Is your family in crisis over a loved one’s addiction?

If a family member is struggling with substance abuse, you may already be feeling the impact on yourself and the lives of those you love. Addiction can take a terrible toll on all areas of life, from intimate relationships to parenting, school, career, and friendships.

For the person who is dependent on drugs or alcohol, addiction can be a terrifying, confusing, self-destructive state of being. Even when the problem is acknowledged and the addict sincerely wants to stop, lasting sobriety may be elusive.

Are you at a loss for what to do?

Families often face shame, embarrassment and a sense of powerlessness around their loved one’s struggle with drug or alcohol dependency. They are at a loss as to what they can do to facilitate that person’s recovery. Family members may watch helplessly or ask “Who are you? I don’t recognize you anymore” as their loved one changes before their eyes into a person who accumulates debt, steals, lies, and denies that there is a problem. Many family members suffer verbal, emotional, financial and even physical abuse at the hands of the addicted person.

Then the person promises to change, and just as you are feeling hopeful, the vicious cycle begins all over again.

If this sounds familiar, you may be fearful about discussing the issue openly with the addict, or even with other family members and friends. In this fog of silence and fear, many family members become reluctant enablers and are unwillingly caught in a codependent trap, keeping secrets and telling lies, dropping their boundaries, and losing hope that things will get better.

Is an intervention required to break the cycle?

The thought of confronting an addict with the truth about the impact of their addiction may be an uncomfortable one. Yet, without help, the addict will continue to incur ever-greater losses and even, possibly, death. Some of the behaviours that go hand in hand with substance abuse include criminal or quasi-illegal acts, risky sexual activity, and of course, disregard for the significant health and disease risks that can result from abusing drugs and/or alcohol. And of course, without change, the family will continue to incur losses as well: losing the addicted person as a contributing, present, loving member of the family…loss of financial security…social and emotional losses…the list goes on.

Intervention is defined as an act of interference: to come between. An Interventionist is the person who comes between the addict and his or her habit, to interrupt the abuse cycle and effect positive change. At InterventionTO, we know you would prefer to take action rather than let the disease of addiction continue to damage your family.

InterventionTO helps families recover with empathy, understanding and respect. We employ complete privacy and confidentiality during the intervention process, while supporting and guiding the family through the intervention and beyond.

An intervention isn’t just about confronting someone you love about their harmful behaviour. A professional Interventionist can actually offer your family a chance at a lasting solution to the problem of addiction. We do the legwork, sourcing appropriate treatment facilities that are capable of addressing your loved one’s unique issues. Admission to private treatment facilities can be immediate, so you can get relief from the knowledge that your loved one is receiving the urgent professional care and support necessary to help win the battle against substance abuse.

Recovery from addiction is possible…and so is healing, for the whole family…free of judgment, pressure, or preaching. Call today to discuss how InterventionTO can help you facilitate change.



When a loved one is suffering from alcohol or drug abuse, the family suffers too. Yet confrontation, pleading, and attempts at persuading the addict to stop are often unsuccessful. Faced with the consequences of his or her actions, an addict may react with denial, defensiveness or another series of soon-to-be-broken promises. Sometimes, professional help is required to successfully intervene on a loved one’s self-destructive behaviours.

An intervention isn’t a brief, spontaneous event. It is a carefully planned process whereby concerned family members, friends and colleagues gather with the objective of expressing the impact the addiction is having on their lives. At InterventionTO, we begin the intervention process by consulting with family members to gather information about the family dynamic and behaviour patterns, so we can determine the best way to approach the intervention. Our highly trained and experienced staff will answer your questions about addiction and explain precisely how to prepare to meet with your loved one, including how to process natural feelings of anger, resentment, fear and confusion.

Every detail is planned in advance, from who should be present at the intervention, to choosing a neutral location, to sourcing an available treatment facility that best meets your loved one’s needs.

The intervention provides a safe space to communicate in an honest but non-threatening way, how the addict’s behaviour is affecting the family. During the meeting, the Interventionist will assist participants to listen to what is being said, and motivate the addict to take concrete steps towards recovery.

