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Staging an Intervention for Your Teen

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, help is available. Speak with a Recovery Advocate by calling (855) 602-7202 now.

During the teenage years, your child might start experimenting with drugs and alcohol due to peer pressure or as a means to escape stress. But, in some cases, you may see your teen pushing boundaries that damage their health.

If you suspect that your teen might be abusing drugs and alcohol, then you might be considering an intervention. If you’re ready to confront your teen, just be aware this situation will need delicate attention. Through careful planning and research, you’ll increase your chances of the intervention going relatively smoothly.

Below we highlight a process that’ll help you stage an intervention for your teen that’ll increase the chances of them getting the help they need.

Teen Intervention Approach

Teens usually won’t be able to forecast the adverse effects of their drug and alcohol use, and may be less likely to voluntarily enter rehab as a result. However, the risks of teen drug and alcohol use are greater, as their brains have not fully developed yet, and there’s a greater chance of long-term damage.

Most teens go into rehab with the urging of their parents, rather than realizing they have a problem and seeking out help. Drug and alcohol use might be the norm for their peer group, so they won’t believe they’re doing anything abnormal.

To increase your chances of holding a successful intervention for your teen, we recommend following the process below.

The Teen Intervention Process

The teen intervention process is similar to an adult intervention in that the series of steps are the same. However, the support team might be smaller, and generally, you’ll have more control of whether or not they accept treatment. The process below will help you get started:

1. Assemble your team

Your team will be your family members and loved ones who will be present at the intervention. Usually, this will be a mixture of siblings and peers who were close with your child before they started abusing drugs and alcohol.

2. Plan the intervention

Stage the intervention at a familiar and private place where your teen is comfortable. They should be completely unaware that the intervention is occurring.

During the planning phase, you will also plan out what you and your loved ones are going to say.

You should include examples of how their behaviors, while under the influence, have negatively impacted their life and the lives of those around them.

3. Seek outside help (if necessary)

In some cases, you might want to bring in a teen intervention specialist who will assist the intervention progress smoothly.

They can help you plan the intervention, by asking you questions that’ll help shape what you’re going to share with your teen.

A specialist will also keep things on track and help you navigate an often tense and emotional event.

4. Hold the intervention

On the day of the intervention you and your loved ones will take turns telling stories and providing facts about how your teen’s drug use has played a negative role in their life.

Once you are your team is finished presenting their case, you’ll outline the treatment options that are available for your teen. It’s important also to highlight the consequences of their behavior (should it continue) and clearly state your decided ultimatums.

If you require teen intervention assistance or are interested in exploring our teen drug and alcohol rehab programs, then reach out to our team today.


“Evidence-Based Interventions for Preventing Substance Use Disorders in Adolescents” NCBI. Web. 22 Apr 2016. “Consequences of youth substance abuse” Department of Justice. Web. 22 Apr 2016.

View Sources

“Evidence-Based Interventions for Preventing Substance Use Disorders in Adolescents” NCBI. Web. 22 Apr 2016. “Consequences of youth substance abuse” Department of Justice. Web. 22 Apr 2016.