15 Minutes

November 1, 2021 by THE BALANCE
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This article will discuss the topic of interventions. As the article will purport, interventions hold immense importance in the UK and it is important to address the area in detail. In that vein, the article will first look to introduce what interventions are. Moreover, it will be explained, in detail, how an intervention is done. It then becomes important to discuss what the different types of interventions are and so the paper will discuss the types in detail. The areas that will then be covered will be the Interventions in Alcoholism and within this head, we will cover how one can stage an intervention. The last two heads will look at interventions in Drug Addiction and whether these interventions are actually effective or not. The conclusion will then follow.

A set of programmes or techniques meant to change behaviour or enhance health status among individuals or a group is referred to as an intervention. Interventions that employ a variety of tactics are more likely to yield long-term outcomes.

Interventions that employ a variety of tactics are more likely to yield long-term outcomes. 

The loved one will be faced with an intervention, and the consequences of their addiction will be discussed. They will be asked to seek aid and treatment, and they will be encouraged to do so. 

An intervention is a strong approach for assisting your loved ones in their fight against addiction. It doesn’t matter if the addiction is caused by alcohol or drugs, or by anything else; interventions work for all types of addiction.

Addiction Rehab in London

An intervention is an organised attempt to address a loved one with addiction about how their drinking, drug use, or addiction-related behaviour has affected everyone around them in the context of substance use and recovery. An intervention allows family, friends, and perhaps even coworkers and employers to tell the person in their own words how the person’s drug or alcohol abuse has impacted their life.

The term “intervention” can be misunderstood because it can refer to a variety of evidence-based and effective therapeutic techniques for treating addiction. Motivational interviewing, cognitive behavioural therapy, and couples therapy are among them. These and other evidence-based treatments involve time and effort on the side of the individual with the addiction, but they are generally effective.

The same steps will be followed in most interventions. Not all of them are the same; some are spontaneous and have no time to plan ahead of time. Others are carried out by a single individual. Interventions come in a variety of shapes and sizes, which we’ll go through momentarily. 

The majority of typical interventions will go something like this: 

1. The intervention is meticulously planned. 

An intervention will be considered by someone, usually a family member, spouse, or friend. This person will begin planning the intervention, enlisting the help of others. They may seek the assistance and expertise of a trained interventionist or addiction specialist. 

2. The data is gathered 

The intervention planning group or individual will gather as much information as possible about the loved one. They’ll learn everything they can about the addiction/problem and look into treatment options. For any programme, arrangements can be made ahead of time.

3. A team of interventionists is formed. 

An “intervention team” will be formed by the individual or group planning the intervention. The intervention’s location and timing will be determined. 

4. Agree on the potential ramifications 

If he or she does not seek treatment, the intervention team will agree on the potential repercussions they will commit to. To cut them off/stop all touch is an example. 

5. Practice your intervention. 

The intervention team will then practise the intervention. What each member has to say will be memorised or written down. This is critical to the intervention’s success.

6. Organize the intervention itself. 

The intervention takes place, and the loved one is challenged and asked to get help. If he or she refuses, there will be consequences. Each interventionist will get the opportunity to speak. 

7. Keep in touch 

If the treatment is accepted, the intervention team must follow up with the patient on a regular basis. This is to make sure they’re sticking to their treatment plan and heading on the proper path.

Recently, the NHS in the UK has launched an evidence-based intervention programme to ensure that inappropriate interventions are not given, and safe alternatives are considered first, by each individual case and the evidence that lies in front. The Evidence-Based Interventions programme aims to reduce preventable injury to patients, eliminate unneeded surgeries, and save up clinician time by only providing evidence-based and suitable interventions on the NHS.

In order to address mental health illnesses, such as substance abuse and addictions, it’s crucial to understand the many sorts of therapies. Counseling as a therapeutic method has a lot of distinct methodological variations, all of which are adjusted to match the needs of individual patients and their therapy goals. Counseling mediations come in a wide range of shapes and sizes. Some of these therapies have the potential to create a long-term difference for patients. These approaches can be used in a variety of ways. 

