There are ten general principles that influence the decision
to intervene and that guide the intervention process. These
• Your behavior is causing significant damage in your
• Denial is preventing you from fully appreciating the
damage the addiction is doing to you and your life.
• You're unlikely to seek help on your own.
• The people involved with you can change the environment
by changing the enabling system — making it more likely
that you will seek help.
• The sense of genuine concern and understanding conveyed
by the interventionist is one of the most important factors
in influencing you to seek help.
• Anger and punitive measures have no place in interventions,
because they increase your defenses, making it less likely you'll
• The consequences for not going into treatment should
not be designed to punish but rather to protect your health
and well being.
• You require an initial period of intensive treatment
such as a 28-day residential program or an intensive outpatient
program to address your denial.
• The intervention may be useful even if you aren't likely
to go to treatment.
• The intervention isn't a confrontation. Rather, it is
a well-organized expression of genuine concern for you, given
a chronic and serious addiction problem.