Interventions For Long Term Drug Abusers: Social Life

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Addiction to drugs is complete dependence on a drug substance for a specific state of mind.

Drug abuse can be anything from illegal drugs to excessive use of prescribed drugs.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 23.9 million long-term drug addicts were identified in a 2012 report.

Drug abuse has a negative impact on an individual’s emotional, physical, as well as social life.

Toxicology can lead to addiction.

An intervention is an intentional process of confronting and educating a drug abuser to try to persuade them to seek treatment.

A professional interventionist, family members and close friends gather during an intervention (Kumper, 1995).

It is important to plan carefully to prevent failure and keep the abuser from returning.

Many signs that a drug user is suffering from include social withdrawal, lack or proper hygiene, irritability (Kolb), financial problems, and weight changes.

An intervention is a process that identifies the problem, helps the person seek treatment, and then follows up.

A long term drug abuser is someone who completely relies on drugs. They have become a part their lives.

It can be difficult for them to recognize the problem and seek help (Hall1993).

Recognizing your addiction is key to recovery from drug abuse.

Some drug abusers are able to recognize the problem, but find it difficult to change their behavior.

This paper will discuss different options for drug abusers who are long-term.

Johnson Intervention

This method is a refined form of the old confrontational model.

In the past confrontation was considered a negative behavior and was used to blame the addict for their behavior.

According to current standards, this approach is considered insensitive.

This model was created by Dr. Johnson during the 70s. It was believed that addicts should reach rock bottom in order to justify intervention.

In these cases, the rock bottom was death by suicide or accidents.

The belief was that intervention was unnecessary if an addict had a job with a family, a social life and a normal daily routine.

Dr. Johnson designed a system that would save the lives and help addicts before it was too late.

Johnson’s model has a team consisting of close friends, family and colleagues. The interventionist is responsible for leading the group (Johnson,1986).

The interventionist teaches the members to be more aware of addiction, keep positive, and stay empathetic.

After making all the arrangements, the abuser will be lured to the location.

The abuser is confronted by the team.

The group is advised not to blame or hurt the abuser and to tell them that they are loved.

The model can be adapted to suit the individual’s needs.

You can train your spouse to handle confrontations, or you could make a friend.

Interventions may result in the addict responding positively.

Because some people might react negatively, it is recommended that the team be ready for setbacks.

The next step is encouraging and supporting the abuser to seek treatment ( Loneck, Garret, 1996).

ARISE Intervention

This model is slightly different to Jonson’s.

This method involves informing an abuser of the intention for them to intervene.

This formal procedure involves the involvement of a professional.

To avoid surprises, addicts are kept informed of each step. Landau et. al., 1997.

Once the drug abuser accepts the intervention, then the meetings cease and the intervention begins.

Addiction and drug misuse can have devastating effects on the victim and their family.

This model is meant to heal both the abuser, and their family members.

Many times, spouses and family members change their behavior in order to support the abuser.

Some family members excuse the addict, or join them in their indulgence (Hall and Associates 1993).

ARISE seeks to change this behavior in order to help the abuser recover.

Dr. Judith Landau created the ARISE program after her parents died from drug overdose.

She learned from her own experience the importance to include the family in the healing process.

This approach has worked well for most people (Landau, et al.

This support system uses the family network to help the drug addict.

The Love First Intervention

This method was invented in 2000.

Jay& Jay, 2008: A group of concerned family members and friends meet with a clear agenda.

A priest or trusted family member can be appointed team leader.

The minimum number of members for a team is three.

They are given instructions to write letters.

These letters are broken down into four parts.

The first examines the relationship between abuser and writer.

The letter includes reminiscences of past experiences and concludes with a loving message (Hall, 1993).

The second part contains instances in which the abuser caused the writer distress or embarrassment.

The third part is about concern.

The writer is concerned and encourages him to seek treatment.

The fourth and final portion explains what happens if the intervention is not followed.

This part is on a completely different page.

To remove hostile words and ensure encouragement, team letters will be edited by each other.

