What is an Intervention?
In the context of substance use and recovery, an intervention involves an organized attempt to present a loved one with an addiction about how drinking, drug use, or addiction-related behavior has affected everyone around them. Intervention provides an opportunity for family, friends, and sometimes even coworkers and employers, to tell the person in their own words that drug or alcohol abuse has been a problem in their life.
The term “intervention” can be confusing as it can refer to the various therapeutic approaches to treating addiction, many of which are evidence-based and effective. These include motivational interviews, cognitive behavioral therapy, and couples therapy. These evidence-based treatments, and some others, usually require time and commitment from the addict, but are generally helpful.
What we are discussing in this article is not a treatment per sebut a planned attempt by a group of people to convince someone they are in a relationship with to either stop using alcohol or drugs themselves, or to participate in a treatment program.
Interventions should be carefully planned and developed by professional counselors who are experienced in such procedures.
How interventions work
Most alcohol and drug treatment centers have counselors trained to help families prepare for confrontation, which always takes place in a “controlled” environment and has been specifically selected to position the person in a position where they can most likely to be listening. Often these interventions take place in the workplace with the full cooperation of the employer.
Sometimes the intervention comes as a complete surprise, but newer techniques have been developed in which members of the intervention team tell the addict to speak to a counselor about their alcohol or drug use a few days before the actual intervention.
This process can be directed and directed by an interventionist hired by the family or group.
Examples of substance and behavioral addictions that can lead to an intervention are:
- Alcohol consumption
- Prescription drug abuse
- Illegal drug use
- Compulsive eating
- Compulsive gambling
Do interventions work?
From a professional perspective, interventions cannot be recommended simply because there is insufficient research to demonstrate their effectiveness. That doesn’t mean they can’t be effective. it just means that the studies needed to “prove” it is not done.
While some studies have been conducted on the effectiveness of interventions to bring people into treatment in the late 20th century, they typically showed that family members chose not to further confront their family members.
One study showed they could include their family member in treatment, but in the end it was a very small number of people and the outcome of the therapy was not reported..If you
Remember, all therapies, no matter how effective they were at any point in time, have not been proven, have gone through experimental stages and refinements, have been funded for research, and eventually enough studies have been done to show their effectiveness to be put into practice were. Just because they are recognized as a practice doesn’t mean they are guaranteed to work for everyone.
From an anecdotal point of view, interventions have mixed ratings.
Some clinicians have had the experience of working with people whose families have conducted interventions that have been helpful in persuading their loved ones to receive help. Others had much more negative assessments where the intervention was poorly performed or the person with the addiction was unable to hear the feedback, and this created an even bigger problem for them and an even bigger gap in their family.
There are different types of drug and alcohol interventions. The type of intervention your doctor recommends depends on your goals, your unique experience with addiction, and your family dynamics.
- The Johnson model: Created by Vernon Johnson (“the father of intervention”), this is perhaps the most popular form of intervention. The Johnson model involves the family and a led interventionist who presents the loved one with a substance use disorder without prior knowledge of the meeting.If you.
- Invitation model: This method of intervention, also known as systemic family intervention, was developed by Ed Speare and Wayne Raiter and focuses on a family-oriented approach to addiction. As the name suggests, the entire family or support network (including the person with the addiction) is invited to a workshop led by an interventionist to discuss how the disease has affected the family unit.If you.
- Field model of the intervention: Similar to the Johnson model, the field model involves a confrontational approach without the person’s prior knowledge. In this model, however, the interventionist is trained to use Crises during and after the intervention process, so it is often recommended if a family believes that their loved one is a danger to themselves, or if they have uncontrolled comorbid conditions such as depression or bipolar disorder.
Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT) is an important, evidence-based method to help families get help for their loved ones. CRAFT has replaced interventions as the preferred method to get people to struggle with addiction therapy and relief.If youIf you
This evidence-based method does not target the person with the substance use disorder, but rather to work with the affected significant other persons (CSOs) so that they can support the identified patients (IPs).
CRAFT helps CSOs:
- Identify the triggers of their loved one’s substance use
- Break patterns that enable or enhance a loved one’s drinking or consuming
- Develop and improve communication skills with the IPs
- Learn or learn to take care of yourself and reconnect with your values
- Identify triggers for violence and develop a plan to protect yourself (and your children)
Steps to Consider
When deciding on an intervention for your loved one, you need to take some necessary steps to logistically and mentally prepare.
