An intervention is a process in which the family, friends, counselors, or professional intervention specialists look to help a person struggling with drug addiction or any other problematic behavior. During an intervention, they will discuss the negative impact of the actions on their lives as well as how it affects those who care for them.

What is an Intervention?

Listed below are the four most common types of intervention methods.

Simple Intervention

Even if it’s just the beginning step of a longer process, one single conversation may be the only intervention they will need. If the family member or friend isn’t aggressive, mentally ill, or blinded by denial, you may be able to get through to them without having to involve other people.

People will oftentimes underestimate the power of these simple types of intervention. The right voice at the right time might be enough to make your loved one realize the consequences of their actions. Even if it’s just a sincere, heartfelt text message conversation, you may be able to really get through to your loved one without making a big fuss.

Unfortunately, though, as addiction and alcoholism progress, loved ones get harder to reach. The more trapped a person is with the drug, and their symptoms of mental illness, the harder it is for simple types of intervention to work. If you’re not getting through one-on-one, it’s time to try something else.

Crisis Intervention

Sometimes a standalone intervention, the crisis intervention is primarily direct in form. This type of intervention is highly important for those who find themselves in emergent situations where time is not a luxury. Crisis interventions are suitable for addicts, and people suffering from mental health breakdowns. Approximately 50 percent of people who have severe mental health disorders also have a substance use disorder, Help guide reports.

Sometimes, if a crisis is emerging and the addict is still not willing to accept help, a professional interventionist may be able to evaluate the person. An intervention team can then send them for commitment to hospitalization or treatment involuntarily. This is an action that makes it no longer a direct intervention, but a forcible one instead.

Commitment to hospitalization or a treatment center is best in cases where the addict may harm themselves. While substance abuse is known to increase the risk of suicidal attempts, mental health disorders pose an even bigger threat. The National Alliance on Mental Illness reports that 90 percent of people who die from suicide are mentally ill.

Classical Intervention

When a classical (Johnson Model) intervention is planned, everyone but the addict must be present for a successful intervention. This type of intervention includes counseling and education for all friends and family members.

It is possible to discuss the role a family member plays in this kind of mediation before attending the mediation itself. Here, participants in the intervention can prepare for any outcomes that may arise as a result of a counselor or interventionist. Support is often provided both to the addict and his/her relatives during this sort of intervention.

Family System Intervention

Sometimes, struggles with addiction aren’t limited to one person in a family. In some cases, there may be a close group of people struggling with addiction or mental health. If this is the case, we should tailor the break-free intervention method toward the family as a whole rather than an individual person.

Family-oriented interventions involve identifying the toxic ways members relate to one another and help find ways to work better together as a group. The family map tool is especially helpful for these types of interventions. This tool can help people visually understand how much family members really have in common.

Signs An Intervention is Needed

The National Institute on Drug Abuse defines addiction as a chronic, relapsing brain disease. Compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences is the main characteristic of this disease. If an individual is unable to control his drug problem and has stated he does not wish to seek a treatment program, it may be time for an intervention.

Here are a few common signs to look for in an individual struggling with addiction:

  • Loss of interest in normal activities and hobbies
  • Showing up late or not at all for work
  • Financial problems, your loved one constantly needs to borrow money
  • Sleep problems
  • Bloodshot eyes, bad breath, shakes or tremors, and weight fluctuation
  • The individual is acting or behaving differently
  • Fighting with family members or co-workers
  • New friends

How Does an Intervention Help?

An intervention is designed to help those struggling with addiction see the negative impact it has made in their own lives, as well as in the lives of those who love and care for them. However, there is more to it than just that. This setting can communicate the love, concern, and strength of the community surrounding a person in times of trouble. It can also help them recognize that they are not living up to their full potential.

Additional Reading: Drug and Alcohol Interventions: Do They Work?

SAGE Counseling Omaha

At SAGE Counseling Omaha, our primary focus is on helping you to get the support and treatment that you need as you move forward. We all experience challenges that are often too difficult to work through on our own, and we are here to support you during these tough times.

When you connect with our compassionate counseling team, you can rest assured that you will receive the individualized care that you need. Contact us today. For approved clients, we are able to utilize telehealth services through our HIPAA-compliant virtual software.