Characteristics of a successful intervention include:

  • Preparation
  • Clear and respectful dialogue – no sugar coating
  • “I” statements
  • Showing support and love for the addict
  • A caring, trained professional who isn’t emotionally involved, to facilitate the meeting

One of the biggest fears families face is that after an intervention, their loved one will refuse to accept help. Yet when the right elements are in place, very often the substance abuser will agree to go to treatment on the spot. If they do refuse, the boundaries that we have worked on with the family will be enforced, making it much harder for the addict to continue on as before.

At InterventionTO, we have extensive connections within the best private and public treatment centres, and an intimate knowledge of their available programs, treatment modalities and philosophies. This helps us accurately identify the most suitable facilities for your loved one to get the help they need. We also provide ongoing counselling and support to families, including recommendations to relevant local programs such as AL-ANON and other community supports.

Sober Coaching

If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, you know how difficult the road to recovery can seem. Just as destructive habits didn’t form overnight, rebuilding a new life can be a lengthy and, at times, daunting process. Obviously, having a support network is critical. Sober coaching may be the answer.

Often, a recovering addict will state that everything is fine during treatment, counselling sessions, 12-step meetings and the like, but the moment they are alone with their thoughts, cravings begin to creep in. Ironically, people with substantial resources may find recovery even more elusive than the addict who is down-and-out, simply because they have more options for relapse. Hence, personal services are required.

A sobriety coach is a highly trained and qualified professional who brings treatment right to your doorstep, discreetly providing you with guidance, motivation and structure when and where you need it most.

Sober coaching is a personalized service that looks different for everybody, although it generally works best for people who struggle to maintain successful recovery on their own, whether the goal is complete abstinence or simply refraining from harmful behaviours. We act as your advocate in the real world, both in the situations where relapse is likely to occur, and with proactive support to help prevent the terrible cycle of addiction from starting up again once inpatient treatment is completed.

To find out more about how sober coaching can help you reach your recovery goals and give you the confidence you need to face life again – whether you need extra assistance with day-to-day activities, social functions, or work and family pressures – call InterventionTO for a confidential assessment.


InterventionTO offers one-on-one counselling for clients who are aware of their dependency issues, but wish to keep those issues private. You or someone you love may be a good candidate for individual addiction counseling if:

  • You have already completed a residential treatment program, but require ongoing support
  • You have a concurrent disorder that requires professional help
  • You have issues of past or ongoing trauma that are affecting your ability to recover
  • You desire the highest level of confidentiality as you overcome addictive behaviours
  • Career and other life obligations render you unable to attend long term residential treatment

The customized therapy and personal support inherent in one-on-one counselling can be a major source of comfort as well as smoothing the pathway to healing for anyone struggling with addictions.

Family counselling

Families coping with an addicted loved one experience trauma and learn to build their feelings around the behaviours of the sick family member. Many family members need to learn and practice strategies for dealing with their addict/alcoholic, such as how to set healthy boundaries (and hold up to them in difficult situations), overcome co-dependency, and shift from an enabling role to a truly supportive one. We are available to work with family members to examine and adjust their roles.

Often when a drug-dependent person seeks professional help, the family is left to pick up the pieces – a process which will continue long after the addict finishes their recovery program. Family therapy can help families get connected to appropriate supports and do their own healing work, which may have fallen by the wayside when the focus was on the addicted person.

Family therapy can help the whole family move past crisis and into lasting stability.

InterventionTO: Real Help. No Judgement.

At InterventionTO, we operate from the understanding that people struggling with substance abuse are sick people, not bad people. Whether the original motive for using substances was to relax, escape problems or have fun, over time, addiction becomes a powerful compulsion that the addict cannot resist even though they want to. This understanding of addiction allows our clients to accept help without the shame and stigma that still surrounds alcohol and drug abuse…and allows us to facilitate real healing without judgement or blame.

The counselors at InterventionTO specialize in successful interventions, sober coaching, one-on-one counseling, and family therapy. Their strengths based approach to solution-focused therapy means assisting clients in finding the path to recovery that works best for them, based on their existing strengths, needs, and situation. It’s simply the best approach for people struggling with addictions because it helps restore damaged self-esteem, which is essential for those whose self-confidence may have been all but lost through years of substance abuse.

