Evidence-Based Intervention Techniques for Drug Addiction
In our own experience and recent research, an intervention for substance dependence is one of the most successful ways of breaking down denial and helping reluctant addicts find recovery.
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But for many, convincing their loved one to enter treatment for drug abuse is not easy and causes more harm than it does good in most situations. It just becomes a never-ending circular argument that ends in tears and inaction.
So, if you’ve landed here and are reading this page, chances are your loved one needs us.
Suppose your friend or a family member has a problem with drugs and refuses to acknowledge their problem despite all of the evidence.
In that case, it might be time to consider involving a professional interventionist.
What Is an Intervention?
Drug interventions are often the last resort by family or friends to get a loved one into treatment. Yet, how can the person not see the harm they are doing to themselves and others?
Unfortunately, this is part of the illness. An addicted person might well tell themselves’ things are not that bad,’ if only they would leave me alone.’ Denial is a part of addiction.
At Smarmore, we have heard and seen all of this before. So we employ professional and experienced interventionists.
Our interventions are not one size fits all. They are certainly not a single event but rather a structured, controlled process carried out by a trained professional.
Addiction interventions are delicate and should only be carried out by trained psychotherapists or trained interventionists.
The ultimate aim is to motivate a loved one to get the help they need.
Staging an Intervention vs Involving the Professionals
You might have seen on American TV families getting together, sitting down, crying, writing letters, and surprising their loved ones out of the blue.
But real life is very different from TV, and interventions can quickly go wrong and encourage the opposite of what you want to achieve.
Drug addiction is a complicated disease – if your loved one is suffering from co-occurring disorders like depression or anxiety, then pushing them into treatment will be that much harder.
In these scenarios, we recommend involving an addiction specialist who can provide realistic advice and understanding to the user and help the family navigate this difficult moment in time.
What you might think is an encouraging heart-to-heart conversation may not be perceived well by someone who is going through the chaos of drug addiction. Therefore, formal interventions will give you a better chance at ensuring your loved one gets the help they need.
How Our Interventions Work
An intervention with one of our network of interventionists can help motivate someone to seek help to overcome their drug addiction.
The goal of our intervention specialists is not just to help the addicted person gain access to primary treatment but to help the family feel more comfortable and put their minds at ease.
Our interventionists work in many ways, depending on your particular situation:
- Where they have to surprise your loved one: Surprising someone out of the blue does not promote the best reaction – imagine feeling confronted by the people you love the most and a stranger about something you have shame around.
- Imagine being told right then and there that this person has come to escort you to a treatment facility when you think you are fine. Addiction does not only cause denial, but it also creates a refusal to change; habits make you comfortable, even if you are not happy. Therefore, when we have a loved one who is not ready for treatment, we do not surprise them out of the blue but rather encourage the family to use our name in the conversation here and there, so we are not strangers to them when we come through the door.
- Where your loved one expects us: We build rapport with you and your loved one ahead of time; we can meet over Zoom and have several phone calls before we come to your home and meet face-to-face. It’s all about building the user up to accept help.
- In some tricky situations, where the addicted person feels pushed out, we usually just have a 1-1 conversation, where we break things down and show them that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Following their admission to Smarmore, our interventionists travel to our treatment facility with the patient.
Each intervention is unique and we will work with you to create a scenario where you and your loved one can feel safe.
We will often meet with the family a few times before we stage the intervention to plan effectively on who will participate and how best to handle the situation.
Rehab Is the End Goal
Psychosocial treatments are now considered essential components to any comprehensive substance use disorder programme. Source.
Examples of psychosocial modalities for treating drug addiction include cognitive-behavioural techniques, community reinforcement, family therapies, and 12-Step facilitation approaches – all of which we incorporate into our drug addiction treatment programmes at Smarmore Castle rehab clinic.
These therapies aim to elicit changes in the patient’s drug use behaviours and other factors such as cognition or emotions.
Patients who complete residential programmes achieve better outcomes on drug misuse, crime, employment and other social functioning measures. Source.