Intervention Methods Used in Canada

The word Intervention is not as simple as it seems as there are many different kinds and methods of Interventions. We can help you sort through the options and find the best method for you and your loved one. 

Direct Intervention Method in Canada

Direct interventions are primary types in which family, friends, employers and other concerned loved ones confront the alcoholic or person with the addiction with the help and support of a professional interventionist. Our Interventionists are located throughout Canada with offices in Vancouver, Surrey, Edmonton, Red Deer, Calgary, Saskatoon, Regina, Winnipeg, Toronto and Ottawa. 

Direct interventions don’t really allow for the person suffering from the substance abuse problem to negotiate and/or manipulate the situation. The plans and decisions are made ahead of time for them with the entire treatment plan set up in advance with the Interventionist or Addictions Specialist in hopes that the loved one will agree to it. These types of interventions are quite helpful for those who may struggle with wanting help but are fearful of asking for it or taking the first steps required to get there. Taking the pressure off the addicted person may be all they need to agree to treatment. The private treatment plan may include an intensive residential program somewhere across Canada or even elsewhere. There are also other private treatment plans that will allow the person in places like Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Ottawa or Toronto to receive drug and alcohol counselling while living at home. The reality television show, Intervention, has brought much fame to the direct intervention model.

Indirect Intervention Method in Canada

Indirect methods involve preparing the family to interact with the alcoholic or substance abuser so that the addict’s environment is more conducive to healing. Even though with this method interactions with addiction specialists, licensed counsellors and therapists or support specialists are open not just to the family but to the addict, too, some people suffering from substance misuse will relentlessly refuse to get help. No matter what the consequences are or how much you plead with them. In these situations, the indirect intervention still assists the family as long as they’re willing to seek help. Interventions may be formal with an interventionist present or informal, lacking a professional presence. Across the board, formal interventions are more effective when a professional Canadian Interventionist is involved.

Crisis Intervention in Canada

crisis intervention

These interventions are highly important for those who find themselves in emergent situations where time is not a luxury. The fentanyl crisis has fueled crisis interventions. Overdoses are common and deadly. Time can not be wasted waiting for your loved one to snap out of it. Intervention is needed immediately. Crisis Interventions are suitable for addicts, people suffering from mental health breakdowns, or those dealing with both. Approximately 50 percent of people who have severe mental health disorders are also substance abusers, Sometimes, if a crisis is emerging and the addict is still not willing to accept help, although unlikely in Canada an intervention professional may be able to get the person evaluated for commitment to hospitalization or treatment involuntarily, an action that makes it no longer a direct intervention, but a forcible one. This is especially true in cases where the addict may harm herself or himself. 

While substance abuse is known to increase the risk of suicidal attempts, mental health disorders pose an even bigger threat. Our Canadian Interventionists specialize in co-occurring disorders and dual diagnosis.

However, a crisis intervention doesn’t always mean there’s a mental health issue as well. It could be legal or financial troubles, or even homelessness. Other times the effects of substance abuse may be hurting others and negatively affecting the lives of family members, friends and even employers. For example, an alcoholic mother may be neglecting her children due to her addiction or a son may be physically abusing his parents. Whatever the case you cannot wait to hold this intervention. Crisis interventions work best when professional interventionists, counsellors, family members and other support persons are involved as a whole.

The process is much like a direct intervention. Loved ones need to gather around the alcoholic or addict at this time and show support and concern. Simultaneously, this is the time to tell the addict in your life how her behaviours are affecting you and others she cares about. Given that a crisis isn’t planned, getting this kind of intervention together on short notice can be difficult but we can help. Our professional Canadian Interventionists can be in pretty much any city within Canada in about 24-48 hours. From Vancouver, Surrey, Abbotsford, Edmonton, Calgary, Red Deer, Saskatoon, Regina, Winnipeg, Ottawa or Toronto we can be there to help you and your family conduct a crisis intervention and get your loved one off to treatment. It is always advisable that you seek professional help when dealing with anyone experiencing a substance abuse problem or alcoholism especially if you believe they may be a threat to others or themselves.

