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When It’s Necessary For a Drug Addiction Intervention

Even if you’ve never been around drugs or alcohol you’ve likely heard about interventions. Drug addiction interventions are when a group of friends and family confronts a loved one about their drug addiction to help them get better. Interventions are extremely sensitive, so it can be difficult to tell when they’re necessary. 

Let’s review when it’s necessary for a drug addiction intervention including factors that can lead to intervention, how interventions work, and how to get the intervention process started. Interventions are scary for loved ones and addicts so be certain you do your research. 

When a Drug Addiction Intervention is Necessary 

What situations call for interventions? Sometimes it’s not enough to only suggest inpatient treatment to a loved one if any of these situations occur you may need an intervention right away. 

When You’re Running Out of Time

Family and friends of addicts can tell when their loved one is running out of time. If you feel like your loved one is days away from jail time, an overdose, or other serious consequences you should talk to an intervention specialist right away. The more time a loved one is allowed to suffer, the more likely the situation will end with tragic consequences. 

More Than One Substance 

Addicts using one more than substance puts them on a fast track to terrible consequences. It doesn’t matter if it’s alcohol and pills, or coke and heroin, more than one substance means someone is in the deep end and quickly drowning. 

Co-Occurring Mental Health Issues 

Interventions might be necessary when addiction and mental health issues are compounding each other, especially in the case of self-harm or suicidal thoughts and actions. Dual-diagnosed addicts, or addicts that suffer addiction and a serious mental health issue like major depression are much more likely to take a dramatic turn for the worst. 

Addiction with Violent Outbursts 

If an addiction has caused a loved one to experience violent outbursts or if someone in the house is worried about their well-being, you need to schedule an intervention right away. It’s not fair for a family to live in fear due to an addict’s disposition. 

Chronic Relapse

People with more intense levels of care tend to have an easier time staying sober. If a loved one has continuously tried on their own to get sober or has been in and out of short-term treatment it might be time for an intervention. During an intervention you can express your desire for a loved one to get sober for good and nudge them towards effective treatment. 

The Intervention Specialist 

It’s not an intervention unless you work with an intervention specialist. It’s not enough to get all the addict’s friends and family together to talk about their issues, interventions are serious meetings with very dramatic consequences and must be planned and executed by a professional. 

An intervention specialist has been thoroughly trained and certified to research a person, plan a tailored intervention, and execute that intervention for maximum positive results. Without a specialist you could accidentally make the situation worse. 

drug intervention

Surprise or Scheduled Intervention?

One difficult decision is settling on an unexpected intervention or a scheduled intervention. It’s difficult to automatically pick a surprise or planned intervention over the other since what type of intervention will work best depends on the addict, their reception to help, and what your intervention specialist believes is best. Most intervention specialists have turned to the invitation model over the surprise method except in cases of immediate crisis. 

The Basics of a Drug Addiction Intervention

There are a few different types of intervention models. Which one works best depends on the person, the family, and the input of the interventional specialist. Let’s discuss the two main types, the Johnson Model (surprise intervention) and the invitational model (scheduled intervention.) 

The Johnson Model 

The Johnson Model is what most people think ok when they think of a traditional surprise intervention. In the Johnson Model the interventionist will meet with the family and loved ones at least twice before the final meeting (the intervention.) The Johnson Model is often used in crisis modes where the addict may be days away from something tragic. The Johnson Model has seven components. 

  1. Intervention Team – An intervention specialist will form a team of loved ones to aid in the intervention.
  2. Planning – The intervention team and specialist will craft an individual plan. 
  3. How to Intervene – The specialist will teach the team how to be assertive without being insulting or unproductive.
  4. Letters – The intervention team will write letters to read to the addict.
  5. Focus – The specialist helps the intervention team focus on addition and not other issues. 
  6. Aim for Treatment – A well-planned intervention will get the addict into a treatment program. 
  7. Options – The intervention team and specialist choose 3 potential treatment options for the addict.

The Invitation Intervention 

In an invitational intervention, the addict knows they are walking into an intervention. The most popular model for invitational intervention is called A Relational Intervention Sequence of Engagement (ARISE) and involved 3 stages. The family usually meets with the specialist 2 to 5 times before the intervention. 

  • Stage 1 – A concerned friend or family member calls an intervention specialist. 
  • Stage 2 – Building the intervention network. 
  • Stage 3 – The intervention. Feelings are heard and consequences are laid out if the individual doesn’t agree on treatment. Like the Johnson model, the goal of the invitation intervention is to get the addict into treatment. 

Start The Drug Addiction Intervention Process Today 

If you think your loved one needs a drug addiction intervention, don’t put it off and let them continue to suffer. Call a certified intervention specialist to discuss your needs and get something scheduled immediately. It can be tough to tell when a loved one needs an intervention but if you approach it with patience and understanding you can get your loved one back. 

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