If you are living with a substance abuser or your close friend in an alcoholic or a drug addict, the best thing you can do for him is to convince him to enter a treatment program. Most individuals, however, do not have the skills or resources to deal with alcoholics or drug addicts. In these cases, a professional interventionists can be called in to finish the end game that gets an alcoholic or addict the treatment that he so desperately needs.
A professional interventionist will likely tell you that interventions rarely proceed as neatly as they are portrayed in popular culture, for example, where a quick confrontation ends with the alcoholic’s or addict’s admission of his problem and his agreement to seek treatment. Interventions require thorough consideration of the alcoholic’s or addict’s problems. They need to be planned and administered in a manner that coincides with the substance abuser’s personality. The people who will participate in the intervention need to be selected and fully vetted to stay on message during the intervention. The intervention must have a concrete goal that is more than just an addict’s general agreement to get help. If you are incapable of organizing and leading an intervention that follows these guidelines, an interventionist is your best alternative.
Drug treatment centers, interventionist trade associations, government and social services directories, and your own personal physician can all recommend different resources for you to locate an interventionist. No two interventionists and no two interventions are alike. You will know the addict better than any interventionist that you bring in, and you should select an interventionist that can administer the type of intervention that will best mesh with the addict’s personality.
Interventions generally follow one of four different models:
- The Johnson Model, which is the classic confrontational technique conducted by family and friends, with threats to cut the addict off from the group if he refuses to get help;
- The Systemic Model, which is less confrontational and which focuses more on encouraging the addict to seek sobriety and recovery;
- The Invitational Model, which removes all surprise and confrontation from the intervention and instead gives the addict prior information about the intervention; and
- The Field Model, which combines elements of the other models and allows an interventionist to modify and shape the intervention while it is occurring.
When you meet with an interventionist, ask questions about his or her preferred model and techniques. Find out how much he will want to know about the addict, how he selects the time and place for the intervention, what goals he will set, and how he will handle objections and recriminatory responses from the addict. Ask whether other friends and family should attend the intervention. Talk to a few interventionists and trust your instincts as to which to select. No intervention will be perfect, but you can lay a foundation for a successful result if you choose an interventionist that speaks the same language as the addict.
Please call the Last Resort Recovery Center near Austin, Texas, at 512-360-3600 for more information and referrals for interventionists in your geographic area. A good intervention can be the first step in a lifelong recovery from alcoholism or drug addiction. We can help you make the best choice for the person in your life who suffers from an addiction disease.