Addiction Intervention Services
Addiction intervention services aim to help the family of an addict convince their loved one of the damage their addictive behavior is causing and that outside help is necessary to address the addiction. Most addicts cling to the belief that they will be able to overcome their addiction on their own, when they decide the time is right. Sadly, this is often an unrealistic expectation. The addict continues to abuse drugs or alcohol, or engage in addictive behavior, often making and breaking promises to get clean or stop, and continues to spiral into low self-esteem, depression and further abuse. In order to save a loved one's life, an intervention is often necessary.
An interventionist's assistance may literally mean the difference between life and death.
Getting high is usually central to the lives of drug or alcohol addicts, as their primary concern becomes when and how to get high next. Likewise, behavioral addictions, such as hoarding or eating disorders, take center stage in the addict's life. This preoccupation may ultimately overshadow everything else that is of value to the addict, so it is critical to seek an interventionist's help before things progress to this stage. While there is hope even at this point, the situation becomes much more dire from both a mental and physical health perspective. An interventionist's assistance may literally mean the difference between life and death. If you or a loved one needs the service of an interventionist, contact us today. We have a vast network of professional interventionists all over the globe, and can put you in touch with one who can help your situation.
The Work of an Interventionist
People often seek out the aid of interventionists for their loved ones when their own attempts to address the problem fail, or they are unable to initiate the conversation to begin with. They may feel they have the same conversation repeatedly but the behavior ultimately remains the same. Addicts will often deny their addiction, saying it is not their problem and they don't need any help. Talking to an addict about the problem and convincing them to seek treatment are rarely easy tasks. Many people find they need intervention services to address the issue effectively.
Interventionists are experts in how to address an addict and ultimately persuade them to seek treatment. They are able to run an intervention that is organized and productive, navigating tricky waters when an addict responds in a defensive or even violent manner. An interventionist will keep the event on track, and even escort the addict to treatment following the intervention.
The interventionist's job involves the following:
- Determine the addict's history of addiction
- Make an analysis based on the provided information
- Develop strategies for an effective event
Family and friends often make up the intervention team. If you're unsure who should be involved in the intervention, you can discuss potential team members with the interventionist. As a general rule, people who are important to the addict's life -- such as spouses or romantic partners, family members, close friends and even colleagues -- are appropriate choices. Children should only be involved if they are old enough to understand the event and desire to participate. Anyone who has addiction issues of their own should not participate, nor should those who have a negative relationship with the addict as personal issues should not be the focus of the intervention.
Family members are often the ones who first contact an interventionist to initiate the event. Since they see the addict on a day-to-day basis, they are very familiar with the damage the addiction is wreaking on that person's life. Family interventions are often held at the family home as it's beneficial for the addict to feel comfortable during the process. Families may also choose to hold their intervention in a neutral location, such as an unused office space, church or healthcare center. Discuss possibilities with your interventionist to determine the best locale.
There are various models for intervention; however, team members commonly read letters aloud that they have written to the addict, detailing how the addict's behavior has hurt them. These letters are written beforehand, with the help of the interventionist, and may be revised based on feedback from the entire team. It's important to stress that the intervention is happening because all team members love and support the addict, and want to see them live a healthy life.
Workplace interventions take place when a boss or coworker notices persistent addiction issues with someone in the workplace. Oftentimes, addicts have trouble maintaining their jobs. They may show up late or miss work altogether due to their addiction issues. Since addiction takes first place in an addict's life, other responsibilities, such as tasks at work, take a backseat to the addiction.
When those at work can no longer ignore their colleague's addiction, they may choose to stage an intervention. Professional interventionists have experience in conducting workplace interventions which have different dynamics than family interventions. In a workplace intervention, it's important to only involve those who are close to the addict. Having casual acquaintances at the intervention can do more harm than good.
As interventions often take a good amount of time, it's advisable to hold them in a location where privacy is available. Reserving a conference room for the entire day sometimes works well.
In the United States, workplaces often use the screening and brief intervention (SBI) strategy to identify alcoholism and apply intervention techniques. This method involves the development of a workplace management plan and contains guidelines on how to perform an intervention. All workplace interventions should include efforts to educate the addict about the dangers associated with their behavior, and offer clear steps they can take to seek treatment after the intervention.
There are many different approaches to interventions, and it's important to choose one that you feel would be most effective for your loved one. A professional interventionist can help you with this process. The main types of interventions are:
- The Johnson Model: When most people think of an intervention, they likely picture something similar to the Johnson Model. This type of intervention involves family and friends confronting the addict about their behavior. The intervention team members make it clear that they fully support the addict in their recovery; however, consequences are spelled out should the addict choose to not seek treatment. These consequences may include no longer providing the addict with housing or money. It's important for team members to enforce the consequences if the addict does not seek treatment. While the Johnson Model is effective in many cases, it doesn't work for everyone. Some addicts feel great shame and anger at being confronted in this manner.
- The Systemic Model: This type of intervention works better for those who don't respond to confrontation well. Rather than presenting the addict with consequences if they don't seek treatment, this model focuses on positive encouragement. Team members encourage the addict to choose positive behaviors, such as sobriety, rather than turning to negative behaviors, like drinking or using.
- The Invitational Model: Whereas the Johnson Model employs an element of surprise on the addict, the Invitational Model does the opposite. The addict is invited to a meeting with an interventionist but given all the information on what the meeting will entail. With this information, the addict can then decide if they wish to attend. Even if the addict doesn't come to the meeting, team members still meet with the interventionist to discuss what to do next.
- The Field Model: This type of intervention combines aspects of the Invitational Model and the Johnson Model. Ultimately, it's a flexible format that is adapted to the situation at hand. Many decisions in this model are made "in the field," allowing interventionists to choose what is best at the moment.
There are some types of interventions that don't fit any specific model. A professional interventionist can assess the situation and then opt for a strategy that will work best. Since the ultimate goal is for your loved one to seek treatment, it's important to approach them in the best possible way.
If you'd like help staging an intervention, give us a call. We can connect you with an experienced, professional interventionist in your area that can help you with the process from start to finish. Don't hesitate to contact us.