What Type of Addiction Intervention Do You Need?

As addiction intervention has become a more common way of helping a loved one get help for alcohol abuse or drug addiction, new methods of intervention have proliferated. You might be asking, what type of addiction intervention is best for my loved one?

The two most common types of addiction intervention are the Johnson Model and  the Invitational Model. The main difference between them is that in the Johnson Model the person who is the subject of the intervention does not it is going to occur until the moment the group meets with them; in the invitational model, you actually invite the subject of the intervention to meet with you and they know upfront what it’s about.

For most people, it may seem obvious that the Invitational Model will only work in cases where the person has some acceptance already that they need help. Most alcoholics or addicts will say, “No way.” For this reason, the vast majority are not by invitation. They are “surprise” interventions. However, they are only a surprise to the subject of the intervention. If you have a qualified interventionist with strong experience, there will be many phone calls and meetings with the other parties involved before the intervention actually happens. This is call the pre-intervention work.

Probably the biggest mistake inexperienced addiction interventionists make is not doing thorough pre-intervention work. The goal for the actual addiction intervention is to only have one person be surprised: the subject of the intervention. If you are not properly prepared, things can go off course very quickly.

In the pre-intervention work the interventionist spends time with each person who will be involved and learns about their relationship with the alcoholic/addict. This allows the interventionist to be prepared for the types of manipulation the addict is likely to use on that particular person.

The pre-intervention work is critical, especially if there is a risk that the person will become hostile or combative. This is why it is so important to hire an interventionist who has done many interventions. They have seen just about anything that can happen. Although most interventions do not turn violent, that can happen if the addict/alcoholic is prone to violence. You might be surprised to know that sometimes it’s the most belligerent addict who is quickly subdued by the presence of so many friends and loved ones who want him or her to get help.

If you are interested in an addiction intervention for a loved one, be sure to look for an interventionist who has proper qualifications. Watching A&E’s Intervention a few times does not qualify someone to do an intervention. Look for those who are board registered or certified as interventionists. You might start by looking at the Association of Intervention Specialists website at http://associationofaddictionspecialists.org. They have a list of members who have gone through specialized training.