What Does an Addiction Interventionist Do?
Addiction is not something that manifests overnight. Addiction is most often born from consistent recreational drug use that eventually turns into dependency. Once a person is dependent on a particular substance, it can seem remotely impossible to return to the life he/she once lived before the drug usage initially began. Sometimes, addicts may feel they don’t need to change because they genuinely believe their addiction is not a significant problem. This is often the point when loved ones choose to stage an intervention.
What is the Purpose of an Intervention?
When most people think of an intervention, they envision it as a group effort, made most commonly by friends and family of an addict, to encourage the affected individual to enter drug rehab. However, an intervention is much more than just encouraging a person to pursue a life beyond addiction. The secondary purpose of an intervention is to allow friends and family of the addict to resume ordinary lives finally.
After all, an intervention will not only make the substance user face the raw effects of his/her addiction, but it will also show loved ones how their help or support in the past may have been nothing more than enablement. Over time, these behaviors can make it challenging for a struggling addict to have a reason to change.
The first step to brainstorming an intervention is creating new roles for loved ones of the addict that will not only cease the enabling behavior but also exhibit the same love and support they always had. Only once this step has been taken care of can an interventionist move onto the next stages of the planning process.
A massive component of a strong intervention is the act of shifting accountability from the loved ones of the addict to the addict him/herself. In a typical situation where a family is dealing with a relative’s addiction, there is a very typical and common scenario that forms.
As time goes on, the substance user makes no effort to move past his/her addiction, and as a result, the family tries various tactics to make the loved one change. As each tactic fails, the family resigns itself more and more to the fact that “this is just the way it is,” and they tolerate the situation for what it is to the best of their ability. This tolerance is what communicates to the loved one that the addiction is manageable and it can coexist within the family without repercussion.
The family generally holds out on a belief that the loved one will eventually hit rock bottom, and that is when he/she will theoretically go to rehab. However, in reality, this day never seems to come.
One of the purposes of an intervention is to shift this accountability. The loved one must face that this is her/her problem only, and the family no longer has “joint custody” of the addiction.
There is a common false belief held by family members of substance abusers that one day the addiction will subside naturally, and everyone will be able to move on with their lives. Likewise, it’s believed a simple talk or suggestion to go to rehab is all it will take for the loved one to change. This is just not true. An intervention-style meeting is almost always necessary to push the matter effectively.
How an Interventionist Can Help
Most interventionists will not only guide your family’s intervention, but he/she will also help you make preparations in anticipation of the intervention, set up the event, and know what to do once your loved one completes rehab.
The interventionist essentially will give your loved one a convincing reason to seek help. The accountability will be shifted from the family to the addict, and there will be unfamiliar and severe consequences waiting for them if they choose not to comply. Most importantly, the family is who is in control during the intervention. And the interventionist will ensure this dynamic is maintained throughout the meeting.
More particularly, an interventionist will handle many specifics concerning the intervention including:
- Arranging the meeting. The interventionist will determine who should be in attendance, where it should take place, and when. Roles will also be determined for the meeting at this time.
- Making treatment recommendations. Suggestions will be based on the loved one’s needs and insurance, as well as the budget of the family.
- Corresponding with the treatment center in question. An interventionist is very experienced with this.
- Educating the family. You will likely learn a lot in a short amount of time about addiction and rehab from your interventionist.
An interventionist essentially provides guidance and framework for your intervention, as well as tips and advice on how to carry on before and afterward.
Before the Intervention
A principal purpose of an intervention is undoing all the dysfunctional dynamics created by the addiction. For an intervention to work, the family must change along with the addict. If these changes do not co-occur, the entire effort will be wasted. Preparing for the intervention means remembering to hold strong in your newfound stance.
During this time, your interventionist will also be looking for suitable rehabs and programs for your loved one. He/she will make a choice that depends heavily on the needs and personal situation of the addict.
What to Expect
The interventionist will lead the intervention, rather than a family member or friend taking the lead. This relieves immense pressure from the addict’s loved ones to ensure the intervention is a success or making sure they are doing everything by the book. At this time, the interventionist will have already coached the addict’s loved ones on what they should and shouldn’t do during the meeting.
Likewise, the interventionist assumes the role of a buffer in the situation, and for once, the addict won’t be hearing from the same 5-10 people that he/she should enter rehab. The presence of interventionist will make the experience seem more official and serious to the substance user.
The work is not over once the loved one enters rehab. Back at home, family and friends will continue to work on their enabling and toxic behaviors that once fueled the addiction. The interventionist will be there to educate and inform throughout this process.
Even if the loved one leaves rehab and once again resumes a lifestyle that caters to the addiction, the family members will have since moved on to dependency-free lifestyles that no longer support the loved one’s behaviors. This is precisely how interventions not only help addicts but also their family members.
Drug Intervention with Coast to Coast
It will never feel like “just the right time” to intervene in a family member’s addiction. Unfortunately, your avoidance behavior is enabling them while subjecting you to the pain of manipulation and deceit. Call Coast to Coast today—before it is too late. Intervention is a powerful tool in our addiction treatment arsenal, and our reputable interventionists have an excellent success rate.
Family Resources for Drug Interventions
If you are looking into Drug or Alcohol Intervention and need assistance, you may arrange an Intervention. Coast to Coast may also provide Family Addiction Counseling and workshops. Our team of professionals understand that time is of the essence, and a life may be on the line. Call us today.