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5 Signs It’s Time to Stage an Intervention for an Addicted Loved One

- 7 sections

Medically Verified: 2/1/24

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All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

Addiction is a complex disease that can impact a person’s behavior in a variety of ways. If your loved one is suffering from a substance use disorder, you have probably seen the behavioral changes firsthand. For example, many addicts have a hard time recognizing that their behavior is problematic, even when they are experiencing the consequences of the effects of substance abuse.

When your loved one is suffering from addiction, all you want is to see them recover. Unfortunately, because denial is common among addicts, many of them refuse to attend rehab. If your loved one is refusing to seek help, you might be wondering what you can do to support them.

One of the best ways to convince your loved one that they need help is to stage an intervention. An addiction intervention is like a professional meeting between your family and your addicted loved one, where you read emotional letters to convince them to accept treatment. But how do you know when it’s time to host one?

Here are 5 signs it is time to stage an intervention for an addicted loved one.

What are the 5 Signs That Your Loved One Needs an Addiction Intervention?

Watching a loved one struggle with the effects of addiction and refuse to seek help is never easy. Thankfully, there is something you can do to motivate them to attend treatment. Addiction interventions can be incredibly helpful in showing your loved one that professional treatment is a necessity.

It can be difficult to determine when it’s time to stage an intervention for an addicted loved one, however, there are some signs to look out for.

1. Your Loved One is in Denial About Their Substance Abuse

Substance abuse can cloud a person’s mind to the point that they are no longer able to live in reality. One of the signs that your loved one needs intervention is when they start to deny that they even have a problem with substances to begin with. They might even try to rationalize or downplay how much time they spend abusing drugs and alcohol.

When it is so painfully obvious to you that your loved one is struggling with addiction but cannot recognize it, it’s time to stage an intervention. Interventions are designed to help the addicted individual realize the scope of their substance abuse issues, motivating them to accept treatment.

2. They Continuously Refuse Treatment

Have you ever tried to offer your loved one treatment only to be met with defensiveness or anger? If so, it might be time to stage an intervention.

Unfortunately, many people with addiction believe that they have their substance abuse under control. When their loved one points out that they need help, this makes them feel as if they are being attacked, even though their loved ones are coming from a place of love and concern.

When your loved one is clearly struggling with drug and alcohol abuse but they get angry any time you mention that they may need professional help, you have reached the point that an intervention may be necessary.

3. Your Loved One is a Risk to Themselves or Others

Drug and alcohol abuse can cause people to behave in ways they never would while sober. For example, someone suffering from alcoholism may become combative or even aggressive towards people they care for while they are under the influence.

On the other hand, some addicts become suicidal when they have been abusing substances. According to the National Library of Medicine (NLM), 50% of all suicides are related to substance abuse.[1]

If your loved one has become a risk to themselves or others, it’s time to stage an intervention. Having a group of family members and close friends explain how their addiction is impacting their lives can be the nudge they need to accept help.

4. Their Addiction is Causing Health Problems

While addiction can cause devastating effects on mental health and behavior, it can also lead to physical health problems. If your loved one’s substance abuse is beginning to cause them to experience health issues, it’s time to host an intervention.

Common health issues caused by repeated substance abuse include:[2]

  • Overdoses
  • Infections
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Stroke and seizures
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Cognitive declines
  • Various types of cancers
  • Lung damage and disease
  • HIV/AIDS or hepatitis
  • Damage to organs like the liver and kidneys

By hosting a drug and alcohol intervention, you can convince your loved one to attend treatment and prevent their health issues from worsening.

5. Your Loved One Cannot Control Their Substance Use

Lastly, if your loved one is having a hard time controlling how much of a substance they use, it’s time to stage an intervention. Using large amounts of any substance at once can lead to life-threatening overdoses, making it vital that they receive professional addiction treatment.

Signs that your loved one has lost control over their substance use include:

  • Getting into financial trouble because they spend most of their money on drugs or alcohol
  • Engaging in risky behaviors while under the influence such as driving, having unsafe sex, or more
  • Bringing and consuming substances in inappropriate situations such as at work or school
  • Needing to drink or use drugs first thing in the morning
  • Attempting to quit using a substance but being unsuccessful
  • Drinking or using drugs in secret to keep it hidden from loved ones
  • Continuing to use substances despite facing mental health issues as a direct result
  • Continuing to use drugs or alcohol despite experiencing physical health consequences

Find Help for an Addicted Loved One

If you are staging an intervention for an addicted loved one and are looking for a rehab program for them to enter, the Carolina Center for Recovery is here to help. We can provide your loved one with quick admittance to our program, ensuring they do not have time to change their mind about recovery.

To learn more about our addiction treatment program in North Carolina, please contact us today.


  1. The National Library of Medicine (NLM): Suicide Risk Associated With Drug and Alcohol Dependence, Retrieved January 2024 From
  2. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA): Drugs, Brains, and Behavior: The Science of Addiction, Retrieved January 2024 From