What is an Intervention?

An intervention is when an action is taken to improve a situation. For Substance Use Disorders (SUD), an intervention generally involves a collective effort by a team comprised of family members, friends, and colleagues, often guided by a skilled professional. Their unified objective is to provide the vital support and motivation that encourages the individual in question—referred to as the Person of Concern (POC)—to agree to partake in a recovery program.

The specifics of the program will vary based on the individual’s needs and, will potentially include a period of residency at a specialized treatment center.

There are four major models of intervention in use today: the Johnson Model, the ARISE Model, the RAAD Model, and the Family Model.

Family meting for therapy

The model that most people are familiar with thanks to TV is the Johnson Model. This is when the POC is surprised by family, friends, and colleagues. Letters are read expressing the negative effects the POC’s addiction has on their loved ones and the POC is asked to seek treatment which has already been arranged, prior to the intervention. While there is a time and place for this model, specifically when the POC is so far along in their addiction that they pose a threat to themselves or others, there is one major flaw which is that the whole intervention is based on deception to get them to the intervention.

I have been trained to use the ARISE® Comprehensive Care with Invitational Intervention® Model and am currently completing my Internship as a Certified ARISE® Interventionist (CAI).

I chose the ARISE® Comprehensive Care with Invitational Intervention® model due to the phenomenal success rates of getting people into treatment and keeping them involved in their recovery program.

ARISE® Comprehensive Care with Invitational Intervention® gets over 60% into treatment in 1 week; 83% in 3 weeks and 96% within 6 months.

ARISE® Comprehensive Care gets 62% healthy with behavioral health and problem free at 1 year, with an additional 10% improved.

ARISE Network


ARISE® Invitational Intervention®

The ARISE® Invitational Intervention® invites the POC to join the process right from the beginning with no surprises, no secrets, no coercion, and absolute respect and love. A support system is mobilized to form a committed Intervention Network to motivate the addicted individual into treatment.

The ARISE® Invitational Intervention® is a structured, three-tier approach that can be carried out remotely via phone, conference call, or videoconferencing in cases where all supportive network members cannot physically gather. The aim is to exert the minimal effort required to prompt an individual abusing substances to seek treatment, progressively increasing the pressure to match the resistance of the affected person.

The collaboration between the ARISE® Interventionist and the family is founded on the mutual understanding that while the Interventionist is proficient in bridging families and addiction, the family holds expertise about its own dynamics. Throughout the intervention, families are urged to consider what they believe will be most effective, offering the individual in question a range of choices to promote voluntary engagement and uphold their autonomy and dignity.

The ARISE® Intervention’s dual objectives are to engage the individual suffering from addiction in treatment and to assist the family in recuperating from the effects of living with addiction (or persistent physical or mental illness) for an extended period. The potency of the ARISE® process resides in the Intervention Network’s shared motivation to effect change. As the family’s behavior transforms, so does the person of concern; the understanding being that when the family system evolves, the individuals within it adapt correspondingly. Typically, if other family members are grappling with substance abuse or related compulsive behaviors, they too embark on the recovery journey.

The Intervention has three levels that cease at the first level that works:

Level 1: The First Call. The intervention starts when a Concerned Other (or First Caller) contacts an ARISE Interventionist and commits to the recovery process. At Level 1, 56% of individuals enter treatment.

Level 2: Strength in Numbers. Level 2 begins only if the substance abuser has not entered treatment in Level 1 and the Intervention Network wants to escalate their effort. This typically occurs after 1-3 meetings but proceeds regardless after 2 months. Additional members, who may have more insight, detailed examples of problems and leverage, are added to the network as the process continues. The Person of Concern’s participation is continually encouraged, though his or her refusal does not deter the Intervention Network from their work. The focus remains on healing for all [9-11]. Strategies evolve over the course of these sessions and the network grows in strength as a group, allowing it to deliver a consistent message to the individual. All decisions are made by the majority of the Intervention Network, functioning as a Family Board of Directors. This prevents isolation and the vulnerability of any member to the one-on-one manipulation characteristic of addiction. After Level 2, 80% have entered treatment.

Level 3: The Formal ARISE® Intervention.
Fewer than 2% of families need to proceed to Level 3. At this level, the Intervention Network sets strict limits and consequences for the problem person, expressed in a loving and supportive way. By this time, the Person of Concern has been given, and refused, many opportunities to enter treatment [12,13]. Since he or she has been invited to every meeting, this final limit-setting approach is a natural consequence and does not come as a surprise. The Intervention Network commits to supporting each other in the implementation of the agreed upon consequences.

ARISE® Comprehensive Care

Once the Person of Concern enters treatment, or 6 months has elapsed, ARISE® Comprehensive Care begins. The Intervention Network continues meeting on a weekly then biweekly basis to support the recovery process. It is important for the encouragement and support of the family to take place over a period of time and through difficulties and stress that invariably arise during this transitional period [14,15].

The network collaborates with the addicted individual and their treatment providers to ensure that the group addresses the following topics as they pertain to each member of the network: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health; relapse prevention and psycho-education about addiction, mental and physical health; family, social, and fellowship support, and financial and career vitality.

Family meeting in a circle

ARISE® Comprehensive Care builds on the foundation established during acute treatment. The focus is on the individual and family living in recovery. This includes relapse prevention, attendance at self-help meetings, continued family therapy and psycho education, and grief resolution [16]. Of primary importance, is developing awareness of the details of family communication, relationships, patterns, and activities of daily living, to ensure that difficult issues are discussed openly and without secrecy so that the family can learn to grieve, heal, celebrate, relax and have fun together.

Fernandez, Begley and Marlatt compared the different forms of intervention and found that ARISE®  was most successful because of its being (a) a process rather than a single event, (b) invitational, rather than coercive, (c) open with no secrecy throughout the process, (d) the heavy emphasis on family involvement, and (e) a continuum of care.

Martinez JL (2016) The ARISE® intervention and continuum of care. Ment Health Addict Res 1: doi: 10.15761/MHAR.1000103

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