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Effective Substance Abuse Intervention

Effective Substance Abuse Intervention

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Drug interventions are “tough love” attempts to inform others that their addictions (whether medication, street drugs or alcohol) and their behavior are out of control. They are jeopardizing everything that is important to them and they need help or they will suffer serious consequences (if they have not already), such as deteriorating health, loss of family, friends, and jobs.

Types of Intervention


There are several types of interventions including family, workplace, court-involved, union, and corporate. However, family interventions are the most common and are divided into four types.

Basic intervention is when someone close to the individual, such as a husband, notifies them that their behaviors are hurting their marriage, friendship, family, business or otherwise. Sometimes this is all that is needed to get the person's attention and induce a change.

Crisis intervention involves social services, police, and/or medical professionals. They usually become involved during disasters like car wrecks, overdose, and assault caused directly by an addict's behavior while “under the influence.” Evidence linking the incident directly to the addict's abuse of drugs can help to show an addict he/she is out of control.

Traditional interventions are planned ahead of time by family and friends and performed with the help and guidance of a professional intervention mediator. This event is planned quietly, without the person knowing and with an arrangement for someone to get the addict to the meeting (preferably held at a drug treatment facility so that they can check in immediately after the confrontation).

Group Intervention focuses on more than just one person and is used to confront many family members or an entire family. The goal is a commitment for each to change his ways, get clean and sober up with the support of each other and enter rehab if necessary.

Why Are Interventions Necessary?  


Those who abuse drugs or alcohol are often oblivious to the effect their behavior has on their lives, their job, their community and others around them. Oftentimes they can be in denial about having a problem and do not seem to care when others tell them that there is something wrong. They try to rationalize their actions by countering that what they are doing is normal. Some abusers are even sneaky enough to try and cover up their drug abuse. These traits make it quite difficult for them to resolve the problem on their own. The resulting changes in their behavior and ability to function cause more deceit, cover up, dishonesty, denial, and rationalization. When confronted, they can intimidate, manipulate, shut down, or ignore the confronter. Confrontation is far more effective when many people in the addict’s life approach them all at once. Without some sort of intervention, the addict will surely get worse.

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