The 5 Most Common Types of Drug Interventions

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Instead of silently watching a loved one struggle with addiction, stage an alcoholism or drug intervention. Addiction and drug use is prevalent in America. It affects many households.

After all, 27.1 million Americans over the age of 12 years old used an illicit drug in 2015. That’s about 10% of the overall population.

Many drug addicts are in denial about their problem. They may not even realize how much their addiction has influenced their personal lives, and affected the lives of those around them. Some may even be high functioning drug abusers. They may see no harm in their illicit drug use.

There are many benefits to getting sober. Family members, friends and even coworkers can stage an intervention to help drive the message home. Here are 5 of the most common and recommended intervention methods available. It’s possible to stage an addiction intervention with or without the help of an intervention specialist from an addiction treatment facility.

This article is part of our series on substance abuse.

The Johnson Model of Intervention

alcohol interventionOne of the most popular intervention methods is the Johnson Model of Intervention. In comparison to other types of interventions, those who had undergone this drug addiction intervention method were more likely to:

  • Enter treatment at an addiction treatment facility
  • Complete the treatment

This had led many to believe that the Johnson Model of Intervention is one of the most effective options out there. Most treatment centers for substance abusers highly recommended it.

What Does This Intervention Approach Involve?

The Johnson Model of Intervention relies on a more confrontational intervention process. Loved ones, like caregivers, family members and friends, band together to encourage the addict to seek treatment.

While confrontational in nature, this intervention method is not aggressive. Carry out this intervention in a loving and caring environment. Loved ones write letters that outline their affection for the drug user, and how the addiction has affected their lives. It’s important to avoid negative language. The drug user should not feel condemned or attacked during the intervention.

The letters should not only be caring, but also outline the consequences for not seeking addiction treatment. For example, parents may decide to cut children off financially if they refuse treatment.

The ‘Love First’ Approach to Intervention

drug intervention love
photo courtesy of (shutterstock.com)

The ‘Love First’ approach is another type of confrontational intervention that takes place in a caring environment. This intervention is usually held in neutral territories, like a family home. This intervention method is generally staged by family members of the addict.

Spend the beginning of the drug and alcohol intervention refuting any excuses the drug user may make for not seeking addiction treatment. A common excuse for not seeking treatment is having to care for children. Family members will let the drug user know that they have already arranged alternative care for the children.

Next, everyone sits down and reads letters that they have written. This is the main event. It’s crucial the letters show compassion and love. The letters should follow a specific template. They should include bonding memories and end with supportive reinforcements. The letters should outline the consequences for refusing addiction treatment.

The trademark of this approach is to stay calm throughout the intervention. The premise is to avoid conflict, hostile situations and tension. Everyone needs to remain calm even if the addict loses his or her cool and throws a tantrum.

ARISE Intervention

ARISE Intervention is a fairly new intervention method. It is ideal for drug users who are aware that they have a problem and are willing to communicate openly about the situation. This tactic is not very confrontational at all, and has a decent success rate. 83% of drug abusers sought treatment after undergoing an ARISE intervention.

drug intervention

The most interesting aspect of the ARISE intervention is that it is planned ahead of time. This means that even the drug users are aware of when and where the meeting will take place. The drug intervention takes place over several meetings, and focuses on how sobriety will benefit the entire family.

Many families will work with an intervention specialist. The specialist will take the time to educate everyone on the dangers of addictions. He or she will also explain why treatment is necessary.

The ARISE intervention focuses on helping family members and friends understand addiction. This includes understanding what it means to have a drug or alcohol addiction.

Tough Love Intervention

The most commonly chosen intervention method for parents is the tough love intervention. This intervention method dates back to the 1980s. It uses “tough love” to encourage children to get help from rehab centers. Those who refuse to get outpatient or inpatient treatment face consequences for their actions.

For example, the parents may decide to stop supporting them financially, or even kick them out of the family home. These interventions are usually held by an intervention specialist as an intermediary.

This method is appropriate for children who are not addicted to drugs, but misuse it. Participants in the intervention are usually parents, although they can also include other family members.

The Confrontational Model of Intervention

intervention specialist

This model of intervention is the most confrontational one. It was once considered controversial. It challenges the drug user’s addictive behaviors and may even use manipulation to get the point across. It’s one of the most common forms of interventions seen in the media. Studies have shown that a confrontational approach may not be as effective as other approaches.

This type of drug intervention must be overseen by an intervention professional. Otherwise, the message could be delivered poorly, and the addict may react in the wrong way. The confrontational model of intervention should only happen one time, and should be behind closed doors.

Those interested in this type of drug intervention method should discuss the pros and cons thoroughly with a specialist. In most cases, the drug intervention specialist will personalize the approach to the circumstances. It can be difficult to get drug addicts to agree to treatment.

Get Help for a Loved One

Those who don’t know where to start can contact us for more information. Our drug intervention specialists can help assess the situation and determine the best treatment available. We can even give family members and friends some pointers on where to start, and offer intervention programs and intervention resources to help out.

We recognize the importance of family involvement, which is why we offer a family program every 1st and 3rd weekend of the month. These meetings discuss various intervention strategies. Together, we can all band together to help those who are struggling with an addiction.

This article is part of our series on substance abuse.

Learn More About Substance Abuse
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