Drug and Alcohol Interventions

Drug and alcohol addiction affects roughly 8.5 percent of the population in the U.S. Interventions can influence addicted individuals to enroll in treatment and get the help they need.

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Drug and alcohol interventions are solution-oriented processes designed to help addicted individuals realize they have a problem with drug or alcohol abuse and seek treatment for their addiction.

In interventions, people close to addicted individuals present evidence that reflect how substance abuse or alcoholism are negatively affecting these individuals and those around them. Interventions are influential conversations which may greatly affect a person’s decision to enter treatment.

Successful interventions focus on the opportunity for an addicted individual to accept help and start recovery. Interventions should not be confrontational. Instead, they should show people suffering from addiction that they are cared for. It is common for a professional interventionist to be invited to serve as an educator before, during, and after the intervention process.

Drug And Alcohol Intervention Models

There are several models used for drug and alcohol interventions. Interventionists are knowledgeable in these various models and can help pick the best model for any given situation.

Some drug and alcohol intervention models include:

The Johnson Model stems from a more confrontational intervention model. It focuses on educating parents, spouses, and other potential caregivers on how to confront addicted loved ones and encourage them to seek help for their addiction. In the Johnson Model, blame is avoided and the focus is mainly on ways to treat the addiction and help people start leading healthy lives once again.

The Johnson Model works to compare and contrast the positive traits of an individual’s personality with the negative traits brought about by their addiction. During an intervention using this model, the group focuses on a consistent message of encouragement and support.

The Crisis Intervention is a standalone intervention model. This model is best suited for situations where there is not an abundance of time to address the situation before the person suffering from addiction is completely lost.

If an individual suffering from addiction is not willing to accept help, even in the midst of a crisis (overdose or mental breakdown) an intervention professional may be able to ensure the person is evaluated for commitment to hospitalization or treatment involuntarily.

The ARISE Intervention Model consists of both indirect and direct means of intervening. First, it brings focus to a group of supporting individuals and how they can work together to solve the addiction problem, instead of focusing solely on the addicted individual and what their behavior is doing to everyone else.

While the individual suffering from addiction is in treatment, the support group is also receiving counseling and learning how to navigate life with an addicted individual, how to help them after treatment, and how to deal with their own struggles caused by their loved one’s drug or alcohol abuse.

The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse reported 83 percent of addicted participants agreed to enter treatment following an ARISE intervention.

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When Is An Intervention Needed?

It is a common misconception that people suffering from addiction must hit an all-time low before seeking help. Health professionals recommend intervening as early as possible in order to help loved ones before addiction causes any sustainable damage. An intervention may not be necessary or appropriate for all situations. For people considering an intervention, it is best they reach out for professional support.

Often, people suffering from addiction are not able to see that drugs or alcohol are the root cause of their problems. Instead, they may blame other people for the circumstances of their lives. This is when interventions can be useful. They can help break down the walls of denial and build a support system that can lead to the start of addiction recovery.

An intervention may be helpful at any point after it has been established that there is a problem with drugs or alcohol. Interventions are most commonly used when loved ones of the addicted individual see that their addiction is causing them to ignore the safety issues related to their addiction.

It is important that a treatment plan be selected prior to the intervention process. This way, if the person agrees to get help they will not have a chance to change their mind after the intervention is over.

Who Benefits From Interventions?

Those who are suffering from addiction but refuse to acknowledge that their addiction is a problem can benefit from an intervention. About 95 percent of people struggling with addiction don’t recognize they have a problem, according to Healthy People.

Some people are not in denial, but they are fearful of enrolling in treatment because they do not want to go through painful withdrawal. Avoiding withdrawal is a common factor in continuing to use addictive substances.

People who struggle with addiction are also more likely to struggle with mental illness. The National Alliance on Mental Illness reports roughly 53 percent of drug addicts and 37 percent of alcoholics live with severe mental health disorders.

These co-occurring disorders can cause conflict and make seeking help difficult. Mental illnesses can also make it difficult to think in a logical manner, and people tend to think more with their emotions. Interventions can appeal to this emotional side and be a positive influence on people struggling with addiction.

Who Is Involved In Drug And Alcohol Interventions?

It is important for the right people to be involved in alcohol and drug interventions in order to ensure their success. The most successful interventions are professionally directed.

An interventionist is helpful in determining who should attend and participate in an intervention. Commonly parents, spouses, siblings, friends, and sometimes coworkers and employers can be highly influential during the intervention process.

Finding A Professional Interventionist

Finding an alcohol and addictions counselor, social worker, psychologist, psychiatrist, or interventionist is easily done by reaching out to a local treatment facility. Consulting with an addiction professional can help organize an effective intervention.

A substance abuse professional will take into account the individual circumstances surrounding those suffering from drug or alcohol abuse and suggest the best approach. They can also provide guidance as to what type of treatment and follow-up plans are likely to work best.

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Importance Of Drug And Alcohol Intervention And Treatment

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 22.5 million people (12 and older) needed treatment for drug and alcohol use problems in 2014. Only 4.2 million received substance abuse treatment that same year.

Although there is no specific data on how many people who seek treatment do so under the influence of interventions, the intervention process is still thought to be a positive one. Drug and alcohol addiction are complicated diseases which require support and adequate treatment.

The treatment process begins before ever stepping foot in a treatment facility. Enrolling and physically showing up for treatment is half the battle. If you suspect your loved one may be addicted to drugs or alcohol and you want to help them heal, a professional interventionist can help.

To learn more about drug and alcohol addiction interventions, contact us today.



National Institute on Drug Abuse—Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction, What to Do If Your Adult Friend or Loved One Has a Problem with Drugs

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