Because every addict’s story is distinct, different sorts of therapies work on different families and people. It’s possible that it’s not the same for everyone.

There are four basic sorts of interventions in general. 

  1. Simple Intervention

A simple intervention occurs when a single person addresses a loved one, usually a family member or friend. They will advise them to face their addiction and seek therapy in order to overcome it. For a simple intervention, a trained interventionist may be present. 

Because of its personal aspect, this can be a very powerful kind of intervention.

  1. Classical Intervention 

The traditional intervention will begin with a “planning session” in which everyone except the addicted loved one participates. All involved family members, friends, and participants will be educated on how the intervention works at this planning session. 

Each person will be prepared by a trained interventionist or counsellor, who will go over all of the possible scenarios and outcomes with them. 

The Johnson Model of intervention is used in the traditional intervention, which supports therapy through the influence of family and friends. It’s about providing support to both the addict and the individuals who matter most in their lives.

  1. Family System Intervention

The “family frames” hypothesis and treatment are used in these types of interventions. This practise can assist address both the reliance and the family relationships when different individuals in a family battle with a compulsion, codependence, or struggle. Relatives frequently go beyond the underlying mediation, and everyone in the family is encouraged to participate in family mentoring and training. When everyone gets the help they need, the dependent individual benefits from a new family perspective and a stronger motivation to recover.

  1. Extreme/ Crisis Intervention 

This is a type of spontaneous intervention that occurs in response to a personal crisis. This could be a wide range of things that put them at immediate risk. The focus and goal of the intervention are to stabilise and assure their safety. Following that, treatment may be considered. 

This form of intervention cannot be planned because of the nature of a crisis. If a professional interventionist is reached quickly and on short notice, they may be able to help.

The importance of early intervention has also been highlighted in the UK. People who are having their first episode of psychosis can get help from specialised Early Intervention in Psychosis (EIP) teams located throughout London’s boroughs. If this is not your first time experiencing psychosis, there is additional help available. 

Psychosis can be a terrible time in one’s life. Early intervention has been demonstrated to lessen the intensity of symptoms as well as the likelihood of them reoccurring, as well as the need to visit the hospital. For the first three years after your first episode, the EIP staff would look after you.

21 percent of individuals in the United Kingdom in a survey conducted in 2018 reported drinking 2 to 3 times a week. Out of all the people in the United Kingdom being dependent upon alcohol, only 18 percent of them are actually receiving treatment.

Interventions for alcoholism are meetings to discuss a person’s worries about an individual that they care about who has an issue with drinking and to offer a helping hand.

It allows the individual’s family, friends, and at times even colleagues or employers an opportunity to let the individual know how their alcohol disorder might have been an issue in their lives. According to some studies, around 90% of interventions achieve success at being able to get an individual into treatment.

How to Stage an Alcoholism Intervention

A successful alcoholism intervention can take some weeks of research, planning, and teamwork. Generally, these are a few steps you could take: 

  1. Put together a plan. Contact people who are worried about your loved one and meet them. You will need to discuss what each of you is going to do to plan for the intervention and what amount of participation you’re okay with.
  2. Team up with a pro. After that, you need to find a professional with experience to help your planning group organize the intervention. It is recommended that you select one of these professionals:
  • Mental health counsellor; 
  • Certified interventionist;
  • An addiction professional;
  • Social worker;
  • Qualified professional counsellor;
  • Psychologist.

Ways you could find a professional interventionist include:

  • Search for alcohol intervention specialists on some intervention websites;
  • Ask a doctor or therapist for a referral to an interventionist;
  • Look for a social worker in a local rehabilitation centre, hospital, or therapy office.

The expertise of a professional could play an important role. They will consider the individual’s situation around alcoholism, provide suggestions of what the best approach can be, and give guidance on what treatment options they can go for.

