Interventions are highly practiced methods of instigating change in the addiction treatment field. A carefully planned and implemented intervention can catapult an addict in your life into rehabilitation and on to the path to a drug- and alcohol-free future.
Combining education and work history with a knack for helping families encourage addicts to get help, intervention professionals can be lifesavers. In fact, 85 percent of addicts end up in treatment the day of an intervention, the American Association of Retired Persons Magazine reports.
Common intervention methods include:
The crisis intervention focuses on immediate relief and helping the patient to cope with current events that may be emotionally, physically or socioeconomically stressful. The intervention process depends largely on what the crisis at hand is. For instance, remedying a situation in which an addict has been homeless and hungry starts with feeding him. Over lunch, the interventionist may take the opportunity to break bread with the addict while discussing the events that led to his current situation and ways to help him if he is willing to accept his problem and enter treatment.
Sometimes, the crisis is within the family and requires a tailored approach. Your family unit may be falling apart at the seams due to the actions of one individual, or you might have more than one addict in the family. A family crisis intervention can impede catastrophe before it starts and repair your familial bonds through treatment and family counseling.
Other times, it is very much about the substance-abusing individual. She may be emotionally or mentally unstable. One of the most common patient demographics in need of crisis interventions includes the mentally ill. Given that 61.5 million people are battling at least one mental health disorder annually, per the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the risk of crisis events are high. Furthermore, those who are both mentally ill and substance abusers pose an even greater likelihood of being in a crisis and in need of intervention. According to PsychCentral, 29 percent of the mentally ill population struggle with substance abuse.
Among all the possible disorders that could be hiding beneath addiction in a substance abuser, those with depressive components are highly probable. Among people with substance use disorders, 27 percent suffer from depression, the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance reports. Often, these individuals engage in drug and alcohol abuse to self-medicate the symptoms of their illness that leave them feeling uneasy.
The biggest threats where someone with a mental health disorder is concerned are side effects like depression and violent tendencies that may contribute to self-destructive behaviors, lashing out at others, and attempts at suicide. Per the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 90 percent of people who commit suicide have at least one mental health disorder, and major depression is the most common of these disorders in those who take their own lives.
Oftentimes, a crisis intervention is perfect for the addict who has just hit the infamous rock bottom. He may have lost his job, his family isn’t talking to him, and he has nowhere to turn. This is the opportune moment to implement a crisis intervention. Not only will it help the addict to cope with what is happening, but it will also reinforce a positive relationship between him and the treatment professionals who may serve to make rehab look a lot better than it did before.
Other cases that warrant a crisis intervention are domestic issues that stem from substance abuse. For example, a battered wife may be in desperate need of a crisis intervention for an alcoholic husband. An alarming 92 percent of domestic abuse cases involve consumption of alcohol or other substances on the day of the assault.
A crisis is not always synonymous with an emergency. In non-emergent cases, such as a college student at risk of being expelled if they don’t stop using Adderall as a study drug, a crisis intervention can alert the addict of the risk of not getting help and push her into treatment. A Journal of Physician Assistant Education survey among college health profession students resulted in 10.4 percent admitting to illegal stimulant use, and 93.5 percent of them noting they engaged in such to better their concentration for studying.
When there is an emergency, there is obviously no time for pre-intervention planning, so caretakers and loved ones of the addict must follow the advice of professional interventionists closely and have faith that they know what they’re doing. Oftentimes, crisis interventions spur from emergency events, such as a drug overdose — an act that was responsible for 43,982 deaths in 2013, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those who are fortunate enough not to die from an overdose often wake up to an interventionist in the emergency room with them.
Following emergency situations, family members and loves ones should behave in much the same way as they would with a traditional, non-crisis intervention. Remind the addict in your life that you love her and want what is best for her. Take care not to place blame directly with complaints like, “You did this.” Instead, show her your compassion and desire to help with statements like, “We can make sure this won’t happen again.” Acknowledge her feelings, but be firm in your demands and clear that feelings and even poor circumstances are no excuse for her behavior.
The desired outcome is that the addict accepts that he needs help and voluntarily enters treatment, and fortunately, the majority will. However, some will not accept help, and you must be prepared for this to happen. If this happens, do not assume your loved one is hopeless or will never accept treatment; he must be given the time he needs to come to this decision on his own. Data from 2010 to 2013 shows that 40.3 percent of substance abusers who were in need of help and failed to get it did so because they weren’t ready to quit, the SAMHSA reports.
A good interventionist can also advise you on how to take legal action to get your loved one into treatment in some instances if he won’t go voluntarily. That being said, there are plenty of measures caregivers and friends can take to make life without treatment a little less appealing to the addict, including:
Intervention pros will see you through every step of the process, from encouraging your loved one to accept help to making sure she gets it. They’ll take the emotional burden off your family’s shoulders and transport your loved one to the facility where she’ll be screened for mental illness and thoroughly interviewed prior to entering detox. The entire treatment plan will be mapped out and tailored specifically to your loved one’s needs.
You can find out more about the intervention process and treatment by calling our toll-free number now — hopefully before a crisis arises.Contact Us
Integrated Treatment of Substance Abuse & Mental Illness