Illicit drug use remains a common concern throughout the global population. According to statistics by the World Health Organization, an estimated 270 million individuals used some type of psychoactive drug within the past 12 months. Deaths associated with drug overdoses have risen dramatically in the last two decades. Less than 20,000 deaths were recorded in 1999. By 2018, this figure has increased to 67,367.
Drug abuse, alcohol addiction, and related disorders affect more than just the addict themselves; family, friends, and community are also at risk of complications. When a child, a parent, or a friend suffers from addiction, their people feel concerned for them and can take on the work of trying to help them on their own. This can lead to depression, anxiety, and serious relationship problems.
“Do interventions work?” When it comes to looking at questions asked to the best alcohol rehab center in Texas, this will rank at the top. Today, we are looking at what an intervention really is. We’ll also consider how it affects an addict and looks at how the process works. In this post, you will also discover how effective an intervention is.
What Is an Intervention?
An attribute that is fairly common among addicts is denial. These individuals often find it hard to admit that they have a problem. Some even deny it to themselves. This is a fact that makes it harder to set up an intervention, and even harder for the intervention to be successful.
Once an addiction has developed, trying to talk to the person about their addiction can be tough. People who are trying to intervene or help may find that their friend or family member is quick to anger or that their feelings are easily hurt around the topic. This is especially the case with addicts who are in complete denial and refusing to admit the fact that they have a problem.
An intervention is a process but can also be described as an event.
It is not something that should happen without planning and the necessary supports in place. Instead, this needs to be a carefully orchestrated event. Failure to plan ahead and get everyone to properly prepare is likely going to cause problems during the intervention. This is why the event often involves the help of professionals.
These individuals are experienced and can assist in providing an environment that is controlled but also calm for everyone involved in the process. Whether asking what an alcohol intervention or a drug intervention is, the principles will generally remain the same.
There are a few primary goals that intervention should focus on. The first is to help create a breakthrough with the person suffering from addiction. Loved ones want them to realize that they have a problem and the impact it has on their community and themselves. This is essentially the first step for them to overcome their addiction.
This is often done by helping the person see how their current behavior is destructive, non-productive, and damaging to themselves. Self-destructive behavior is commonly seen among people with drug and alcohol addictions.
How Does an Intervention Work?
Different approaches are used when setting up an intervention. There are, however, still a few general processes that are followed. These processes have been developed based on years of research. It is important to recognize the steps that provide effective results. With an intervention, things can go wrong, and this can cause the event to spiral into chaos. This is a risk that needs to be avoided at all costs.
There are generally three specific steps that constitute an intervention. Prior to these steps, however, an appropriate environment needs to be identified. Taking a calm approach to intervention is critical. This helps to keep the conversation focused and reduces the risk of things getting heated, violent, or otherwise out of hand. It also helps to reduce risks if the person has previously shown abusive behaviors.
In a calm environment, along with loved one’s present, the intervention will generally commence.
During the intervention, every person who attends the event will be offered an opportunity to speak. Each individual should be encouraged to speak.
Every person will be asked to provide an example of how the behavior caused by the addiction has affected them. During this step, the goal is to help the subject of the intervention understand how their addiction is affecting people around them.
Once all attendees have had a chance to speak, the group leader will continue with the next step. In many cases, a professional is asked to provide assistance during the process. The professional may be asked to step in as the leader of the group.
An action plan should be discussed during the second step of the intervention. Here, the group or the professional offers information about treatment and recovery. A rehabilitation program may be suggested.
This will often include a suggestion of detoxification. During detox, the person is supported and provided with supervision and medical support. Withdrawal symptoms can be managed with the assistance of medical staff at the facility.
The final step is to help the person struggling with addiction to accept the reality of their situation. This is a delicate time during the intervention. The addict should be encouraged to consider the help that is offered to them.
In some cases, the individuals who are part of the intervention will explain how they would react if the person does not accept the help that was offered to them. While this may seem a bit harsh for some people, “tough love” is sometimes needed to help an addict recover.
The Efficacy of Interventions
Before a person can recover from an addiction, there are a few things that need to happen. The first step is for the individual to realize they need help. Denial often poses an obstacle, which is why interventions are often utilized.
Many people are not sure if interventions actually work. While there are success stories, there are also many reports of interventions going wrong.
This is why we want to consider what’s the success rate of interventions. We want to turn our focus to scientific studies and clinical trials conducted in the past. By looking at such statistics, it is easier to understand whether or not interventions can work.
