Addiction Intervention

Interventions mean giving help, sharing views, showing different ways to get better, and setting limits, not just giving tough choices. They are for both the person dealing with addiction and their loved ones.

What Is an Intervention?

An intervention is a carefully set up meeting that focuses on harmful habits like using drugs or drinking too much. It’s best when a calm, trained helper works with the person’s close ones to teach them about the process and help everything go well.

Interventions aim to help the loved one get treatment. But they also look at family issues like relying too much on each other in unhealthy ways, past hurts, and not talking well. The team doing the intervention will need to deal with these, too.

Do Interventions Work?

An intervention doesn’t work out when there’s insufficient planning, messages are unclear, or things get out of control, leading to arguments and blame. Getting help from a professional can help avoid these problems. The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) sees it as a success when someone agrees to get treatment and points out that interventions involving a professional interventionist have a 90% chance of success.

Not every intervention ends with the person agreeing to treatment immediately, but this doesn’t mean it didn’t work. Often, people who say no to help during the intervention change their minds later and decide they do want to tackle their addiction.

Sticking to the consequences and limits talked about during the intervention meeting helps show the person with the substance problem that their loved ones mean business about making changes and won’t support harmful actions. When the people close to the person with the addiction start improving themselves, it frequently encourages the individual to seek help.

There’s a well-known saying that “addiction affects the whole family,” meaning that even if the person with the addiction doesn’t choose to get help, interventions can still help families work on their own problems and ways of talking to each other and improving themselves. This is also a kind of success, just in a different way.

In the end, trying your hardest to help someone you care about get treatment and support for their fight against drugs or alcohol is never a mistake. Love and effort are always the right choices.

How to Do an Intervention

Planning an intervention often comes after friends and family have tried everything to get their loved one to join a program for alcohol or drug problems, like talking one-on-one without success. Each person, their addiction, and how their family acts are unique, so each intervention is different. However, you need simple rules and steps to create structure and boundaries to increase the likelihood of success.

If you are preparing for a successful intervention, here are some steps to help make it go well:

  1. Get help from an expert. Dealing with addiction can bring up several complicated feelings. Having someone outside who knows about interventions can ease stress and give clear advice.
    This can be a specialist in interventions, religious leaders, social workers, doctors, or mental health experts. The best plan is for this expert to be there during the intervention to keep things moving smoothly. But if they can’t be there, they can still offer help and tips while you’re planning.
  2. Choose who will be there. The people closest to the one struggling, who aren’t making the drug or alcohol use worse or fighting a lot with them, are the best to have around.
    Having too many people can make it feel like an attack and not help at all. It’s usually best not to include very young kids in interventions.
    When these key people come together and talk, it often shows more about the person’s harmful habits. Talking more can make it more straightforward on how serious the problem is and help everyone work together better during and after the intervention.
  3. Get ready before the day. Having an intervention specialist is helpful for this part. They can guide you on what to say, what to do if the person doesn’t want help, and how to start treatment immediately or handle other possible situations.
    Everyone should agree on a safe and neutral place for the intervention, pick the best time for it, and decide what to do right after. Most experts suggest going into a live-in treatment program immediately after the intervention to get the most benefits, like medical help for safely stopping the use of substances to prevent withdrawal symptoms or second thoughts.
  4. Have the intervention. After everyone decides on their messages, the treatment choices to present, and the outcomes and rules if treatment is refused, it’s time to talk to the person with the addiction. Interventions can be full of strong emotions, so it’s important to stay focused and peaceful, keeping in mind the main aim is to help your loved one agree to get treatment.
  5. Stick to your plan. If the person says no to getting help, make sure to keep to the limits you set. If they decide to start treatment, do your part by working on yourself and keeping any promises you made about going to therapy or joining programs. This helps support them and makes talking and getting along better.
addiction intervention types

Types of Interventions

Since every case, person, and relationship is different, it’s crucial to look into various kinds of interventions to find the best approach. An addiction expert can create a treatment plan tailored to the individual’s addiction stage and past treatment outcomes.

They consider the person’s progress and history with treatment. This personalized approach helps ensure the most effective treatment for the individual. Here are some widely used types of interventions.

Brief Intervention

Brief interventions (BI) usually take place when a person isn’t looking for help with their substance use, but there’s a chance to talk about it and look at options. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) says these are best for people who are starting to show signs of risky habits, like drinking too much at once, but aren’t dependent on a substance yet.

Usually, brief interventions involve a doctor or a mental health expert who knows the person well. This approach uses the five stages of change and ways to boost motivation, helping individuals understand how getting treatment can help them. A lot of places that focus on reducing the harm of substance use use the BI method to start talking about treatment options with their clients.

Traditional or Classic Intervention

This kind of intervention, also known as the Johnson Model of intervention, is what most people think of when they hear intervention. It includes the person’s nearest friends and family and a planning step to help make sure everything goes as planned.

By the time the intervention occurs, treatment options will be set and ready to go to prevent delays or the person having second thoughts. Under the guidance of a professional, loved ones and friends will express how the addiction has caused them pain and request the individual to consent to undergo treatment. They will also talk about how they plan to support the recovery journey or stick to their limits if the person says no to treatment.

Professional interventionists tailor their approach to each situation, depending on what they find out about the person with the addiction and the group doing the intervention. Some might suggest a tough love method, while others prefer a caring, love-first strategy. Since most people don’t respond well to confrontations, a harsh approach is rare for this kind of intervention.

Crisis Intervention

Crisis interventions are unique because they often don’t have a formal plan beforehand. They occur as a reaction to urgent situations, such as someone being arrested for having drugs or, going through an overdose, or a mental health emergency. Once the person is in a safe and stable condition, before returning to their daily life, their care team, family members, friends, or a mix of these people can come forward and suggest getting treatment.

These interventions can work well because the person is usually sober at the time, making it easier to have a clear and logical talk. Sometimes, a family might be preparing for a regular intervention but must move faster because of an urgent situation.

Sadly, it can take facing the risk of losing their freedom or life for someone with an addiction to understand how serious their situation is truly. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) notes that individuals who start treatment programs to avoid jail time or because the court tells them to often stay in treatment longer compared to those who enter for different reasons.

Sometimes, a person might go through different interventions before deciding to get treatment. For example, someone who ends up in the hospital due to alcohol poisoning might say no to help during a crisis intervention but might later be persuaded by a traditional intervention or the other way around. As things change and develop, the kind of intervention that has the best chance of helping someone decide to enter a treatment facility for addiction can also change.

inpatient addiction treatment

Inpatient Substance Abuse Treatment

Getting someone you care about to accept help can be challenging, but the effort is always worth it because of the good that can come from it.

Northridge Addiction Treatment Center provides effective, evidence-based treatment and custom, personalized plans for co-occurring mental health issues and substance use disorders. Our center provides on-site medical detox, medication-assisted treatment, 12-step facilitation, family therapy, and other proven therapies to help manage addiction.

Our caring treatment professionals are ready to discuss the following steps to find help for substance abuse that offers the best care for you or your loved ones.

Contact us anytime with your questions. We’re eager to help you or your loved one begin a new journey based on recovery.

Find Meaningful Recovery

Our caring and compassionate specialists are eager to help you comfortably navigate this journey to recovery. Our individualized treatment plan, programs, and therapies may be a perfect match for you or your loved one. Let us assist you in living the happy life you deserve. It starts with a phone call.

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