Intervention counseling for an alcoholic or drug addict can be an effective way to get them help in a crisis situation. A typical intervention is an attempt to get the user to seek professional help for their substance abuse issues that is orchestrated by their family or close friends. The purpose is to offer the addict a prearranged treatment, and get them to see how their substance abuse affects their life and all those around them.
The motivation of an intervention is to get help for someone who needs it but doesn’t necessarily want it. Interventionists are treatment professionals who have experience planning and executing interventions, and many families utilize interventionists in order to ensure that their intervention goes as smoothly as possible.
The History of Interventions
The use of interventions originated with Dr. Vernon Johnson in the 1960s. Known as the Johnson Model, many of the techniques that Dr. Johnson applied are still in use today. Johnson was a recovered alcoholic and did not believe that a substance abuser had to hit “rock bottom” before they could benefit from treatment. He was a supporter of early intervention based on the idea that it prevented the progression associated with addiction, and theorized that it could be handled before it completely destroyed the addict’s life. In 1966, he was the co-founder of the Johnson Institute which provided training to over 8,000 treatment professionals.
Dr. Johnson introduced the concept of intervention by family members, friends, co-workers, and employers. This direct model of intervention is still the most common type of intervention used today. Trained interventionists coordinate with those closest to the addict to put together an intervention team which will confront the addict directly about the consequences of their use and offer them a way out.
Our Intervention Model
The intervention model we use is a unique style that was developed by our founder in 2006. Our model is a more personal style where we work one-on-one with the drug or alcohol abuser. It is a less invasive solution that has proven to be successful across the boards. We are, of course, willing to meet the families needs and treat every situation differently based on the specific circumstances surrounding it.
Even the best planned and well-intentioned interventions are unpredictable. Remember, an intervention team is trying to get someone with major life problems to agree to help, something the substance abuser isn’t able to see that they need. When faced with direct confrontation there is no telling how the addict will react because every individual’s personality is different, not to mention that they are forced to see that what they have been doing is hurting the people they love.
Interventionists have experience dealing with all types of addicts, and don’t have emotional ties to the subject. An intervention counselor should be utilized to help in cases that involve any of the following:
- The addict has a history of leaving treatment or refusing help
- The user is out of control with his or her drug use and has demonstrated clearly that they cannot stop using drug or abusing alcohol
- The addict has a history of minimizing their condition and blames others for their problems
- The user has been unwilling to accept help and has been relying on destructive means to continue their use
- The addict is taking several mood-altering substances making it hard for the team to know what to expect when confronting them
- The user has a history of serious substance abuse problems
- The drug or alcohol use has impacted the user’s life causing them and others negative consequences as a direct result of their behavior.
In all of these situations a intervention counseling can make the difference in keeping the addict under control and allowing the team to present their case. The interventionist will organize meetings before the actual event to get everyone on the same page and instruct them how to prepare. Each team member will need to be resolved to not give into the user and be sure to hold their ground. They will also need to impose consequences if the addict refuses help and must follow through with these consequences to be sure that the substance abuser sees that going to treatment is their best option.