meeting may be in person or over the phone. Your interventionist will then help you rehearse for the intervention, which may include writing individual letters to your loved one, preparing a short speech, or taking notes about what you will say.

Prior to the intervention, your interventionist will also help you determine a few viable treatment options for your loved one and make sure he or she has the ability to enroll immediately. Options for addiction treatment may include an inpatient residential program or an intensive outpatient treatment plan.

Finally, your interventionist will help you schedule the intervention for a day and time that is best for your loved one. This should be a time when he or she is not stressed, going to school or work, or dealing with an emotional issue, such as a breakup or argument. Once the intervention has begun, the interventionist will facilitate and moderate the discussion to ensure the conversation is effective and flows smoothly.