Addiction is an unfortunate reality that many of us have to deal with. It might not be us ourselves who face the addiction, but somewhere down the line – through our family, our friends, our employees – most of us have had to deal with problems related to someone’s addiction, whether it be to drugs, gambling, sex, etc. More often than not, these experiences weren’t pleasant.
It’s not easy for someone to break an addiction, though, and that’s why people continue experiencing these problems. One of the biggest reasons for that is because it’s usually very difficult for an addict to believe they need help. Even after their friends, family, and coworkers have urged them to go to rehab or seek professional help, many addicts still refuse.
This is where addiction intervention specialists come into play. These are addiction workers that are brought in to speak with the addict as a last resort to try and help them recognize that their behaviors are dangerous and are affecting the people around them. It’s sort of like an emergency visit from a psychologist.
What’s an Intervention?
An intervention is usually used as a final step when a family is very concerned about one of its members struggling with addiction. They have run out of resources and the addict still shows no sign of wanting to change. In these situations, some families decide to call an intervention.
An intervention is a process by which the family sits down with a (hopefully willing) member to talk with them about their addiction. The ultimate goal of an intervention is to help the addict get into rehab or realize that they need some sort of professional treatment so they can regain control of their lives. However, there can be several other goals as well, such as:
- To get the addict to realize that their actions are harmful to themselves and their future
- To help the addict realize that their actions are affecting other people and may be doing harm to people that they care about
- To help the addict realize that they have a caring support network and to encourage honesty and open communication with them
- To let the addict know that there’s no reason to hide their problems and that they can talk about them with their family
- (If the problem is drug addiction),to make it apparent that their problem is no longer just casual drug use, but could negatively affect them and even kill them.
The main goal of an intervention is to make an addict realize they have a problem. This is often the most difficult part of treating any addiction – recognizing the problem itself. Most addicts believe that they have a handle on their addiction, that they’re casual users, and that they’re not doing themselves any harm.
An intervention’s goal is to make them realize that this isn’t the case, and to make them accept that their addiction is doing more damage than good for them. After an addict reaches that point, it’s typically a much smoother road towards recovery.
An Intervention Specialist
Sometimes a family doesn’t want to have to go through the intervention process without a professional. There are a number reasons for this.
- The relationship between the addict and the rest of the family may be unstable and he may not want to listen to them.
- The addict’s family may feel that they’re over their heads and can’t get through to the addict themselves, so they’ll call someone with more experience.
Intervention specialists are people who specialize in addiction and can help ease the tension that a family might experience during these stressful moments. It’s important to note that intervention specialists don’t necessarily just deal with drug addictions – well-trained ones will be able to handle process addictions, like sex and gambling addictions, as well.
The role of an intervention specialist
- First, the intervention specialist will arrange the intervention with the family. They will set up the who, what, where, and when.
- During the intervention, they will ‘run’ things, which will make it easier for the family. Intervention specialists must be calm, collected, and compassionate, so the addict feels understood instead of judged.
- Through the course of the intervention, the responsibilities will shift. The family should no longer feel responsible for their loved one’s addiction, and the addict should take responsibility for the harm he or she is doing.
- Together, the specialist and the family will develop ways to overcome unhealthy dynamics in the family.
The intervention specialist will help the family get the addict to accept the responsibility of treatment. They will also help return a sense of stability to the family, which may have encountered a lot of stress and strife as a result of the addiction.
Afterwards, they will give the family information about nearby rehab or support groups, and exchange contact information to keep in touch after the intervention is complete.
If you’re worried about a loved one’s addiction but fear that you’re not in the proper place to intervene, please know that you do not have to face this alone. Intervention specialists are there for that very purpose. We will walk through the whole process with you and support both you and your loved one.
If you find yourself in this situation, please take action! Call my office at (805) 644-0461 and let’s begin the process of moving toward healing — together.