Drug Intervention Services

Last updated: Monday, 26, September 2022

When searching to hire a professional interventionist, it is not uncommon for rehab centers to recommend an interventionist in Canada. Addiction intervention is critical to helping an addict accept help and attend a drug rehab program. Below is a listing of interventionists that can help you bring a loved one to rehab.


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Drug intervention is a carefully planned process involving family, friends, and a professional interventionist. Family intervention brings these individuals together to confront the drug-addicted family member about their drug addiction and convince them to attend a drug rehab centre. The family intervention focuses on the positive, and it helps the addict understand that their addiction affects the mental and emotional health of their loved ones. The point of a family intervention is not to blame the individual for causing harm but point out that the addiction causes negative changes in behaviour, and there is a solution.

A family intervention often occurs because either the family or the substance users are at a breaking point. The family and friends of the addict realize they will not stop abusing drugs without external help and intervention. Generally, it is inevitable that a drug user will require some form of family intervention to help them recognize the need for change. Most people struggling with drug addiction do not realize they have a problem or admit they need help. Much of the realization derives from the substance abuse perception of a problem and coming to grips with just how bad the drug addiction has become.

Overall, a drug intervention should involve close friends, family, and colleagues with the help of a certified interventionist. Family interventions are prepared and rehearsed in advance, an appropriate time and location have been chosen, the participants are not judgemental or confrontational, and everyone is focused on the goal of getting the addict help. Family interventions are successful when adequately planned. However, a poorly planned family intervention can cause the addict to feel attacked and make it much more difficult to convince them they need help.

Moreover, family interventions are emotionally charged, and family members endeavour to be specific about the worse consequences of drug and alcohol abuse. There is little data available on the effectiveness of a family intervention, but when properly organized with a professional interventionist, they are successful. In addition, family intervention is not a last-ditch effort to help the addict and should not be considered a last resort. Intervening early contributes to the success of treatment, and the addict is more likely to respond to drug rehab during the initial stages of treatment.

Most addicts who have a family intervention performed on them commit to going to drug rehab. According to a National Treatment Indicators Report, between 2014 and 2015, over 105,000 from five different provinces accessed publicly-funded drug rehab services. The majority of treatment service events were accessed by men. Also, individuals between the ages of 25 and 34 accounted for the highest percentage of treatment service events. Among the individuals who accessed drug rehab between 2014 and 2015, 8% did so to address the use of a friend or family member.

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What are the Different Models of Drug Addiction Family Intervention?

Family intervention comes in many forms that intervention professionals tailored to the individual. The type of family intervention model that the certified interventionist selects depends on the unique experience with addiction. The Johnson Model of intervention focuses on the addict and was coined by a pioneer of the industry in the 1960s, Vernon Johnson. The ideology behind the Johnson Model is that addicts have a built-up wall of denial that could be broken down when confronted with the crisis addiction created in their lives. The Johnson Model of intervention is the most recognizable form of intervention and guided by a professional interventionist.

The intervention involves confronting the addicted individual without their prior knowledge of the meeting. The Johnson Model is grounded in the assumption that addicts cannot see how their addiction negatively affects them and those around them. Also, it assumes that the individual will remain in denial until they hit rock bottom. It is important to recognize this is an elaborate defence mechanism crates to justify addiction. These intervention methods are rooted in caring and compassion and not malice or accusation. Certified interventionists help the family organize and plan the Johnson Model of intervention.

The Invitational Model of family intervention focuses on the family and was developed by Ed Spear and Wayne Raiter and is also referred to as the Systemic Family Intervention Model. The model of intervention also takes a family-oriented approach and is rooted in the idea that the system of addiction changes and every individual in that system also changes. During this method of intervention, the entire family or support network is invited to come to a two-day workshop led by a certified interventionist. The interventionist helps the support network understand the concept of enabling and how it affects the addict and the family.

At the conclusion of the workshop, the addict will agree to seek treatment, and the interventionist using the invitational model will usually follow up with the family for up to you a year. The Field Model of intervention focuses on building the interventionist's skills and was developed by a former professional golfer who became an interventionist after overcome addiction. The Field Model does not replace other intervention models but compliments them. The Field Model is based on the Johnson Model and many of the same properties. This model of intervention prepares the interventionist for handling a crisis during a family intervention.

