How Does an Intervention Work?

For as long as drug and substance addiction has existed, there have been different forms of intervention methods. The traditional methods of intervention have played a big role in shaping today’s models. There are two main forms of intervention; direct and indirect intervention models. Direct intervention models largely depend on the family and friends of the person who needs help. With the help of a professional interventionist, they confront the person and try to convince them to get help. The addict doesn’t have much of a say in deciding the treatment plan and treatment facility. These plans are made in advance by the family and friends. It is especially useful to those addicts that may be too ashamed or afraid to accept the help they need. With indirect intervention, the abuser is made to interact with their loved ones in hope that this will make their environment more friendly and pleasant and therefore, healing will be fostered. If the addict doesn’t want to get help, their family and friends are still allowed to seek help. The addict may have to be committed against their will if the interventionists feel that they need immediate help.

Psychiatric Models of Intervention

While some people view alcoholism as a disease that needs to be treated with love, others view it as a vice brought about by irresponsibility and lack of morals. Even though the AMA declared it a disease in 1959, there is still a lot of debate about it. As a result of this, there are times when people struggling with alcoholism have been treated as criminals that deserve to be punished. At other times, they have been treated as patients who need medical help.

In 1891, Thomas Davidson Crothers submitted a proposal on the same to the North American Review. He said that drunkards should be arrested and committed to hospitals for as long as it took them to be restored. He felt that they should be put under military, hygienic and medical care to keep them from endangering their own lives and those of others. Their lives and living conditions were to be observed and regulated for as long as it took for them to get better. He also proposed that they be empowered to be as self-reliant as possible. This, he felt, would help cure new cases of alcoholism. Those that couldn’t be cured would at least be kept from further harming themselves and others.

Modern Models of Intervention

Priest Vernon Johnson, more popularly known as the father of modern intervention, started holding interventions in the 1960s. Being a former alcoholic himself, he would show the negative effects of alcoholism that alcoholics needed to reach rock bottom. His intervention method is now referred to as Johnson Model of intervention. It was a successful method but it failed to address the needs of family and friends. To meet the need for healing family, several intervention methods are now used. They include;

Invitational Model Interventions

This method is about gently inviting the addict for intervention.

S.M.A.R.T Model Intervention

It stands for Systemic, modular, approach to recovery and treatment. This model emphasizes on changing unhealthy family systems and understanding the behaviors of the patient. It assumes that by empowering the family to be a healthier system, the chances of the patient to get and stay sober are improved.

Modern Intervention doesn’t just focus on patients accepting treatment. It is about getting them to embrace long-term recovery and sobriety. It also deals with the emotional needs of friends and family.