What are the different types of interventions?

Intervention is the process where family and friends confront a person struggling with substance use disorder in a non-threatening manner. The main aim is usually to motivate and encourage the individual to seek treatment. Intervention is a combination of strategies that focus on helping someone overcome addictive or self-destructive behaviors.
During the intervention, people try to point out destructive behaviors exhibited by individuals with substance abuse disorder. Raising these issues and how they affect family members and friends targets the person’s willingness to see the need to get some form of treatment and enter a treatment program. Interventions also include calling in experts like therapists, medical professions, or religious leaders.

When performing an intervention, the individual is given examples of worrisome or troublesome behaviors. They are also offered treatment plans and given the expected consequences if they do not accept the treatment.

Different Types of Interventions

There are various types of interventions, and they can be grouped according to the type and number of people performing the intervention. Addiction does not manifest the same way for everyone, and the method chosen will depend on the person’s past and current behaviors.

In other methods called confrontational interventions, the person is not involved until the final assembly. Invitational interventions involve the individual from the beginning of the process. Both approaches aim at getting the person into a treatment program.

The Simple Intervention

This type of intervention involves using only one individual, like a family member or friend, to confront the person struggling with substance use. You can include a professional interventionist to take part in the process to increase the chances of success. A professional interventionist is a person who is trained in organizing and performing interventions.

The person conducting can consult a substance abuse counselor or a therapist for advice before the intervention. Simple intervention aims at confronting the person in a non-threatening manner to discuss the negative aspects of substance abuse and get the person to seek treatment.


Classic intervention involves getting everyone present, including the individual suffering from substance addiction. Family members, friends, and professionals try to explain how substance abuse affects them and the importance of seeking treatment. Having a prior meeting before the intervention to plan the event and come up with goals and functions can increase the chances of success.

You can develop different strategies to address the potential reactions from the subject. A professional interventionist can be called in to ensure that you meet the goal of the intervention. They can also run the intervention or attend to offer guidance.

Family Systems Interventions

These interventions aim to confront a family member who is enabling substance abuse in one member or a family system with problems with substance abuse. The goal is for the family members to get into treatment either as a group or individually. Professional interventionists are usually involved due to the complex issues involved with families.

Crisis Interventions

They are introduced when the individual’s substance abuse leads to dangerous or threatening situations. Family members or friends attempt to get the person to commit to a treatment program. In this type of intervention, a tough-love approach can be used. It involves the members expressing their love for the individual and explains how substance abuse affects them. They also give the consequences that will follow if the subject does not seek treatment.

Another approach that can be used is the love first approach. It is a softer version of the tough love approach. Members of the intervention meet prior to the meeting and write a letter that they will read.

The letter includes an introduction talking about the bond between the two and their shared experiences. The body expresses the affection for the individual, and the conclusion pledges support to the individual throughout the recovery process. After reading the letters, the member will ask the individual to seek treatment. The meetings can be as many as needed until the individual agrees to join a treatment program. If the person refuses, the members will have to execute the promised consequences.

The Johnson Model Intervention involves a team of friends, family members, interventionists, and therapists. The team meets prior to the intervention to discuss their goals. During the intervention, the members will express various things, including:

• Facts regarding the substance abuse
• Evidence of how substance abuse has adverse effects
• The concern the members have for the individual

In this model, anger and blame are not allowed, and the individual is offered a minimum of three treatment options.

The Albany-Rochester Interventional Sequence for Engagement (ARISE) is an alternative to the Johnson model has three levels.

• Level I involve bringing in an interventionist to plan the intervention. After organizing the intervention, all the members, including the individual, are invited to join.
• Level II is where the meetings take place, and the subject is encouraged to seek treatment.
• Level III is a last-resort meeting where the individual is given severe consequences if they do not accept treatment.

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