The purpose of this model is to bring the family together, and the biggest difference between this model and others is the time frame for the family intervention because of the training involved. A certified interventionist will help the family determine the best approach. The ultimate goal of a family intervention is for the individual to enter treatment immediately.

When is the Best Time for a Family to Organize a Family Intervention?

There is no bad time to organize and conduct a family intervention. The longer that someone remains addicted to drugs, the more harm will be done to their life. Drug addiction not only damages their physical and mental health, but it also robs them of their possession, relationships, and self-respect. Many addicts end up losing a lot before they reach a point where they are willing to accept help and go to drug rehab. The term rock bottom refers to the very lowest level, yet even then, someone addicted to drugs can continue to abuse the substance to the point of facing possible death.

Rock bottom may involve the loss of a job, relationship breakup, legal problems, loss of a friendship, deterioration of health, loss of accommodations, mental breakdowns, or financial problems. There is a common myth that an addict has to reach rock bottom before they accept help. However, this is not true because this is why family intervention is organized. In addition, this is an unhelpful way of looking at things. There is no need for an addict to lose everything, and it is important for the family to intervene and take advantage of the help from a professional interventionist.

How are Family Interventions Planned and Conducted?

Family intervention is a carefully planned process with the help of a certified interventionist. In most situations involving drug addiction, intervention is necessary and is effective if done with purpose and a plan. There are many steps involved with planning and conducting a family intervention. The first step is planning ahead because an intervention is a highly charged and emotional event. There is the potential for the purpose of the conversation to be distracted or for the intervention plan to be forgotten. A professional interventionist helps a family plan ahead and rehearsing everything that will be said.

Another step involves creating support, and a professional interventionist helps the family select and organize the intervention team. Family interventions are emotional, and it is important to have others who can support the goal of getting the addict into drug rehab. Also, having a certified interventionist present helps keep the intervention on track and ensures the family does not deviate from the plan. It is also crucial for the family to state and follows through with specific consequences if the addict is refusing treatment. Having specific consequences that have been planned ahead of time before the intervention is vital.

Additionally, the family must also agree upon the consequences, and along with defining these consequences, everyone must make sure they are enforced. The family must hold up boundaries and show their drug-addicted family member the consequences are serious. Until their behaviour changes, they will not be able to have certain privileges. Finally, everyone involved with the family intervention must follow up and follow through with the specific consequences if the addict refuses help. A certified interventionist helps the family stay on track and follow through with everything that must be done to help the addict.

What are the alternatives to Family Intervention for Drug Addiction?

Alternative to family intervention for drug addiction usually involves family-based approaches to treating drug abuse highlighting the need to engage the family, including parents, siblings, and sometimes peers. For example, brief strategic family therapy, which is based on a family system approach to treatment. One member of the family's problem behaviour is seen to stem from unhealthy family interactions. The counsellor helps the family establish relationships with each family member.

Family behaviour therapy produces positive results for everyone involved. Family behaviour therapy combines behavioural contracting with contingency management to address drug addiction and other behavioural problems. Typically, the counselling involves one family member and the addict. Therapies encourage family members to use behavioural strategies taught in sessions and apply their new skills to improve the home environment. Functional family therapy combines a family systems view of family functioning with behavioural techniques to improve communication, problem-solving, conflict resolution, and parenting skills.

Multidimensional family therapy is a comprehensive family, and community-based treatment for family members addicted to drugs. This form of counselling aims to foster family competency and collaboration with other systems that focus on helping teens addicted to drugs. Finally, multisystemic therapy and intensive family and community-based treatment that has been shown to be effective even with teens and young adults. Family intervention is a successful approach, but there are different forms of counselling as other options to consider.

Common Terminology with Family Intervention

Terms Definitions
Brief Intervention This form of drug addiction intervention involves a short one-on-one meeting between the person struggling with drug addiction and a medical professional or counsellor.
The Johnson Model This is the most common model of family intervention. One or more family members plan a specific intervention and come together to confront the addict.
ARISE This is a newer system of intervention involving the whole family and is less confrontational than other intervention models.
SMART Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time Specific is a system that can be applied as part of the follow-up in a family-created intervention.
Family Systemic Intervention This model of addiction intervention not only focuses on the person struggling with drug addiction but also on their family.


Marcel Gemme, DATS

Marcel Gemme, DATS


on September 26, 2022

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