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The S.M.A.R.T. approach to interventions

When a loved one spirals into drug or alcohol abuse, it can be almost too much to bear. If you're in this situation, however, and you're watching a friend or family member struggling with this issue, it's vital that you take the right steps to remediate and resolve the problem. Yet it's not just about saying something or preventing them from buying alcohol or narcotics. A comprehensive approach is necessary in these instances, and this includes a professional intervention.

There are a number of ways that an addiction interventionist can approach the problem. Over the past few decades, psychologists have developed systems through which they can aid their clients and help them move beyond their substance dependency. Today, we'll look at a particular plan known as the S.M.A.R.T. methodology. This tactic is unique because it allows for a greater degree of customization than other modes, which is useful in this setting since no two addicts are alike.

The basics of S.M.A.R.T.

Before we explore how the S.M.A.R.T. system can help, let's define each letter in this acronym. It stands for the Systemic Modular Approach to Recovery and Treatment.

In layman's terms, this means that the interventionist – and more importantly, the family of the addict – will work through a step-by-step program that identifies specific risk factors for the abuse. Additionally, the method lays out a plan for both the short- and long-term goals for the person who is dealing with a drug or alcohol dependency.

Perhaps the most important word in this acronym is Modular. This means that instead of applying templates to an individual's needs, the interventionist is able to put together a range of elements that are best suited for the situation. 

The last two words – Recovery and Treatment – are separate components that some people may have trouble defining. A recovery takes place over a long period of time, in some cases years, while the addict overcomes their dependency and develops a life plan for avoiding those risk factors and behaviors. A treatment, on the other hand, is the near-term process of confronting one's negative actions and undergoing a detoxification.

The varieties of S.M.A.R.T.

Intervention Services specializes in three different types of S.M.A.R.T. methodologies: Recovery, Crisis and Closure. Each one has its own special purpose, yet all work toward the same fundamental goals:

♦ A Recovery intervention involves a program where there is a specific goal of being free from addiction after a certain point. Alcoholics Anonymous is a good example of this type, as the expressed intent of that initiative is to help alcoholics to transition to a period in life when they are free from their dependency.

♦ A Crisis intervention takes place when the subject is facing immediate danger as a result of their addiction. This action is necessary for individuals who are seriously threatening their own health and safety by continuing to use drugs or alcohol.

♦ A Closure intervention is useful for families who need their own form of remediation to deal with substance abuse problems. Because of the significant psychological impact an addict can have on the people around them, in some cases, further assistance is required.

Knowing how to reach out

Some people are concerned that they may make this kind of situation worse by trying to act. This belief is misguided and only hurts the people who truly need help. Instead, folks who know someone who is falling into the deep well of addiction need to do all they can to pull them out. This means collaborating with family members, preparing resources and, most importantly, working with a professional who has experience helping substance abusers.

Don't wait to save a person's life – reach out to Intervention Services today. 

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