Most people who have heard of intervention might not know that there are quite a few types of it, with each designed to address a specific type of problem. As there are different types of addiction, one of the things we learned here at LUNA Recovery Services is that a more relevant form of intervention could prove to be far more effective than just using one type to address every kind of addiction, most commonly drugs and alcohol.
It is not uncommon for those with addiction issues to completely deny that they have a problem. This is where intervention plays a significant role, as it helps them deal with the issue of addiction, mostly through the help of people who they trust and love. The treatment would typically involve family members, loved ones, or even trusted friends. As this kind of treatment is never easy for those seeking it, having people whom they trust to be around to help is an essential element of the process.
What Is An Intervention?
An intervention is a conversation between a family member, a loved one, or a trusted friend and someone who is struggling with an addiction. This conversation, however, is not just any ordinary back-and-forth conversation. It is an exchange with the intent to convince the person struggling with addiction to seek help and kick the habit.
Who Are Interventions Best Suited For?
As the nature of addiction is quite sensitive, it is always best to consult with professionals who are trained to identify, assess, and deal with such situations, before a person is assumed to be suffering from addiction.
Nevertheless, there are several telltale signs that could point to a person needing an intervention quite soon. This is particularly true if these signs are particularly uncharacteristic of the person.
It is normal for people to want a little privacy in their lives, although there are instances wherein this need becomes extreme and in an obvious manner.
People with a substance abuse issue could become quite volatile, to the point of becoming belligerent at a moment’s notice, and often, even when unprovoked.
A person suffering from addiction could appear to be devoid of life at some point, preferring to do nothing, speak to no one, and avoid any kind of social activity or interaction.
Repeated substance abuse causes significant damage to the body. This is not only internally but also manifested in a marked loss of appetite, visible sickliness, and dramatic weight loss or gain.
There will be noticeable changes in how a person behaves at some point, as they try to hide their addiction, and also ensure that they can feed their bad habit as well. This could come in the form of doing anything to make sure they could acquire whatever it is they are addicted to, prompting them to borrow money for it or even steal.
Who is Involved in An Intervention?
The good thing about intervention is that it does have a high rate of success when it comes to getting the patient to agree to the treatment, with the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) citing the success rate at nearly 90% of the total mediations of interventions done. This high rate is attributed to the professional handling of the treatment center coupled with the presence of loved ones or people whom the patient trusts.
Addiction treatment of any sort is quite difficult for anyone who undergoes it mainly because the patient is being made to give up their dependency on whatever it is that they are addicted to. While most do have remorse and feelings of disgust for their dependency, kicking it and getting it out of their system is an extremely jarring and traumatic experience for them.
This is why types of interventions require the presence of someone who could help ease any resistance on the part of the patient. Trust plays a huge role in the treatment, so having someone whom the patient trusts completely is vital, not only in getting them to agree to it but also get through the entire program.
What Happens During An Intervention?
The first step to intervention is for the family member loved one, or trusted friend to seek out a treatment center that could help the person with the addiction problem. It is always a good idea to talk to representatives of the treatment center to hear what they do in such cases, as anything short of the most sensitive and mindful treatment professionals could very hurt the chances of the patient seeking out addiction treatment.
Professionals from the treatment center should prepare the loved ones, family members, or trusted friends as to what might happen during the initial treatment and recovery process. It’s not uncommon for the patient to feel threatened, betrayed, or even victimized at any point during the treatment, as this is due to the extremely fragile emotional and mental state that they are in, brought on by their continued substance abuse.
What Are the Types of Interventions?
As people react differently to circumstances, the treatment involved in types of interventions is also quite varied. Each one is tailored to address a particular type of person based on their need, reaction to treatment, or severity of the addiction. There are typically four types of interventions as generally practiced:
Some confide and trust only a single person in their lives, and in instances like this, the Simple Intervention works best. This involves a single person, which could be a family member, a loved one, or even that one trusted friend they have always relied on, to get them to agree to the treatment, and consequently help them complete it.
This type of intervention could be done on a one-on-one basis, wherein the trusted one helps the patient in acknowledging that they have a dependency problem. It could also be done with the aid of a professional interventionist, as the patient could prove to be quite resistant to the process, even with the presence of that single person they trust the most.
The intimate nature of having to deal with just one person to accept that addiction treatment is necessary is particularly effective for those who have a great desire to keep the entire matter private. Once the patient feels secure that the entire arrangement is discreet, they could feel more inclined to agree to the treatment.
Most families or friends do care enough to go out of their way to help someone in their circle who needs an intervention to help with addiction. In this case, a Classical Intervention is often employed. This type requires that everyone involved in the intervention be coached and guided accordingly as to how they should approach, talk to, and treat the patient. This coaching needs to happen BEFORE the actual intervention itself, as there is a certain element of timing and coordination that plays into it all.
