Is an intervention kidnapping?

If the addict doesn't want help, how can an intervention not be kidnapping?

asked 08 Aug '12, 18:07

msakaijames's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

This question came in via email, and may have been prompted by a news story out of Orange County, California which started "At least three people witnessed what they believed to be a kidnapping in a parking lot near Academy Drive and West Peltason Drive about 11 a.m., when two men were seen grabbing a woman in her 20s and putting her in a van". Authorities later determined the event was an intervention by family members, who took a UC Irvine employee off to a hospital for help.

(27 Jan '13, 20:58) admin ♦♦


Drug Addiction

If someone is addicted to drugs and continues to ignore help and treatment, people close to him or her may choose to intervene.


Drug Abuse

Some interventions are for people who have drug abuse problems, so that they may stop the issue before it becomes addiction.



In the field of substance abuse treatment, Intervention is short for "crisis intervention", a process of stepping in to manage a crisis before it gets worse.


Alcohol Abuse

Interventions are not always for alcoholics and drug addicts. An intervention may be appropriate for those struggling with chronic alcohol abuse.


Addiction Treatment

The purpose of interventions is to get struggling addicts treatment for their addictions and/or substance abuse problems.

An intervention is certainly not a kidnapping. Holding someone against their will is "kidnapping"! The intervention process is meant to help an addict or alcoholic who isn't able to comprehend the depths of their addiction without the help of people closest to them. Interventions are in many cases a very necessary step to prompting the admission of a problem and getting the person into treatment.


answered 23 Jan '13, 15:58

BubbaJoe's gravatar image

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A "possible kidnapping" was reported in March of 2012 near the UC campus at Irvine. A twenty something year old women was "snatched" by "two guys in a van" in broad daylight. Police were called, with reports of license plate numbers and descriptions. The university put out a safety alert.

The police determined the event was an intervention, and the woman was in the care of a local hospital. Details of her needs were not reported. Story at

This might be a good example of how NOT to do an intervention!


answered 27 Jan '13, 21:04

admin's gravatar image

admin ♦♦
accept rate: 100%

Qualified addiction counselors can advise on interventions, but the speciality is "crisis intervention". There are some organizations offering credentialing in substance abuse intervention as well.

The Association of Intervention Specialists (AIS) is "a network of interventionists located throughout the country and abroad" which credentials intervention counselors. They publish a detailed code of ethics ( and credential a few levels of "Board Certified Interventionist".

Independent organizations like ARISE offer brands of intervention, which pivot on specific principles. For example, ARISE promotes "Invitational Intervention":

"invites the addicted or troubled individual to participate in the Intervention - NO secrets, surprises or ambush. Your loved one's support system motivates him or her into treatment and recovery."

The National Association of Drug and Alcohol Interventionists ( claims to certify qualified crisis intervention counselors :

"NADAI was established to set, and certify compliance with standards of conduct and performance of Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention and Intervention professionals"

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Asked: 08 Aug '12, 18:07

Seen: 4,834 times

Last updated: 27 Jan '13, 21:46