A drug intervention is a professionally arranged process that helps friends and loved ones of someone who has strong denial about their addiction get that person to accept treatment. A drug intervention specialist can also help you if you are unsure what treatment to seek for the addicted person. Often a family decides on a drug intervention after trying unsuccessfully on their own to get someone to accept that they have a problem with drugs or alcohol.
Top drug intervention specialists are Board Registered and many also have another degree or specialization, such as being a certified chemical dependency counselor. The process for a drug intervention generally begins with the interventionist interviewing the various family members who know the identified patient and who will be involved in encouraging them to go to treatment. This also the interventionist to identify patterns and behaviors that may create issues during the intervention. For example, an interview with one family member may reveal that they have been lending the identified patient money and other relatives didn’t realize this. The interventionist will work to help all family members get on the same page and understand that lending money to an active drug addict will undermine the intervention process.
The addict has usually become quite adept at manipulating family members – in essence, they divide and conquer, ensuring that not all family members have the same information or understanding of what exactly is occurring. This allows the addict to play people off each other and continue their addiction. The goal of the drug intervention is to bring everyone together so the addict can no longer effectively silo information – everyone knows everything – making it harder to manipulate members of the family.
The drug intervention allows the family to create a controlled environment in which the addict learns how their addiction has impacted loved ones and then learns about options for treatment. It’s important for family members to be ready and willing to listen to the drug interventionist and take his or her advice. If family members are not fully committed to the process, the addict will often find a way to manipulate the situation and still avoid treatment.
Drug addiction hurts not only the addict. The family is often demoralized, frustrated, and tired of making excuses, fixing problems created by the addiction, and falling for the promises to quit using drugs. The family has likely lost trust, built up resentments, and may be financially hurting.
Many families also hire a drug intervention specialist to help them choose the right treatment program. Interventionists are well versed in the various types of treatment available and they often spend time at the facilities, talking to the clinical staff, and making sure the treatment meets the highest standards. A drug interventionist can also follow the client’s progress through treatment and recommend aftercare options – this is usually called case management and can be particularly effective in cases of long-term addiction and multiple treatment failures in the past.