To find out more about us and how we help promote lasting recovery for individuals and families, please call us to book a confidential consultation.

Helen Giuliani | Counsellor


Helen Giuliani has more than 18 years’ experience assisting chemically dependent people seeking recovery. She has been employed in the addictions and mental health sector since 2003, providing service to the Jean Tweed Centre for Women, Lakeshore Area Multi Project Services (LAMP), St. Vincent de Paul Society, Addiction Canada and Intervention Toronto.

After many years of observing the devastating impact that addiction and mental health issues have on both the addict and the families connected to them, Helen was inspired to help change lives as a professional in the field. She obtained a Human Services Counsellor Diploma as well as certification as a Life Skills Coach, and continues to pursue ongoing addiction and mental health professional development in order to provide better service and resources to the afflicted.

Practicing from the basis that all addicts have the capacity to recover, Helen provides hope, compassion, and real answers to clients, whether during one-on-one counseling, family work, or the interventions she performs as a part of the InterventionTO team. Her one wish for every addict and every family affected by addiction is to know that no matter what the circumstances, recovery is possible – and a new, infinitely better life is waiting for those who are willing to ask for help and do the work.

Lee Campbell | Counsellor

Lee Campbell is a qualified addictions counsellor who has worked in the field for many years, providing professional counselling services to patients in both residential and outpatient settings. Her lived experience in dealing with addictions within her own family and personal life, ultimately led her to pursue her passion: assisting addicts and their families in gathering the necessary tools to help combat this potentially deadly disease.

A skilled group facilitator who is exceptionally good at fostering mutually trusting, respectful relationships with her clients, Lee provides one-on-one and family counselling services as well as helping to facilitate interventions at InterventionTO.

Lee takes a very positive, strengths-based approach to her work, which is especially beneficial to clients who may be suffering from depression, anxiety, emotional issues, unresolved grief, and low self-esteem. She is particularly skilled at integrating a variety of therapeutic approaches according to the individual’s needs, as opposed to taking a ‘cookie-cutter’ approach to addiction counselling.

In her own words: “I believe that addiction is a family disease that affects every single member. Not one person can deal with this disease on their own.”

Mark Elliot | Consultant

Mark Elliot is on News Talk 1010 CFRB every Saturday at 11pm hosting the award winning program about addictions and recovery People Helping People until 2 am. He is well known for his admission that he is alcoholic and has been a recovering drug-addict since 1994 and his outreach to others dealing with addictions of all kinds.

After gaining a following Mark moved to rival station CFGO and gained an even larger audience, but nowadays Mark will tell you about a tragic addiction to drugs and alcohol which destroyed him at the same time. “It seemed like the higher my star flew, the lower I went until I crashed in 1987.” He was 33 and dying from his addiction.

In order to succeed in his recovery it meant giving up everything he had achieved and starting again, but better things were waiting. He relapsed to addiction again in 1993 returning to Brentwood a year later defeated. When he left Brentwood the second time he began a new career as a talk show host starting People Helping People as an open line talk show about addiction in 1995.

People Helping People is renowned for Mark’s no nonsense approach to addiction and his outspoken views, winning accolades from critics like Marc Weisblott of Radio Digest. “… an outlet for riveting radio in its weeknight hour at 11pm, Elliot provides blunt first – person insights about vices in a fashion that’s far removed from the 12 step style.”

He has worked as a counsellor in 2003 with the Salvation Army Harbour Light Treatment Centre as well as in private practice as an addiction counsellor and interventionist. He was the founder of Intervention Toronto.com, a service which provides interventions for people suffering from addictions. Mr. Elliot in addition to his radio show starting the non profit People Helping People support group in 2005 on Thursday evenings in downtown Toronto till 2015 . Mr. Elliot has volunteered his time mentoring not only those afflicted with addiction but their families as well and has accepted a position as a consultant with InterventionTO as well as continuing to provide counselling services.


Helen Giuliani
Toronto, Ontario
(647) 949-7959
Like us on facebook_icon