One of the truly interesting and fascinating histories regarding drug and alcohol addiction is the history of intervention. Intervention is without a doubt one of the oldest methods of addressing drug and alcohol addiction. Simply stated, intervention is the very straightforward and very concise method of confronting somebody about their addiction and getting them to actually do something about it. Intervention has been around as long as rehabilitation has been. In fact, we can go so far as to say that intervention has most likely been around for as long as addiction has been an issue in our society. Intervention is the most simple and fundamental method of addressing a substance abuse habit because it addresses the core, fundamental crisis of addiction itself.
Studies show that intervention for drug and alcohol addiction has been prevalent in our society since the early 1900s. Around that same time that Alcoholics Anonymous and the 12-step model of addiction treatment came out, and when that happened intervention also started to become quite popular. The two methods of addressing drug and alcohol addiction both started to become prevalent, as intervention and the Twelve Step program were used in tandem.
At this time, addiction was finally starting to be seen as a serious problem in the United States. For a while, alcohol was actually banned during the abolition time, and the United States tried very hard to prevent additional from becoming a serious issue. Unfortunately, we failed in this endeavor.
The First Models of Addiction Intervention and How They were Used
Probably the first model of intervention ever put into use was the Johnson Model. This is the classic form of intervention, and one that a lot of interventions used today are still based off of. The Johnson Model basically involves a very strict, very firm method of addressing a person’s addiction. This model involves getting a lot of the family members and loved ones of a substance abuser and even opinion leaders of the substance abuser in the room with the individual. What occurs in such an intervention is that the intervention team members basically try to socially convince and force that person to agree to go to treatment. This approach also created the Tough Love intervention method, which became popular two decades ago.
Today, the Johnson Model, grandfather of all intervention, it is still very prevalent. Honestly, intervention has not changed much. There is, however, one key difference in the interventions of today. Witness and Love First and the Light Touch intervention models. Both use a lot of the same steps and basic procedures of the Johnson Model, but these ones are far more loving, far more compassionate, and much less stressful. These models of intervention essentially take a person and impress upon them the need for them to go to treatment, but they do so in such a way that is in no way cruel, that is in no way a guilt trip, and that is in no way harsh or strict. This is the intervention style most commonly used today. Love First and Light Touch were both created around the turn-of-the-century.
No matter what intervention method is used, it is very important that at least some kind of intervention is capitalized on and used to try to convince an addict to go to treatment. The unfortunate truth is that no one is going to stop using drugs or alcohol of their own accord. They are going to need professional help, and that is just a stable fact. Intervention is how addicts are convinced to go to treatment, and the intervention models that are used today have greater success than they ever have before.