It is important to note that all participants in this type of intervention have a role to fulfill, with each one being important. All participants are guided and informed of how things could turn out before and during the intervention itself. In the case of families who have a particularly protective relationship with the patient, it is important to realize that everything that needs to be done before, during, and after the intervention is necessary for the treatment to work. This is because the determination of the participants might be undermined by how the patient reacts when confronted about the addiction.
The Family System Intervention type takes into account the family bonds that exist between the patient and the participating family members in the intervention. In many cases, family members could either be dismissive of the condition of the patient or believe that since the patient got into the problem on their own, they should also learn to get out of it by themself.
Conversely, there are members of the family who might take pity on the patient, knowing full well how difficult it could become once the intervention takes place, and this affects their resolve to see the patient through the entire process.
This type seeks to prepare the entire family and guide them to a more balanced and supportive role for the patient, and how to deal with the situation better, to ensure success. The entire family is required to pitch in with the appropriate amount of support and guidance as needed, as the patient is also needed to help themselves through the recovery process on their own at some point, to remove their need for extreme dependency on anything and anyone.
In some instances, a helping hand and care do not get the job done. In instances where stern and more rigid stance needs to be taken, the Crisis Intervention Type comes into play. This is when the one needing the intervention has proven to be quite resistant to any attempt to help them, and could even become a danger to themselves or to anyone seeking to help them.
This type of intervention is more specialized than the other types, requiring the participation of professionals who are well versed in this intervention type. This is often done to those with addiction issues who are viewed to be a danger to themselves not only from the addiction itself but to any attempt to get them to stop. The primary objective of this type of intervention is to ensure the situation regarding the patient is stabilized and that no one is in immediate danger. The actual recovery itself could be done soon after.
It is important to note that the best a loved one, family member, or friend could do in such a case is to ensure that a professional who knows how to handle the situation is contacted, rather than take matters into their own hands. This is to prevent the patient from doing any further damage to themselves or to anyone else who might try to help.
Benefits of Types of Interventions for Substance Abuse Treatment
The general goal of an intervention is to get a person suffering from substance abuse to actively seek help so that they could kick the habit. This is important to understand because it is quite rare for such a person to simply go and seek out help on their own.
There are, however, also other benefits that an intervention could have if properly and promptly started.
Break the Cycle of Addiction
More often than not, those who do receive treatment after a lengthy bout of addiction could stay clean for a while, and then fall off the wagon once exposed to an opportunity to engage in the habit again.
The nature of an intervention is such that it is structured to create a foundation within the patient that solidifies their need to be clean and stay clean. Substance abuse is commonly seen as a cycle, with patients going back to the habit after some time, then going back for rehabilitation. An intervention, fueled by the presence of a loved one, a family member, or a close friend, creates a stronger impression on the patient.
Improve and Repair Social Bonds
It is no secret that those suffering from substance abuse tend to stay away from friends, family, and loved ones when they engage in the habit. They become very secretive about it, and so they detach themselves completely from anyone they have bonds with.
An intervention fixes this because of the involvement of people who might make a difference in the treatment. The support given to the patient shows that although they made a mistake, there is still forgiveness for them and a place to return to once they decide to clean up.
Prevent Irreparable Damage
As much as possible, professionals urge that certain types of interventions need to be done as early as possible so that the patient does not get to the point where pulling them away from the habit becomes near impossible. There is also the matter of physical damage and deterioration brought on by the toxic nature of substance abuse.
Early intervention could save the life of a person suffering from substance abuse, allowing them to get back to living a healthy and normal life after successful treatment.
Want to Know More About How Types of Interventions Can Help?
We here at LUNA Recovery understand the need to address not just the physical needs of patients who need help with addiction recovery, but also their mental and emotional needs as well. This can be done effectively through types of interventions. We understand how difficult the process is, and we seek to employ all avenues of recovery and aid to ensure that patients get started on their journey to getting better.
We know it’s a difficult journey, and that’s why we are there every step of the way. We know the way, let us help you find it and get you through it. Talk to one of our professionals now to see what kind of support we could give you or your loved one today.
Dr. Allaire received his Bachelors of Science in Biology from the University of Houston, as Valedictorian of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and his Medical Doctorate from Baylor College of Medicine, where he served as Chief Resident. He is the medical monitor for the Physician Counseling Committee of the Harris County Medical Society and the Medical Director of Serenity House Detox. Dr. Allaire specializes in medically assisted detox cases, treating patients in recovery from addiction or other mental health disorders, the medical assessment and monitoring of patients with addictive disorders, medical care related to eating disorders and the medical treatment of patients with mental health conditions.