Interventions can be a handy tool for drug and alcohol addiction treatment. The process helps people who suffer from substance abuse take a step back to assess the damage that their addiction caused and motivates them to get clean.

However, contrary to popular belief, an intervention isn’t a straightforward process. It’s not just about sitting in a circle and sharing feelings. You need to approach the process carefully and be mindful of the condition of the person suffering from addiction.

Example of interventions in Long Island

This can be tough to do when tensions are flying high. That’s why you need a certified addiction interventionist on your side. They’re a medical professional who can facilitate the intervention and run interference to ensure the process goes smoothly.

So, if you’d like to learn more about addiction interventionists, we can help at Long Island Interventions. We’ll take a look at what they do and how they can help people who suffer from addiction.

What Is an Intervention?

We’ve all seen interventions on TV shows where a group of friends decide to have a serious talk with a person suffering from a substance use disorder or a similar issue. While this may make the process seem like an informal get-together, there’s a lot more to the story.

Interventions are carefully planned gatherings designed to help people who struggle with addiction face the reality of their drug abuse disorder. The process includes discussing how substance use has affected everyone in the room and determining the best way to move forward. 

While you can hold a drug or alcohol intervention without a trained professional interventionist, it’s not the best idea.

You have to remember that many people who are dealing with substance abuse don’t want to quit. Plus, most of them have deep feelings of shame associated with their drug addiction.

So, they may not be comfortable talking about the topic with their loved ones. That’s when an addiction interventionist can be a lifesaver.

What Is the Role of an Addiction Interventionist?

An addiction interventionist is a specialist with experience in staging interventions for people suffering from substance abuse. These experts play a few vital roles to increase the chances of a successful intervention.

Here’s a look at what these specialists can do for you at Long Island Interventions:

1. Educate

Most people think an interventionist is just there to talk to the person battling addiction, but that’s a misconception. The chief role of the certified intervention professional is to educate the family.

They’ll provide the loved ones with insight into the nature of substance abuse and the changes it can cause to a person’s mental health.

That will help them figure out the best way to approach the person suffering from addiction. On top of that, the interventionist will share the potential treatment programs available and how each can help.

Lastly, they’ll communicate the dangers of continued substance abuse to the addict.

2. Mediate

Interventions tend to be emotionally charged meetings with raised voices and clashes of the mind. It’s natural for both the patient and the family members to lose their temper. However, this can wreak havoc on any attempts at addiction recovery.

Luckily, the interventionist is there to mediate. They’ll keep a cool head throughout the process and make sure everyone has a chance to speak their mind respectfully. That way, you avoid scenarios like someone storming out before the intervention starts.

3. Set the Stage for Future Recovery

You should note that an intervention is only the first step on the road to recovery. Even if the person suffering from addiction accepts treatment, they still have a long way to go before they’re sober. This can deter many people with drug use disorders from getting clean.

That’s why the interventionist will gently set the tone for the recovery process. They can answer questions about the duration of treatment and what the withdrawal stage will look like. This should help ease the patient’s mind and show them that, while recovery may be challenging at times, it’s possible.

What Will an Addiction Interventionist Do?

At this point, you should have a better understanding of the role of an interventionist. Yet, this doesn’t translate into an actionable plan. Let’s dive into what the professional will do throughout the intervention process:

1. Sit Down With Family or Loved Ones

The drug intervention process starts when a family member or loved one reaches out to a treatment center. Then, the interventionist will contact them and set up an informal sit-down. This meeting will help the professional gauge the people involved and the overall environment.

The interventionist will assess every family member’s role during this phase. Are they there for support or is their role to highlight the side effects of substance abuse?

Figuring out how everyone fits into the intervention puzzle will reduce the chances of people talking over each other. Plus, it’s important to note that more doesn’t equal better with an intervention. Too many people can overwhelm the person suffering from addiction.

So, the interventionist may ask a few people to sit out of the intervention.

2. Schedule Assessment and Intervention

After meeting the family members, the interventionist will schedule an assessment with each of them. This is to ensure that all parties are emotionally and mentally prepared for the intervention. On top of that, it’ll help them come up with a treatment plan that’s suitable for the person suffering from substance abuse.

With the assessments out of the way, the interventionist will ask the family members to write letters to the patient. The professional will give them guidelines on the best language to use and how to get their feelings across clearly and concisely.

Finally, everyone will come together to set boundaries and expectations. Once this step is complete, the interventionist will set a date for the intervention.

3. Initiate the Formal Intervention Process

The interventionist will ask the family members to meet them a few hours before the patient arrives. This will give everyone a chance to get comfortable and set the stage for the intervention.

Then, as soon as the person suffering from substance abuse shows up, the real work can begin. The interventionist will start by explaining why everyone is gathered. After that, they’ll encourage the family members to read their letters out loud.

During this period, the specialist will facilitate calm conversations and assess the person struggling with a drug use disorder. They’ll pay close attention to the patient’s behavior to ensure they don’t lose interest in the conversation.

4. Address the Person Suffering from Addiction

As soon as the family members get their side of the story off their chests, the person suffering from addiction will take center stage. The interventionist will address them and ask how they’re feeling.

If they’re willing to receive help, the intervention team members will share their ideas for treatment options. This is when the professional will walk the patient through the rehab options that can help. Some of the most common services include:

These treatment options will address mental health disorders associated with substance abuse.

However, if the patient digs their heels in and refuses help, the support group will need to take a step back and reassess. There are a couple of pathways you can take at this point.

First up, you may decide to voice your boundaries and outline the consequences for the person struggling with addiction if they don’t get clean. Yet, this can backfire in many cases. So, it’s best to schedule another intervention at a later date.

5. Follow Up and Continue Support

Whether the person suffering from addiction accepts or refuses help, the interventionist’s role is to respect their decision. However, that doesn’t mean their job is done.

After the intervention, the professional will continue to work with and support the family members. Plus, they may attempt to reach out to the patient again once they’ve had a chance to cool down and think about how they want to proceed.

Managing Your Addiction Interventionist Expectations

An addiction intervention specialist is a medical professional, not a miracle worker. So, before you hire one, it’s crucial that you set realistic expectations for the intervention services.

Right off the bat, interventionists aren’t therapists. They’re not there to resolve the underlying trauma that led to addiction. Instead, they focus on educating and facilitating conversations.

Plus, an intervention doesn’t guarantee that the person suffering from addiction will get sober. So, the desired result of the process should be to learn how to cope with any outcome and provide ongoing support. 

Wrapping Up

An addiction interventionist is a healthcare provider who can help people hold and manage interventions. Their main role is to educate the family, mediate conversations, and set the stage for future recovery.

Finally, whether the patient accepts or refuses help, the interventionist will continue to support the family members and teach them how to cope with their loved one’s decision.

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Published on: 2017-01-30
Updated on: 2024-06-21