Addiction does not just affect the afflicted individual; it can tear apart entire families and cause decades of stress and heartache. Drug and alcohol dependency are ongoing problems in the United States and especially in Ohio, which had more than 4,000 unintentional overdose deaths in 2016 alone. With many families facing the challenge of addiction, some are turning to professional interventionists to confront loved ones about their substance abuse and get them some help.
See Related: Addiction Resource Guide For Family & Friends
Role of an Interventionist
A role of an interventionist is to:
- Support friends and family of the addicted
- Teach safe intervention techniques
- Provide support before, during, and after an intervention
- Facilitate and guide the intervention
- Provide aftercare to the addicted person
If you are considering staging an intervention for a loved one with the help of a professional, there are a few things to consider.
With a rise in popularity of shows like TLC’s “Intervention,” many people are stepping into this arena without the proper training. This, unfortunately, means that there is a saturated market of untrained “interventionists” who can do more harm than good if unleashed unto an unsuspecting addict and his or her family. Moreover, these people can often charge thousands of dollars for their “services”. While addiction care and intervention are worth investing in, you must be careful when hiring someone and make sure that you have done your research on their qualifications and experience before trusting them to move ahead with an intervention. Make sure you thoroughly review an interventionist’s website, their reviews, and meet them in person before you use their services.
Choosing the Right Interventionist
Questions you should ask a potential interventionalist include:
- What are your credentials?
- How many interventions have you done?
- What intervention model(s) do you use?
- What steps do you take leading up to an intervention?
- What is your fee?
Speaking of credentials and qualifications, those in this field should hold a current ICRC/NAADAC certification or Ohio-recognized certification as well as malpractice insurance, 14 hours of training, and two years of experience conducting interventions in supervised settings.
Your Role in an Intervention
One of the most important things for an addicts family to remember is that just because they are paying an interventionist does not mean their responsibilities end there. It is up to loved ones to gather information, find out the extent of the addict’s problem, form a supportive network of family and friends, and make mindful choices on how to approach the problem. The interventionist’s role is to help guide you through all of this, but there is still substantial legwork to do if you want the intervention to be useful at getting the addicted person into rehab or a treatment program.
After you have done your research and your preparation, the actual intervention is the hardest part. This can be an emotionally charged interaction for all parties, especially because the addict will usually not be aware that an intervention is coming. With this in mind, it is imperative that you take the advice of your interventionalist and allow him or her to mediate the interaction. Similar to a family therapist, the interventionist’s job is to moderate the “panel” and give everyone a chance to share their thoughts and feelings honestly, but also respectfully and in a productive way.
A good interventionist’s job does not stop after the intervention meeting. Make sure you are following up with the interventionist at agreed-upon intervals because it is critical that he or she provides ongoing support to the addicted person and his or her loved ones to prevent a relapse. They should also be providing guidance on changing everyday living patterns to keep the addicted person on a positive path to recovery.
Want to help a loved one struggling with addiction? Contact us to learn about staging interventions and getting your loved one into an addiction treatment program today.
The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.