  1. Choose an intervention team. The intervention team is made up of people who, along with your professional, are comfortable being given personal roles at the intervention. This group mostly is made up of 4 to 6 people who your loved one respects, likes, or trusts. As planning for the intervention continues, this team will meet the professional continuously and discuss certain things like:
  • When and where the intervention will be held;
  • What each individual will say to your loved one;
  • What types of options you’ll offer them of treatment.
  • What the consequences will be if they refuse to get treatment. Each of you needs to present a suggestion.
  1. Hold the intervention. Bring your loved one to the agreed-upon meeting location without letting them know the reason. Once the intervention begins:
  • In turns, calmly share your concerns with your loved one;
  • Suggest one or more treatment options to them;
  • Ask them to muster the courage to accept going into treatment right away.
  • Explain the consequences you’ll each impose if they don’t get treatment.
  1. Follow through. After the intervention has been completed, keep track of the individual’s progress. If they decided to take treatment, make sure it’s going well. If they rejected treatment, you might want to plan another intervention or discuss with a healthcare professional what other actions you can take.

What Not to Do at an Intervention

Don’t allow someone your loved one dislikes in the intervention or a person who has a mental health condition that is untreated or a substance abuse disorder. Also, do not critique or attack your loved one verbally at the intervention. 

What to do for Yourself

Lastly, keep yourself in good condition, no matter what the individual selects regarding treatment. Going into counselling or opting to go for a meeting can be a way for having your support.

In 2018 to 2019, 1 in 11 adults which is almost 3.2 million people in the United Kingdom, between the ages of 16 to 59, had taken a drug. During the same period, the number of deaths due to poisoning by drug misuse was 2,917 people. This depicts the severity of drug use and abuse, which calls for immediate attention in the UK and worldwide.

Consult an addiction professional:

Consulting an addiction professional, such as a licensed drug counsellor, a psychologist, a psychiatrist, a social worker, or an interventionist, could help you organize an effective intervention. An addiction professional will consider your loved one’s unique circumstances, give suggestions for the best approaches, and give guidance to you in the type of treatment and follow-up plan which will most probably work best.

A lot of the times interventions are conducted without having an intervention professional, but having an expert’s help is highly recommended. At times the intervention happens at the professional’s office. It could be very important to have the professional be at the intervention actually, to help you stay on track if your loved one:

  • Has a serious mental illness history;
  • Has a history with violence;
  • Has been suicidal before or recently brought up suicide;
  • Might be taking some mood-altering drugs.

It is extremely important to talk to an intervention professional if you feel like your loved one may have a violent or self-destructive reaction.

Who should be on the intervention team?

An intervention team normally consists of 4 to 6 people (As mentioned above) who play important roles in the life of your loved one, for example, people he or she likes, loves, respects or depends on. This can include people like a best friend, adult relatives, or a member of your loved one’s faith. Your intervention expert could help you point out elidable members of your team.

If you find it important to have someone involved but are worried that it could create an issue during the intervention, you could have the individual write a short letter that someone else could read at the intervention.

If your loved one refuses help:

Unfortunately, not all interventions prove to be a success. In certain cases, your loved one that has an addiction might refuse any treatment plan. He or she could burst out in anger or start insisting that help is not required or may even be resentful and accuse you of betraying them or being hypocritical.

You need to be emotionally prepared for such situations while continuing to remain hopeful for a better chance. If your loved one does not accept to be treated, prepare yourself to follow through with the changes that you have presented.

Most of the time, partners, children, siblings, and parents are the subjects of violence, abuse, threats, and emotional upheaval due to drug issues. You cannot control the behaviour of your loved one that is addicted. You can, however, pull yourself and any children from the destructive situation.

If an intervention doesn’t work, you and others involved in your loved one’s life can still make changes that could help. Talk to other people involved and ask them to avoid enabling the destructive cycle of behaviour and take active steps to encourage change in the right direction.

