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Addiction Intervention


Addiction intervention, also known as crisis intervention, is an attempt to get someone to accept help for a drug or alcohol problem. Addiction interventions are normally organized by the friends and family members of affected people, with professional interventionists also available from many treatment centers. People struggling with substance use disorders are often in complete denial about their problem, with interventions often used to help them wake up and receive the help they need. Addiction intervention marks the start of the treatment process, with this element of treatment then followed by detox, medication treatment when needed, behavioral therapy and aftercare support.

What is Addiction Intervention?

An intervention is any orchestrated attempt to get someone to accept the help they need. In the context of drug and alcohol addiction, the end goal of an intervention is to get someone into a professional drug treatment program. Depending on the substance and extent of addiction, successful interventions may be followed by medical detox or rehabilitation programs. There are many ways to conduct an intervention, including direct confrontational methods and indirect invitational methods. People respond differently depending on their individual personality type and extent of addiction, with the friends and family members of affected people often seeking professional advice from an intervention counselor.

Is an Intervention Needed?

Before organizing a crisis intervention, it’s important to evaluate each case on its own merits. Drug addiction is often accompanied by denial and secretive behavior, with the friends and family of drug addicts often needing to read between the lines to work out what’s really going on. Common signs of drug abuse include unexplained mood swings, changes in sleeping patterns, changes in eating patterns, changes in social groups, loss of interest in favorite activities, financial hardship, and health and legal problems. People with drug problems are also likely to face difficulties cutting down on drug use and feel guilty about their level of drug intake.

Setting up an Intervention

There are many ways to set up an intervention in Iowa, including informal interventions in a known domestic environment and formal interventions at a neutral location. While some people are quite capable of organizing an intervention by themselves, others like to enlist the services of a professional interventionist. Preparation for an intervention event may include composing letters to give to the affected person, organizing what each person wants to say during the process, and making sure the person turns up to the event. It’s also important to choose an intervention model to use, with direct and indirect models both widely used across the state of Iowa.

Intervention Models

The ARISE model of intervention and the Systematic Family model of intervention are two of the more popular models used today, with the former using an indirect approach and the later using a direct approach. Both of these systems come from the original Johnson model set up in the 1960s by Vernon Johnson, with his original ideas diverging since then to include a range of other approaches. Direct interventions use a confrontational approach, with indirect methods typically much softer and invitational by nature.

What Comes Next?

An intervention marks the start of the treatment process for most people, with these events typically followed by detox, rehab and aftercare support programs. While addiction intervention helps people to accept treatment, it does nothing to enable drug discontinuation or promote long-term recovery. Medication and psychotherapy support systems may both be required after an intervention has been completed, with residential and out-patient rehab facilities located throughout Iowa and across the United States.