An Intervention is a process where friends, loved ones, or family members help to confront the addict or alcoholic with or without the help of a trained professional with the goal that the identified patient decides to enter treatment of some kind which could be inpatient, outpatient or even just going to support meetings at first. There are many types of interventions and we can help you decide whether some sort of intervention may be helpful for your particular situation.  The TV show, “Intervention” on the Arts and Entertainment (A&E) network is an excellent depiction of ideal interventions and some which are “train wrecks,” but watching some episodes can give you some ideas about what to do and what not to do.  Interventions have not been adequately researched and there is little research or data behind the approach to know for sure whether it works or whether it can in fact cause more harm to the people we care about. However, some types of interventions can be extremely effective in some cases.

An important place to start is to consult a treatment professional such as a certified addiction counselor, licensed professional counselor or psychologist who specializes in this process in order to determine if the person in your life might be a good candidate.  While it is discouraging that there is little evidence to support the general effectiveness of the Johnson style Interventions there is mounting evidence to suggest that family members and professionals can intervene in multiple ways. We can help to coordinate all aspects of an individual’s intervention, treatment, aftercare and individual and group counseling, referral to inpatient or intensive outpatient if necessary and recovery houses or sober living houses. Surprisingly, most interventions though are less complicated and can be as simple as figuring out the best way to approach the person you care about and begin a conversation about the role drugs, alcohol or other addictive and compulsive behaviors may play in their life in such a way that they listen and that they become willing to come for help.

Intervention Information and Resources for Philadelphia, Montgomery County and the Main Line and Nationally

CRAFT – Community Reinforcement and Family Training –  – This is an evidenced based and empirically supported method which has shown to be effective in steering loved ones towards treatment and recovery. The Treatment Research Institute in Philadelphia has been pioneering programs now being tested online which have compassionate and extremely promising techniques based on principles of psychological behavior therapy. We highly recommend the book Get Your Loved One Sober by Robert J. Meyers, Ph.D and Brenda L. Wolfe, Ph.D. which is based on CRAFT a “proven prevention program.” – National Counsel of Alcoholism and Drug Dependence – How do Inervnetions Work? From Hazelden Betty Ford, probably no better resource and experience ofr professionals gathered together on nthe topic of Intervention. Not in our backyard but they have the expertise. – This page offers information about how to help a friend or family member, or any close person overcome or get treatment for any kind of addiction.  Intervention can motivate a person to seek help. – This page explains what an intervention is and how it can help friends and family members help a person

The Bucks County Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. Provides interventions free of charge in the 5-county Philadelphia region and New Jersey. If you are outside of the area, they can work with you as well. You must call first and meet certain criteria: 800-221-6333 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.