There are many types of interventions for addiction, but there is continuing debate over which is the most effective. An Addiction Intervention is a personal and direct intervention involving close friends, family, and community members. It is a form of love expressed in a way that interrupts an addiction cycle and changes the mindset of the person struggling with addiction, making them more likely to choose recovery. It is known as a ‘one-on-one relationship’ approach. There are two main approaches to Addiction Interventions: the ‘group’ and ‘individual’ models.
An addiction intervention is carried out to improve the physical, emotional, social, and spiritual well-being of an individual whose addiction requires treatment. Addiction interventions can be performed in two ways: (1) through a series of events (i.e., a community intervention or AA); and (2) as part of an intensive therapy session.
Types of interventions for addiction
- Simple Intervention
The simple intervention requires the presence of mind and guts to confront the addicted person with love and care. It indicates that someone can hear and understand your message but needs help following through. The most effective simple interventions are conducted in a private setting with no media coverage, such as at home, a counselor’s office, or an assisted-living facility (Alcoholics Anonymous meetings being a prime example). The key is to be completely honest and direct while providing support, encouragement, hope, and encouragement.
- Classic Intervention
The classic intervention is like a dialogue between the addict and their friends. The friends present their case to the addict, who then chooses whether or not to stay (recover) or decide to continue with their addiction. Clarity of purpose between the addict and other family members will help them communicate transparently how they see themselves, why they cannot be held responsible, and how no one can save them from themselves. It’s best for all family members to participate in this process to make things easier for everyone involved. The key here is to keep your expectations very low, as recovery does not require anyone else’s approval or acceptance of them as an individual.
- Family System Intervention
In a family system intervention, the goal is to create an environment where somebody can recover. There is no expectation of any form of behavior change; it’s just a matter of providing the right conditions and support to allow each member to make their own choices. It involves creating a safe place for the addict (family) to recover. Often the individual is unlikely to choose recovery because of the presence or lack of support they receive from family or friends.
- Crisis Intervention
Crisis intervention is conducted in an emergency room or your own home to stop someone from using drugs, getting drunk, or self-harming. With the addict, you have recognized a problem and are trying to overcome it. During this intervention, you will be trying to send out and affirm the meaning of your child or loved one’s behavior without being judgmental. It would help to understand why they do these things, what the addiction means to them, and how you can best help them overcome their immediate issues.
- Family Counseling Intervention
A family counseling intervention is conducted in a private setting between family members, where you share your hopes and expectations with the addicted person and set forth what steps you would like them to take for you to feel that they are ready for recovery. Here, you are working with the individual to become accountable for their actions and are willing to support any decision they make. The goal of this intervention is not so much about changing the addict as it is about building a relationship that allows for change.
- Witnessing intervention
A witnessing intervention involves friends, family members, and professionals involved in the addict’s life for some time. The goal is to become a sober witness and maintain a clear role in the addict’s life by working against the power of addiction. It’s important to recognize that the addicted person must move away from their addiction alone. They may choose to do so, or they may not. This intervention aims to provide insight into your loved one’s struggles, awareness of what has happened, affirmation of why this happened, and how you can best help them
- Psychiatric Assessment Intervention
The Psychiatric Assessment Intervention involves the addict entering a treatment facility to be assessed. They will meet with a psychiatrist and discuss treatment options, including long-term recovery programs such as inpatient rehabilitation, outpatient programs, and counseling sessions. This intervention is only effective if the addict agrees to enter into treatment.
- Criminal Investigation Intervention
The Criminal Investigation Intervention involves an assessment by a licensed professional trained in diversion options and authorized to divert individuals using mental health courts or chemical dependency courts. The professional will assess the individual and determine whether or not treatment is needed. Suppose the individual does not require treatment but has been engaging in self-destructive behavior. In that case, they may be diverted into an appropriate program, such as volunteer work, to keep them out of jail.
Many intervention techniques exist, and the most important thing to remember is that these are tools you can use to help your loved one get the help they need and to ensure they do not get hurt in the process. The most effective interventions are conducted in a private setting, so you do not have to worry about the stigma of reliving many difficult and painful past experiences. Always be honest and direct, support the addict’s recovery goal, and keep in mind your intervention’s ultimate goal—your loved one.
To consult about if an intervention is right for your loved one, or for help finding the right interventionist for you, give us a call.