Tough Love Method in Canada

A tough-love intervention can be direct or indirect in nature. It is the primary go-to intervention model for those who have had a difficult time saying no to their addicted loved one or have been enabling them. The tough-love approach is perfect for family members and loved ones who want to stop enabling the addicted person and see that she/he gets the help they need. If you’ve come to a point of no return where you’ve tried everything with little or no results. This method often scares loved ones from trying, because there’s always a possibility of it not working and potentially pushing the addict further away from you. Working with a professional interventionist will help you layout realistic consequences and boundaries.

Tough love is more than just making veiled threats; it’s following through with them, too. If you can’t take another day watching your child or spouse suffer through life with an addiction it’s time to seek out professional help.

If your adult child or spouse is an alcoholic or addict who still lives in the home, tough love means it’s time to cut those ties and insist they seek proper treatment before they can return home. You must limit all resources with the addicted person when applying tough love strategies, so loaning money, paying bills, doing their laundry, and managing their life problems are out of the question. When an interventionist is present for this type of intervention, the interventionist can act as a support person for the family and the addict. The addicted person will likely feel like everyone else has turned against them. This in turn benefits everyone if the addict yields to the pressure they feel and turns to the interventionist for help.

The Love First Approach to Intervention in Canada

love first approach

Another direct form of intervention is the Love First Approach, which occurs in neutral territories, such as the family home or another safe and calming place. The Love First Approach Method encourages family members to provide love and compassion to the addicted person and continue with such sympathy throughout the intervention process and after the person has returned from treatment. Family members and other supportive people will begin to debunk excuses the addict makes but will do so in more positive and matter-of-fact ways. If the person who is misusing drugs says they can’t seek treatment because they have children to care for, let them know that you have already arranged for alternative care for the children with a trusted family member or friend. If they say they can’t get the time off work, have the employer already informed and on board with the treatment plan. 

It is important that all participants of the Love First Approach Method stay calm during this period and understand that the premise is to avoid the tension, conflict, and defensiveness that arguing and hostile moods bring to the table. Even when the alcoholic or addict erupts or loses control of their emotions, everyone else must remain composed. The trademark of this intervention technique is that every participant writes a letter to the addict detailing how they feel, including memories that bond them and ending with supportive reinforcements.

In addition to the letter that each loved one will read aloud to the addicted person during the main event, each participant will prepare a list of boundaries and consequences for the person should he or she choose not to get the help being offered to them. The Love First approach allows for support and compassion that balance the more aggressive confrontational aspects of other intervention models.

Confrontational Model of Intervention in Canada

confrontational model of intervention

This model is as direct as you can get when hosting an actual intervention with a professional by your side. The traditional confrontational model of intervention involves firmly challenging the addictive behaviours by pointing out undesirable behaviour caused by the substance abuse user, setting boundaries and establishing consequences should they refuse the treatment being offered by the addict. 

Years ago, this model of intervention was harsh by today’s standards as it involved using indirect force and manipulation to convince the addict to go to treatment. Back then addiction was viewed more as a character flaw rather than an illness. Willpower was believed to work on addiction. The core of confrontation was placing blame on the addict and focusing on punishing the person until they changed their ways and gave up their drug of choice.

The Confrontation Method is still highly used among interventionists today, but it is handled with much more care and empathy. Generally, those with a drug or alcohol problem respond far better to confrontation when it isn’t overtly negative in nature. Often carried out in television shows and films, confrontations that involve chastising the addict and pointing out everything he does wrong without offering him support and compassion are not typical today; they just aren’t effective. 

Most confrontational interventions only happen one time, following closed meetings the family and interventionist used to organize the event. If the addicted person accepts help during the intervention and enters drug treatment in Canada, the rest of the family members and loved ones go on with their lives during treatment however they may respond well to family counselling which we can help set up through private counsellors or the treatment centre itself. 

