This will be short. If someone you love struggles with addiction and you want to help them, and you are considering doing an intervention – the kind where an interventionist gathers together family and friends to convince your loved one they desperately need to attend treatment (or else) – then I want to strongly caution you against such action. Instead, I want to call your attention to an alternative that has much better success rates.
The intervention I strongly recommend you study and implement is called the Community Reinforcement and Family Training Approach (CRAFT).
Why this approach?
CRAFT has been rigorously tested in numerous research studies, even head-to-head with other types of interventions such as the traditional Johnson Intervention, and been found to be far superior. If you want to know more about it, I cover all the details on my page about how to help a loved one or friend.
In my opinion, it’s also a more loving and humane approach compared to what you can witness on television shows like Intervention. While entertaining, these reality-based intervention shows never provide the full story. You see what the producers want you to see – the pain, the struggle, the tears, the decision to go to treatment. But there is always more, because addiction is a wickedly challenging problem that is not solved by a show of force in one meeting. It requires – at minimum – evidence-based treatment that fit within the 5 Actions framework.
And one more good reason to consider CRAFT!
My good friend Dr. Dominique Simon-Levine has created a very accessible online version of CRAFT at Allies in Recovery that you can access for only $39/year. Try finding an interventionist that can deliver the outcomes of CRAFT for that price! Not only will you get hours of videos and access to tracking tools and supportive forums that will help you get your loved one into treatment, but you will also learn how to take care of yourself and deal with feelings of frustration, anxiety and depression that are par for the course when you live with someone struggling with addiction.
And full disclosure, I get no reimbursement for sending you to her site, except of course the joy in knowing the world will be better place when you employ CRAFT.