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When Should the Intervention Occur?

There are two basic varieties of brief intervention strategies, and these are the planned and the opportunistic interventions.

Planned brief interventions often occur at the prompting of a concerned family member or friend, and these arranged meetings occur without a catalystic incident prompting their necessity. The family physician, a trusted counselor or school official may all be approached to meet with an at risk person to discuss use behaviors, to council on the dangers of exhibited behaviors, and to discuss alternative life strategies.

The opportunistic brief intervention occurs after a catalystic incident, most often occurring as a direct result of substance use behaviors.  Users suffering legal difficulties or injuries stemming from substance use behaviors, and suffering the immediate consequences of their substance use, prove very captive and receptive audiences for intervention and counseling.

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