Johnson Model of Intervention in Canada

The Johnson Model of Intervention is by far the most commonly used model for Interventions in Canada. It comes from the original confrontational intervention model and really focuses on educating a caregiver, such as a spouse or a parent, on how to confront the addict and encourage her to seek help for her substance abuse problem. Blame is avoided in the Johnson Model confrontational intervention models, and concentration is directed toward ways to treat the addiction with clinical and proven therapy measures with addiction professionals in Canada.

This method typically involves a handful of closed meetings with a professional interventionist in Canada who prepares the caregivers for confrontation with the addicted person in a way that will subtly ease the addict into conversation instead of motivating a defensive reaction. 

Systemic Family Model of Intervention in Canada

systemic approach

Close friends and family members often have a larger influence over addicted loved ones than they perceive. Typically, their point of view may be skewed merely because the addict hasn’t responded to their efforts thus far, but the right tools and language that our intervention professionals in Canada can provide can make all the difference. Some people who are addicted to drugs or alcohol won’t be willing to help themselves no matter how much damage their substance abuse has inflicted on their life. They either cannot see it or don’t want to recognize it. However many of those suffering will seek help after hearing how much their behaviours have damaged the lives of others that they care about.

This is the typical intervention most people in Canada are accustomed to hearing about. It centers on bringing the family and close friends together to communicate their feelings and concerns to the addicted person. While the addict is likely to have to listen to the devastating effects his behaviour has had on the family, it is not laid on them in a shameful or blaming manner. The lines of communication are open so that the person suffering from substance misuse may relay their feelings as well. If there is a victim in this scenario, then the whole family as a unit is a victim of addiction and its effects, not just the person suffering. One of our skilled interventionists will act as the facilitator of a more peaceful engagement between all parties, encouraging openness in a way that defensive attitudes aren’t brought out.

Family involvement is one of the primary reasons many end up seeking treatment and getting into long-term recovery. It’s also one of the biggest factors in preventing substance abuse altogether. Family involvement! The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University states that teenagers with weak ties to their families are nearly three times more likely to have experimented with alcohol and four times more likely to have used cannabis than their peers with stronger family bonds.

Systemic Approach to Interventions in Canada

When a systematic approach is planned, our Canadian interventionists will actually make the addicted person aware of the planned intervention and invite them to attend the gathering in an effort to avoid making them feel ambushed or controlled. This approach is almost like a string of therapy sessions that guide the family and friends in communicating more effectively with one another. Not only is the addicted person urged to seek treatment, but their loved ones are urged to attend support group meetings by organizations like Al-Anon, professional family counselling and connect them with other resources for the families of addicts and alcoholics. Generally, this intervention is carried out in several long spurts or meetings over a period of a few days, but many families continue with them for long-term treatment purposes as well.

The CRAFT Intervention Method in Canada

The CRAFT method was developed as a way to help the person struggling with a substance use disorder without forcing a confrontation between families or friends. The CRAFT intervention focuses on self-care, problem-solving, goal setting and other activities designed to improve the lives of people with a substance use disorder while addressing their reluctance to change.

The CRAFT intervention method seeks to…

  • Understand the person’s triggers for substance misuse
  • Teach positive communication skills
  • Teach problem-solving skills
  • Implement self-care in families and the person in rehab
  • Encourage the person to seek help

ARISE Intervention Method in Canada

The ARISE intervention brings the best of both worlds to the table. Both indirect and direct modules of intervention. It focuses on the whole family and friends group and how they work together to solve the addiction problem rather than just the addict and what their behaviour is doing to everyone else. While the addicted person is attending a treatment program or private rehab in Canada or elsewhere, the family members and other loved ones are also seeking counselling and learning how to manage life on life’s terms while living with someone in recovery. This involves tools and guidance on how to help them during and after treatment, how to heal their own wounds.