A paper in the Journal of Adolescent Health explains that interventions are not only for adults who experience addiction. In this paper, researchers explain the efficiency of using interventions among adolescents too. In particular, the paper reports that the implementation of a school-based intervention program can be highly effective. A significant reduction in cannabis and drug use is seen among schools with such programs.
In another paper, researchers focus on the importance of early intervention. Treating addiction is usually much easier among those who are at an early stage of substance abuse. When the problem is left to grow, it becomes more difficult to have a successful intervention. Treatment, once help is accepted, may also become more difficult to complete.
Researchers also continue to identify new methods that can be used during intervention procedures. In one paper, researchers explain that a new model is now being tested. This particular model can help overcome certain obstacles that are faced when arranging an intervention. While studies are still being conducted, the current research already shows promising results.
And different types of interventions exist.
According to research, using evidence-based approaches tend to provide more effective results. Evidence-based interventions use specific steps that have been tried and tests in clinical trials and other studies.
How to Approach an Intervention with Success in Mind
Interventions are not always successful. It can be hard to intervene, especially when the subject of the intervention is no longer considered at an early stage of addiction. When setting up an intervention, there are a few things that interveners can do to help increase their chances of success.
Remembering that the ultimate goal is to help, and not to judge, should be important. There are cases where the addict will feel judged. This can cause them to shut down emotionally and will likely mean it will only become harder to break through to them.
The environment chosen for the intervention can make a big impact. The person should feel comfortable in the environment. A lot of people find it is better to do the intervention at home, a family home, or a close friend’s place instead of asking the addict to visit a specific facility.
Other things that can be done to make an intervention more successful:
- Plan carefully ahead. Rushing into intervention is not something that should be done. This process should be handled delicately and carefully.
- Every person who wants to be part of the intervention needs to understand how it will work. It is important that everyone agrees to remain calm.
- Each person should have a good understanding of addiction. They should know how it works, why it happens, and how it affects a person. The people conducting the intervention need to put themselves in the shoes of the person with an addiction for a moment. When they understand what they are going through, it’s easier to show compassion and be understanding.
- Making arrangements with the right rehab beforehand is another important step. There is no use in setting up intervention if the group does not know what they will do when the person accepts the offer of help. The individual planning the intervention should at least see if they can set up an initial evaluation with a local center.
Rehearsal may seem like a bit of a far stretch, but it is another tip that can really help out. Knowing exactly what to say and when to say it are elements that can have a major impact on how effective an intervention will really be.
It is possible to consult a professional on the matter. Local rehab centers are usually able to provide help with setting up an intervention. This help sometimes includes assistance with the planning phase, which ensures the loved ones who are attending the intervention are thoroughly prepared.
A final tip that helps with efficacy – try to always stay on track. If the person says something unexpected, it’s easy for everyone to lose track of why they are there. Try to understand them without judging them. Remain calm and collected. Staying on track makes the session far more productive, and it may help to reduce the risk of the person becoming defensive or shutting down altogether.
What’s the Next Step?
The intervention itself plays an important step in showing your care and love for a person with an addiction. When you have planned out the intervention and do it with care, there is a better chance for success. A person does, however, need to consider what the next steps will be.
When an intervention is planned, the group should also be able to offer their loved one the help they need to overcome addiction. Contacting a facility prior to an intervention can always be useful. In these scenarios, the intervening group will have access to intervention best practices and an understanding of what treatment options are available.
The best medical detox for substance use disorders in Texas should provide the addict with residential service. This means the addict will be provided with housing and 24-hour care while they are undergoing the detoxification procedure.
During the next step, the addict needs to understand that they are loved. Some individuals may feel like the people arranging the intervention are against them. Providing support during the recovery process can help to avoid such feelings.
Interventions are often considered in order to help a loved one suffering from an addiction. There are times where an intervention can be effective. However, the approach one takes when planning an intervention matters a great deal.
Failure to follow an appropriate process and plan out the intervention can lead to serious consequences. We shared some useful information regarding interventions, but it is important to also consider what treatments will be offered once intervened.
John Eckelbarger is a Business Development Representative for Stonegate Center. With a BSA in Chemistry from the University of Texas at Austin, he has an interest in the neurobiology of addiction & pharmacology of drugs. He hopes to bolster Stonegate Center to the forefront of addiction medicine through bold, innovative content. He is currently pursuing his MBA in Finance from Texas Christian University.