These letters offer suggestions on how to get into different inpatient facilities.

These facilities are contacted by the team in case the abuser agrees to help.

The drug abuser is invited at a mutually agreed location.

The patient can read the letters and, if he or she agrees to seek assistance, the meeting ends.

Jay& Jay (2008) states that not all letters are read.

If the patient is stubborn, the reading will continue.

The bottom lines are read if all attempts fail (Kumpfer & Alvarado 1995).

If the addict is willing to receive help, and feels like leaving the facility at some point, the letters will be presented for him to review and encourage.

This intervention should be ended with support for the treatment.

The Tough Love Model

This is a complex model that should be approached with care.

This approach involves confronting drug abusers with consequences.

This intervention is only required by 10% of patients, according to research.

If the person continues to use drugs, the family will move on without them (Stanton 2004, 2004).

Children are asked by their parents to quit using drugs if they don’t stop.

The family moves on with adult relationships (Loneck and co. 1996).

Years of suffering and embarrassment may lead to anger and hostility.

This requires professional intervention.

The professional interventionist assists the family with writing the consequences.

A drug abuser needs encouragement and love (Liepman, 1989).

This method is effective for people who don’t respond to compassion or love.

These are the consequences of abusers failing to change.

This works well for long-term abusers that have not responded to other intervention methods.

Lowinson et. al. suggest that the family members be given consequences, such as being taken away from their home or cutting off any financial aid.


Drug abuse can be a difficult subject and requires skill and expertise.

First, you must love and accept the drug user.

Different people react differently to interventions.

An intervention should be tailored to each individual (Bassin et al. 1975).

The intervention process is only possible if the interventionist has the appropriate qualifications.

The interventionist acts neutrally.

Each person will be able to use the different intervention methods.

It is crucial to choose the right method for you (Hall, 1993).

They become enablers when loved ones fail them to face the truth.

The problem is not well-known to most drug abusers.

Interventions are designed to bring the addict to treatment.

It is difficult to get an addict to seek treatment.

Addicts may be aware of their problem, but they are unwilling to give up on their addiction.

The tough love method can result in sacking a job or taking away the children.

Bassin (1993) says that confrontational tactics should have a positive impact on an individual’s character.

It is almost always possible to make an intervention with precision.

Interventions do not always succeed.

Families and friends need to be ready for failure.

A person may refuse treatment after receiving intervention.

The interventionist assists the family in carrying out the consequences agreed upon (Kolb, 1995).

The addict is the loser, and may reconsider.

This could take weeks or even months.

For all interventions, patience is essential.

Refer to

(1975), “Different Strokes: A Defense of Conflict Tactics in Psychotherapy.” The Counseling Psychologists.

(2003). The dangers of drugs.

London: Department of Health.

Hall.J (1993), “What Really Works?”

An Analysis of Substance Abuse Cases and Discussion of Confrontational Intervention ” Archives of Psychiatric Nursing 7, 322-327

(2008). “Love First: A Family’s Guide To Intervention” Minnesota: HazelDen

Johnson, V. (1986) “Intervention: How To Help Someone Who Doesn’t Want Help” Minneapolis, Johnson Institute Books

Kolb, L. (1995). “Types and Characteristics Of Drug Addicts” Mental Hygiene. 9.

Kumpfer L., Alvarado R. (1995) “Family-Based Interventions for Substance Use and Misuse Prevention ” Substance Use and Misuse Vol38, 1759-1787

Landau,J. Shea R. Garret J. Stanton M. Baciewicz S., & Brinkman D. (1997). Strength in Numbers. The ARISE Method for Using Familys and Networks To Engage Addicted Patients in Treatment. New York: Brunner/ Mazel

( 1989) “Evaluation of a program designed to help families and significant others tp motivate resistant alcoholics into recovery” American Journal of Drugs& Alcohol Abuse 15, 221-221.

(1996) “A Comparison of John Intervention and Four Other Methods of Referral To Outpatient Treatment” American Journal of Drugs &Alcohol Abuse 22,233-246

Stanton M.

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