When family members first learn of a loved one’s drug abuse and addiction problems, they can struggle with a variety of very difficult emotions, including confusion over their loved one’s actions, fear for their loved one’s health and life, anger over their loved one’s choices, hopelessness over their loved one’s future and much more. The recognition that their loved one definitely needs help is often followed by the recognition that they don’t know how to get them help.
The purpose of an addiction intervention is to help the drug addict recognize the connection between their drug use and the difficulties they are experiencing in life, and enroll in the rehabilitation treatment that will help them establish their full and lasting recovery. Interventions are not intended to be confrontational meetings that guilt or shame the drug addict into participating in rehabilitation treatment, but they can be highly emotionally charged and difficult for everyone involved, and herein lies the value of professional interventionists.
Professional interventionists have training and experience in helping drug addicts enroll in rehabilitation treatment services. They are not emotionally involved with the addict, and can help the addict dig deep and admit how thoroughly drug use is affecting their own and others’ lives. That said, not all professional interventionists are the same, and some can be far more helpful than others in bringing about the desired results with a drug addicted loved one. Following are five things to look for in a professional interventionist:
- Experience. Professional interventionists need to have a great deal of experience both in planning an intervention, which includes working with friends and family members who form the intervention team, as well as in staging the intervention. It is often the professional interventionist’s experience that best aids family members in overcoming their own concerns about staging a successful intervention.
- Licensed and board registered. A professional interventionist’s licensing and board registration ensures that they have met certain basic standards and are approved to operate in their state.
- Appropriate approach. Just as there are many, many different approaches to rehabilitation treatment, there are also many, many different approaches to intervention. Some interventionists prefer to address the addict in a curt manner, while others are more calm and sympathetic. Family members should consider their loved one’s personality, and choose a professional interventionist who uses a suitable and effective approach.
- Flexibility. A good professional interventionist recognizes that drug addicts are remarkably different from person to person, and that what works well to help one individual reach out for help and treatment may not work at all for another individual. They can be flexible while staging an intervention, learning about the addict’s personality and receiving input from family members and friends.
- Cost and payment options. Some health insurance plans will cover at least part of the cost of a professional interventionist, but few will cover the entire cost. It is therefore important to find out about the cost of professional interventionist services, as well as available payment options.
It is best to take the time and research various professional interventionists that are available, determining which one may work best to their loved one’s specific needs. In addition to these five basic points outlined above, one should be aware of their own intuition regarding a specific interventionist. Family members often know what type of treatment will work best to meet their loved one’s needs, and can determine whether a particular interventionist will be instrumental in bringing about their loved one’s successful recovery.