Types of Addiction Intervention Methods

Last Updated: May 25, 2023

Editorial Policy | Research Policy

While the success rate of interventions can differ based on the model used, interventions can help get a person into addiction treatment.

When a person has a drug and alcohol addiction, they may not always recognize the need to seek treatment or may resist getting help. In this case, an addiction intervention may be needed. 

What Is Addiction Intervention?

An addiction intervention is a meeting of concerned family members and loved ones who try to convince the person with the addiction to seek treatment. The team had a meeting to discuss their concerns, offer support and encourage the person to enter treatment. After the intervention, the person with the addiction is given the opportunity to begin treatment.

While the success rate of interventions can differ based on the model used, the Association of Intervention Specialists reports that up to 90% of interventions successfully get a person into treatment. 

What Are the Different Intervention Techniques? 

If you’re exploring options for your family, there are several drug and alcohol intervention methods. Here are some of the most common techniques, so you can get an idea of what approach might best fit your unique situation. 

1. Simple Intervention

As its name might suggest, the simple intervention is the least complex. With this intervention, a single person confronts someone with addiction about their concerns. For instance, if you have a friend, family member, child or significant other who struggles with addiction, you might have a one-on-one conversation to encourage them to get into treatment. 

2. Johnson Model of Intervention (Classic) Intervention

The Johnson Model of Intervention, also sometimes called the Classical Intervention, is probably what most people think of when they imagine an intervention, as this model is often featured on TV. 

The Johnson model uses a professional interventionist who meets with the family for two planning sessions before they confront their loved one with the addiction. During these planning sessions, family members learn about the dangers of enabling addiction and set goals for the final meeting, during which they confront their loved one. 

The intervention process finishes with the confrontation, during which the goal is to help the person with the addiction enter a treatment program. 

3. Family System Intervention

A family system intervention works with all family members to heal the addiction. This intervention treats not only the person with the addiction but also the family members, who may be engaging in enabling behaviors, like giving the person money or bailing them out of jail if they are arrested for drug possession. Family system interventions aim to improve communication and interactions within the family, reducing drug and alcohol misuse. 

4. Crisis Intervention

A crisis intervention occurs unexpectedly when a person is in immediate danger, such as when they experience an overdose or are arrested for driving under the influence. At this moment, family members may come together to encourage a person to seek treatment to diffuse the crisis. At this time, a patient may be taken to the hospital for emergency treatment. 

5. Tough Love

The tough love intervention involves giving someone an ultimatum, surrounding a consequence they will receive if they choose not to seek treatment. For example, a spouse may tell the person with the addiction they will file for divorce if they do not seek treatment, or a parent may tell a child they will no longer be allowed in the house if they do not enter a treatment program.

6. CRAFT Intervention

The Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT) intervention model teaches families how to communicate with someone who misuses substances, practice self-care and use positive reinforcement to encourage healthier behaviors. The model teaches the family how to get a person with an addiction to seek treatment, but it does not use surprise confrontational meetings. Even if the person with the addiction does not seek treatment, the family benefits from learning about healthy communication and setting boundaries. 

7. ARISE Intervention

The ARISE Intervention is designed to be gentle and loving. Families using this intervention model invite the loved one with the addiction to join meetings from the beginning, so there are no surprise confrontations. Using compassionate, non-blaming methods, the ARISE Intervention guides a person with addiction toward seeking treatment. 

Who Are Interventions Best Suited For?

When a person has a drug or alcohol addiction but they do not seek treatment, an intervention may be warranted to help them get the treatment they need. The following characteristics make someone a good candidate for an intervention:

  • They are in denial about misusing drugs and/or alcohol.
  • They are hesitant to seek treatment. 
  • They have experienced numerous consequences related to addiction, such as losing their job, being unable to care for their children, being arrested or suffering from health problems related to substance misuse.
  • They have a co-occurring disorder (addiction with a mental health condition). 

Interventions can be especially helpful for those with co-occurring disorders, as over half of those with co-occurring conditions do not receive any treatment. An intervention can convince a person to seek help for their addiction and learn to cope with mental health symptoms. 

Drug and Alcohol Treatment Options

After an intervention, a Recovery Advocate at Orlando Recovery Center can help get your loved one into treatment. We can guide your family through the process and help your loved one start their recovery journey through one of our evidence-based treatment programs. 

Orlando Recovery Center offers a full range of treatment options, including inpatient treatment, partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient care. Contact us today to learn more or to begin the admissions process.