Alcohol and drug addiction affects different people in different ways. Likewise, some people enter the recovery process during the early stages of opiate use while others may take considerably longer. Brief intervention therapy works to meet each person where he or she is at in the recovery process.
While not as well publicized as traditional drug treatment programs, brief intervention therapy approaches have been in use for many years within the addictions’ field. Overall, brief intervention therapy encompasses a variety of methods that use both structured and unstructured session formats.
While this treatment approach may not work for everyone, those who stand to benefit from brief intervention therapy can make considerable progress in their efforts to overcome opiate abuse in their daily lives.
Brief Intervention Therapy
Addiction, per se, has more to do with a person’s thinking and behaviors than any physical effects had on the body. While drug treatment programs in general do a good job at helping people overcome the physical effects of opiate abuse and addiction, the psychological aftereffects can persist for months or even years after a person stops engaging in drug use.
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, brief intervention therapy specifically addresses the psychological aspects of addiction, helping a person work through the mental obstacles that prevent him or her from following through on the desire to get well. In order to do this, brief intervention therapy uses what’s known as a Stages of Change model to determine what types of interventions will best enable a person to maintain progress in the recovery process.
Stages of Change Model
The Stages of Change Model identifies four distinct stages a person goes through whenever he or she wants to develop a new behavior or make important life changes. According to Penn State, the four stages of the model include:
- The precontemplation stage where a person is still unsure he or she wants to make a change
- The contemplation stage where a person is seriously considering taking action towards change
- The preparation stage where a person develops strategies for following through
- The action stage where a person actually enters into the change process
At each stage of recovery or change, brief intervention therapy uses the type of intervention that best meets the client’s treatment needs in terms of helping him or her progress to the next stage, or maintaining continued progress in the present stage.
Who Can Most Benefit from Brief Intervention Therapy?
Ongoing opiate abuse has a cumulative effect on the brain with chronic or long-term substance abuse causing the most severe forms of addiction. For people at the early stages of opiate abuse, the effects of the drug hasn’t yet reached a point where drastic measures are needed to break the addiction cycle.
For these reasons, brief intervention therapy approaches work best for people exhibiting at-risk behaviors during the early stages of opiate abuse. In cases where a person is unable or unwilling to enter formal drug treatment, brief intervention therapy can act as a bridge that helps him or her take the necessary steps to get well.
If you or someone you know struggles with an opiate abuse problem and have further questions about brief intervention therapy or drug treatment in general, please don’t hesitate to call our toll-free helpline at 800-429-5210 (Who Answers?) for more information.