An intervention involves an organized attempt to confront a loved one with addiction about how their drug or alcohol use has affected everyone around them. Intervention provides crucial support and allows the opportunity for family, friends, colleagues, and even employers an opportunity to tell the person how their addiction has been a problem in their lives. A family intervention is a carefully planned process and is organized with the help of a certified intervention specialist. Intervention groups operate across the country and work with treatment centers helping families regain control and save the life of their loved ones.
Also, most drug and alcohol treatment centers have counselors who are trained to help families prepare for an intervention. These services are important when a family is working with an inpatient or outpatient drug rehab program. Interventions are carefully planned and, with the right help, are successful. However, there is a common misconception that intervention is only done as a last resort, and this is not true. Early intervention is crucial because it prevents an addiction from spiraling out of control. An intervention could be done at any time, and with the help of a certified interventionist, they are successful.
There are several types of drug and alcohol intervention, which most qualified family interventionists are trained to utilize. The Johnson Model was created by Vernon Johnson and is the most recognizable form of intervention. This model involves the family and a guided interventionist confronting the individual struggling with an addiction. The Invitation Model, or what is known as Systemic Family Intervention, was developed by Ed Spear and Wayne Raiter. The process focuses on a family-orientated approach, and everyone involved is invited to a workshop led by an interventionist to discuss how addiction has affected the family.
Additionally, there is the Field Model of Intervention, which is similar to the Johnson Model as it involves a confrontational approach without the person's prior knowledge. The family interventionist has the training to manage crises during the intervention process and after. The first step for the family is making the decision to follow through with an intervention. Substance abuse becomes work when the drug-addicted individual does not get the help they need. Family Interventions groups are an excellent place to begin because they have the necessary resources to help the family and addict.
When is the Best Time to Consider Family Intervention?
The best time to plan and organize a professional intervention is at any point when the family begins to recognize the addiction and the problems it is creating. The process could begin with researching drug rehab centers and talking to addiction professionals. Most substance abuse treatment centers know of intervention groups and can refer families to these intervention groups. The same applies when families speak with intervention groups; they know of treatment centers that offer the proper resources and help for someone addicted to drugs or alcohol. The process begins with making the decision to help the drug-addicted individual. Families are often caught in the middle and are enabling the addict, or there are issues with co-dependency. These are issues that a certified interventionist helps the family work through during the first day or two before the intervention takes place.
Once an interventionist has been contacted, they spend the time educating the family and anyone else close to the addict who has been affected by the addiction. When organizing the intervention team, this could include friends and family and the professional interventionist. It is important to select the right people for the intervention. For example, this should not be anyone that is enabling the addict or who is co-dependent. Enabling derails an intervention, and it becomes impossible to convince the drug user they need help. The family is prepared for anything because confronting someone with an addiction does not always go smoothly. However, this is why a professional interventionist is hired to act as a third-party mediator.
The Intervention Process and Why It is Important
According to the Surgeon General's Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health, only about one in ten people with a substance use disorder receive any type of specialty treatment. The evidence shows that substance use disorders can be effectively treated with comprehensive continuing care. However, getting an addict to commit to treatment is the first step, and this is where a certified interventionist helps. The Surgeon General's Report also indicates that evidence shows that treatment for substance use disorders, such as inpatient or outpatient, is cost-effective compared with no treatment. Unfortunately, many families do not confront their loved ones about their substance misuse, and the addiction spirals out of control.
Someone who is struggling with addiction is often in denial about their situation and unwilling to seek treatment. A family intervention presents the drug-addicted person with a structured opportunity to make changes before the problem becomes worse. Generally, this is a carefully planned process, and some families attempt this without help, while others hire a professional interventionist. During the intervention, people gather together to confront the addict about the consequences of addiction and ask them to accept treatment. Unfortunately, this is always not successful without professional help.
A typical intervention involves specific steps, and the first one is to make a plan. A family member or friend proposes an intervention and forms a group to plan the intervention. The best approach is to consult with a certified interventionist or an addiction professional. Hiring a professional is beneficial because an intervention is a highly charged situation leading to anger, resentment, or a sense of betrayal. The people involved should begin to gather information and find out about the extent of addiction. Once the family or friends have an understanding of the severity of the addiction, the next involves forming an intervention team.
Once an intervention team is formed, the next step is to set a date and location and work together to present a consistent rehearsed message. Interventions are structured, and someone who is not connected to the family helps the intervention team focus on the facts of the problem. Typically, this is a professional interventionist that the family has hired who helps the family through the entire process. The people involved with the intervention should also decide on the specific consequences of the drug-addicted individual who does not accept treatment. Each person on the team needs to decide what action he or she will take.