An ARISE meeting is planned ahead of time, but not in secrecy. The addicted person can be a part of these sessions if he or she wishes. Sometimes it takes more than one meeting, and other times, the person struggling with substance abuse agrees right away and the meetings are stopped. ARISE interventions not only encourage the addicted to seek treatment, but they educate the family, too, as to why treatment is so necessary and what it’s like to be addicted.

Who Are Interventions Best Suited For?

Addicts in denial are the most typical candidates for an intervention. Some substance abusers don’t even recognize that they have a problem. Some aren’t in denial at all, but they are fearful of undergoing treatment because they know they’ll have to endure withdrawal. Our addiction specialists can refer our clients to treatment centres in Canada or elsewhere that offers medically assisted detox to make the process much more comfortable. If your clients are comfortable they are more likely to stay and finish the entire treatment program. 

Those who struggle with co-occurring addiction and mental illness often battle more conflict with themselves over whether or not to seek help. They may not always have the luxury of thinking clearly, and when they do, it can be difficult to trust their own thoughts. 

Likewise, someone suffering from mental health issues, like generalized anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, ADHD or borderline personality disorder, maybe on board with a treatment plan one day and not the next. This is typical behaviour for many addicts, but even more so for those who are mentally ill.  It is important to act fast and have the treatment planned outlined with our Canadian  Interventionists and Addiction Specialists ready to go immediately. Acting quickly is a vital step in every intervention process. If you think someone you care about may be addicted to drugs or alcohol, look for the following symptoms…

  • Weight and/or appetite fluctuations
  • Distancing oneself from social activities that were once enjoyed
  • Legal or financial problems stemming from substance abuse
  • Mood swings
  • Tolerance to a substance
  • Using drugs or drinking to avoid withdrawal
  • Manipulation and lying
  • Isolating and depression
  • Inability to stop using or cut back when attempted
  • Preoccupation with using and maintaining a supply

Our professional interventionists in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, Toronto and all across Canada can best determine the type of intervention an addict needs. The process of getting the addicted individual to the treatment facility should be carefully thought out ahead of time. Every moment that goes by is an opportunity for the patient to get cold feet and change the addicted person’s mind.

Quite often it is best if our interventionists are in-person in charge of transporting the patient to the detox or rehab centre in Canada or elsewhere. A long car ride or flight to a treatment facility with a family member or loved one only gives the patient time to play on emotional weaknesses and allows them to divert from the treatment plan ahead. 

Questions about Family Interventions and Treatment Options in Canada?

family intervention

Our Canadian interventionists have the ability to connect family members with private outpatient doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists or any trauma therapy if they require help. The family will stay connected with the interventionist while the loved one is in treatment to make sure they’re doing well.

One of the most important things when it comes to a family intervention in Canada is knowing that it’s never too early for an intervention. Years ago people used to say addicts and alcoholics needed to hit rock bottom. Nowadays, that isn’t true. Rock bottom means death. With fentanyl being in Xanax, cough syrup, Molly, cocaine, crystal meth and heroin it means someone can take this deadly drug without knowing and end up dead from an overdose. It’s never too early to call for an intervention to save someone’s life.

Professional services we connect you with across Canada can include

  • Addiction Interventions
  • Alcohol Interventions
  • Crime Prevention
  • Recovery Coaching
  • 24-hour Stabilization
  • Treatment Planning
  • Family Therapy Programs
  • One on one individual Counselling
  • Gaming Interventions
  • Drug and Alcohol Testing
  • Treatment Transportation
  • Court Transportation
  • Sexual Abuse Counselling

If you are committed to keeping your family together, then contact Andy Bhatti Addiction Services and Interventions at our toll-free number 1-888-960-3209. We offer family therapy, as well as other addiction treatment therapies for all types of conditions. Call us to find out more about our family therapy programs in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba or Ontario. We service all cities and towns across Canada.

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