Watching loved ones slowly destroy their lives with drugs and alcohol is a heavy cross to bear. More often than not, families and friends feel powerless and unable to help them. Then disaster strikes, in the form of a tragic alcohol or drug-related incident, and they end up losing them forever.

But it doesn't have to be that way. If you have a family member or a friend who you believe is suffering from an addiction, getting family and friends together and planning a drug and alcoholism intervention is the best option you have of saving your loved one.

With an intervention, a chemically dependent loved one can be made to see the havoc substance abuse wreaks not only on himself or herself, but also on the people around him or her as well. Taking action through an intervention is also the best thing you can do to get your loved one to seek help in getting rid of the addiction. Usually, these interventions succeed in getting the abuser to sign up for successful drug and alcohol treatment programs on the spot. The goal is to let them know they will be losing out on things they still value if they do not agree to get help. Things such as a place to live, financial help, or even communication with their loved ones. It has to be too big a price to pay.

An intervention usually starts with choosing the family members and friends who will be involved in the intervention action. Contacting and setting up a meeting with a staff member of an intervention facility comes next so you can discuss the particulars of the case, from the person's substance abuse history to the roles everyone on the intervention team will play throughout the process, as well as the possible cost of drug rehab. Then the actual intervention takes place, when you finally confront the addict about the problem.

One thing common among addicts is that they are often the last ones to admit that a problem does exist. So it's imperative that the substance abuser be made to understand first that he or she really has an addiction problem, and it's important that this be done not in an angry or aggressive manner, but in a positive and supportive way. While there are no assurances that such an intervention will be easy or appreciated, always remember that you are doing this to save your loved one, so you must get over your own apprehensions about how your intervention attempt will be received and commit yourself to seeing the intervention through.

Once the addict finally gives in, recognizes the problem, and agrees to seek help, a trip to a treatment center should follow so your loved one can begin the process of getting rid of his or her addiction, with family, friends and the intervention specialist giving their unwavering support every step of the way.