You can run a successful intervention that works but keep in mind, the person you love has an addiction that involves intense emotions. The process of putting together the intervention as well as the intervention itself can cause resentment, anger, and conflict even among the intervention team which consists of family and friends who know that your loved one needs their help. To help and be able to run a successful intervention:

  • Don’t hold an intervention as soon as possible. Take your time. It can take a couple of weeks to plan a proper and effective intervention. However, try not to make it too elaborate, either, since it can become tough to get everyone following through.
  • Plan the time of the intervention. Make sure you choose a proper time and date when your loved one is most likely going to be sober.
  • Do your homework. Study your loved one’s substance disorder so that you have a proper understanding of it.
  • Give one person the job to act as a liaison. Having one person as the point of contact for the whole team will help communication become easier and everyone can stay on track.
  • Share information. Make sure every team member is informed about your loved one’s addiction and the intervention in the same way so that everyone has the same information. Hold conference calls or meetings to share updates and agree to present a united team.
  • Have a rehearsal intervention before the real thing. In this rehearsal, you may decide when will each individual speak, how will the sitting arrangements, and other details be, so that there are no misunderstandings during the actual intervention with your loved one.
  • Think of your loved one’s objections. Have calm and rational responses prepared for the reasons your loved one might give to neglect going into treatment or responsibility for behaviour. Offer to support. This makes it easier for them to go into treatment. You can do this by arranging child care or perhaps deciding to attend counselling sessions with your loved one.
  • Avoid confrontation. Talk to your loved one with respect, support, love, and concern rather than with anger. It could have a bad impact on them. You should be honest, but do not use the intervention as a forum for hostile attacks. Avoid calling names and accusing or angry statements.
  • Stay on track during the intervention. Shifting away from what was planned can rapidly derail an intervention, possibly preventing a helpful outcome for your loved one and even worsening family tensions. Prepared yourself to stay calm in front of your loved one’s accusations, hurt, or anger, which is mostly meant to deflect or derail the conversation.
  • Ask for an immediate decision. Don’t allow your loved one to take time for thinking about whether they should accept the treatment offer or not. If he or she asks for some days to think it over, doing this gives way for your loved one to continue denying an issue, go into hiding, or maybe on a dangerous binge. Be ready to get your loved one to a conclusion to start treatment right away if they agree to the plan.

An intervention sounds like the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, but the question arises: does it work? Interventions have become very common, especially because family members can intervene and help the professional better understand the addict. Interventions can work if they are held and dealt with professionally and carefully. One should not go ahead with an intervention for a loved one without careful planning anyway.

That said, it is difficult to tell how effective an intervention is. This is because effectiveness is hard to define objectively. Interventions are more likely to result in an addict deciding to seek treatment, but it is not an indicator of whether they will actually stick to the treatment and what the result of the treatment program will be. Shockingly, and cautiously, people who seek treatment halfheartedly after becoming overwhelmed from the intervention may end up being less likely to recover.

Interventions can prove to be a useful strategy to help someone step out of the addiction pool. Those interventions which do work, are because the addicts have a solid game plan given by a professional and are supported by their friends and family. The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence measured the success rate of intervention by the individuals’ commitment to seek treatment and showed above 90% success when the intervention was performed appropriately. This not only confirms that we need to make sure the intervention is precisely catered according to each individual and also reaffirms that people tend to seek treatment faster after an intervention.

In the end, there are conflicting views as to whether interventions work or not. Studies are confirming its success, but they come with a price of not being fully accurate because one never knows whether the addict will continue the treatment and actually leave the addiction, or just take treatment for a while due to high levels of exposure to motivation and then drop out. In this way, interventions work if your view of recovery is obtaining any sort of treatment (even if it is for a short while), and they do not work if your view of recovery is complete abstinence from drugs/alcohol (because you never know the end result). They are especially effective if the intervention group keeps a check on the addict – but then again, there is only so much one can do, an addict will only recover if they genuinely want to themselves.

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