Everyone has something to say during the intervention, which has an emotional impact and bring an understanding as to why the addiction is affecting everyone around the addict. Once the intervention is successful, the drug-addicted individual is escorted to the treatment center. Typically, the best person to bring your loved one to treatment is the interventionist—along the way to the treatment center, anything could happen. It is not uncommon for an addict to want to change their mind and find a way to back out. Certified interventionists are trained to manage the situation and ensure your loved one arrives at treatment safely.
What are the Alternatives to Family Intervention?
The alternative to family intervention is court-ordered drug and alcohol rehabilitation. Court-ordered rehab is a mandatory rehabilitation from a drug or alcohol addiction as ordered by a judge as part of a court ruling. Typically, court-ordered drug rehabilitation is instead of a prison term for someone who has bee charged with a drug or alcohol-related offense. Countless addicts become caught up in a cycle of crime and addiction. Drug courts across the United States routinely sentence offenders to treatment programs in an effort to reduce the number of people caught up in the criminal justice system. People who are ordered to go through court-ordered treatment are often regular people, but their addicts have taken over.
The main purpose of court-ordered drug rehabilitation is the complete rehabilitation of the offender. Also, it is to ensure the rehabilitated individual does not graduate to more serious crimes. Unfortunately, this is a common problem where offenders who do not become rehabilitated commit a more serious offense. A drug court may order treatment instead of rehabilitation if it was a non-violent crime, or the crime that was committed was a direct or indirect result of substance abuse. Also, if a court believes the person would benefit from drug or alcohol rehab, the person qualifies for a probation sentence. However, to be eligible for courter ordered treatment, there are requirements to meet.
Some of the conditions include the person who was addicted to drugs or alcohol at the time in which the crime was committed. The crime committed was directly or indirectly as a result of the person's dependence on drugs or alcohol. If the court feels the person would benefit from drug and alcohol treatment, they would be court-ordered, or if the person qualifies for a probation sentence. Drug courts were designed to be an alternative to criminal courts, and offenders are admitted to addiction treatment programs instead of prison. However, participation in drug court is not mandatory, but the defendant must have pleaded guilty to the crime. Once checked into the drug rehabilitation center, the offender is expected to abide by some, or all of the terms laid out.
According to an article Treating Drug Abuse and Addiction in the Criminal Justice System: Improving Public Health and Safety, "treating drug-involved offenders provides a unique opportunity to decrease substance abuse and reduce associated criminal behavior." Offenders can access Accelerated Pretrial Rehabilitation Programs, which is overseen by the Court Support Services Department. There are also Alcohol Education Programs for someone that was charged with operating a motor vehicle under the influence. Drug Education and Community Service Programs are applicable to people who have bee charged with possession of drugs or drug-related paraphernalia. When family intervention is not an option, and your loved one is caught up with the criminal justice system, drug courts are an effective approach to take.
Common Terminology Surround Family Intervention
|Family Intervention||this process includes family members to motivate someone to seek help for alcohol or drug misuse and other addictive behaviors.|
|Enabling||this is the behavior taken on by family or friends that delays the moment where the drug-addicted individual is forced to confront the full gravity of their addiction. For example, the family pays for the drug users' rent or bails them out of difficult situations.|
|Co-dependency||is a person belonging to a dysfunctional, one-sided relationship where one person relies on the other for meeting nearly all of their emotional and self-esteem needs. Also, this problem occurs within a relationship that enables another person to maintain their irresponsible addictive behavior.|
|Substance Abuse Intervention Specialist||is a trained and qualified professional who performs family interventions, counsels families, and helps people addicted to drugs or alcohol enter treatment.|
|Court-Ordered Drug Rehab||mandatory treatment is defined as treatment ordered, motivated, or supervised under the criminal justice system, which involves courts or courts associated with DUI offenses.|
|Motivational Interviewing||is an intervention technique that focuses on having a conversation with the addict about help for addiction. The process is designed to encourage them to make positive behavioral changes.|
|Johnson Model||is the most recognizable model of intervention and utilizes the element of surprise where family and friends confront the addicted person with the help of a professional interventionist.|
|Invitation Model||is similar to the Johnson Model, except it does not use the element of surprise. Typically, one friend or family member is asked to speak with the drug-addicted individual.|
|Field Model||combines elements of the Invitation Model and Johnson Model with the professional interventionist working in the field making decisions—it is recommended where an addict has the potential to react in a negative or even violent manner.|
|Systemic Model||is a non-confrontational approach and allows the family and friends to place emphasis on encouraging the drug-addicted individual that they can live without drugs or alcohol.|