Research treatment options
You want to give your loved one some detailed suggestions for treatment, so you need to do your research. When the person is ready to get help, it is best to already have a treatment center, counselor, or meeting in mind so that you can take immediate action. Find out in advance whether your loved one’s insurance plan will cover the treatment and what steps are required for approval.
The American Board of Addiction Medicine (ABAM) offers special training and certification for doctors. So speaking with an ABAM-certified doctor is a good place to start.
The best approach to treating an addiction depends on many factors, including the substance used, the severity of the addiction, the addict’s attitudes towards treatment and quitting or reducing, and whether they have mental and / or physical health problems at the same time.
Treatment options can include:
- Behavior therapy
- Motivating conversation
- Residential treatment
- Support and self-help groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous or SMART Recovery
Gather an intervention team
Depending on the situation, the following people can be involved in an intervention:
- The person with the addiction
- friends and family
- A therapist
- A professional interventionist
It’s also important to consider who shouldn’t be on the intervention team. For example, someone your loved one doesn’t like, or someone with an unmanaged mental health condition or substance disorder.
Choose an interventionist
Unfortunately, there is currently no system for scoring interventionists’ credentials and very little information on which to base your decision. If you feel that an intervention might be right for your loved one, there are a few reasonable considerations that you should consider that are not based on medical facts or research when deciding whether to hire an interventionist:
- Ask about certification. The Association of Intervention Specialists (AIS), Family First Interventions, and The Network of Independent Interventionists are three organizations that offer certification.
- Get a personal recommendation. Do you know anyone the interventionist has helped? If so, were their problems similar to those of the person you are interested in? Were their characteristics (such as age, culture, and how long they had been dependent) similar? A personal recommendation from someone studying similar topics is often a way of making decisions about therapists.
- Talk to the interventionist. Have you developed a good relationship? Do you seem to understand the problems you are describing? Do you get a good gut feeling from this person?
- Look at the cost. How Much Can You Lose If It Doesn’t Work? Could these funds be used on another program that offers more credibility?
While you aren’t trying to punish your loved one, you want them to understand that there are consequences if they refuse to seek help. Such consequences can be:
- Lose visiting rights with children
- Take away your car
- Ask them to move out until they are ready to begin the recovery process
Make sure you clearly state the consequences and not make threats that you are not ready to make.
Know the risks
Professional intervention is not an option for every family and every situation. The decision on the path of intervention should be made carefully and with the advice of an experienced counselor.
Confronting someone with an addiction is a very risky approach and can just as easily backfire, leaving the addicted person feeling attacked, alienated, and misunderstood instead of feeling supported.
In these cases, intervention can even worsen an addiction, leading to the person seeking solace in alcohol and drugs and seeking the company of those who “understand” such as: B. Drinking buddies and drug dealers.
Ask for assistance
Whether or not your loved one decides to seek help, you can likely benefit from the encouragement and support of others in your situation. Many support groups, including Al-Anon, help family members understand that they are not responsible for their loved one’s addictions and that they must take steps to care for themselves, regardless of whether the person they are caring for is receiving treatment looking for or not.
You may not be able to persuade or harass your loved one to seek treatment. In fact, trying to do so can worsen both their addiction and your relationship with them.
Remember, many people who work in the addiction field know what they are doing and really want to help their clients, but there are others who just want your money and fall victim to the desperation of loved ones looking for one Looking for a miracle cure. There are no magic bullets, and overcoming addiction is hard work, especially for those with a substance use disorder.
Addiction interventions are big business, especially in the United States, where they are frequently featured on television and in films. In desperation, families of people with addiction invest their savings in interventions in the hope of saving a loved one who seems to have no reason to go back.
One reason why interventions are so attractive and also so unlikely is that they offer the dream of a simple solution to an incredibly complex situation.
We know from decades of research that people do not only become dependent by nature or on nutrition, but a complex interplay between the two. It is common for someone with an addiction to also struggle with underlying problems that they may not even know about themselves. In this case, an interventionist or well-meaning family member is even less likely to be aware of it.
Although some people are able to overcome severe addictions on their own, doing so requires great determination and access to alternative coping methods. For many others, overcoming the addiction requires treatment, and many attempts are often required to completely quit alcohol and drugs.
This does not mean that people are never assisted by an intervention. The process of becoming aware that your behavior is harming yourself and those around you is an important step towards recovery and the first step through the stages of transition from pre-contemplation to contemplation.
If you or a loved one is struggling with substance use or addiction, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Authority’s National Helpline (SAMHSA) at 1-800-662-4357 Information about support and treatment facilities in your area.
Additional mental health resources can be found in our National Helpline Database.