For Families of an Addict

Why You Should Hire an Interventionist for Your Loved One’s Addiction Treatment

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May 25, 2022
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Why You Should Hire an InterventionistWhen it comes to addiction, I’ve found that ensuring your loved one receives the help they need to recover is one of the most important and loving things you can do for them. Often, loved ones with substance addiction either don’t want to admit they have a dependence, or they don’t believe they need any type of treatment. For many families of those struggling, this can mean constant cycling of incidents with their loved one due to their addiction.

Planning an intervention to help initiate the grueling process of recovery is often necessary to reach those that are suffering from substance abuse issues. However, should this complex process be led by a professional, or can untrained friends and family really handle the various tasks necessary to begin an intervention? In fact, I believe there are several great reasons to hire an interventionist to assist you with getting your loved one on the road to recovery, and a few key signs you shouldn’t wait to seek an interventionist. See if these fit your loved one’s addiction story.

Why Addressing Substance Abuse Is So Important

Substance abuse disorder occurs when an individual continues to use substances although their use is having a negative impact on their lives. Individuals with substance use disorder can be attracted to a single substance, such as alcohol, prescription medications, or illegal drugs, but may use multiple substances to achieve their desired end result. When a person has developed an addiction, those substances begin to cause changes to the brain, affecting memory, learning, decision-making, judgment, and more. [1]Cadet, J. L., Bisagno, V., & Milroy, C. M. (2014). Neuropathology of substance use disorders. Acta neuropathologica, 127(1), 91–107. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00401-013-1221-7 Many of you, like me, have seen the consequences of these changes and their significant impacts in all areas of day-to-day life.

Substance abuse can also lead to many different physical and mental health conditions, and even death if not treated. [2]Conner, K. R., Bridge, J. A., Davidson, D. J., Pilcher, C., & Brent, D. A. (2019). Meta analysis of Mood and Substance Use Disorders in Proximal Risk for Suicide Deaths. Suicide & … Continue reading If your loved one’s behavior has become impaired on a regular basis due to substance abuse, an intervention can help you help your loved one develop a plan to stay safe.

When led by a qualified interventionist, an intervention can:

  • Outline your loved one’s behavior that led to the need for an intervention
  • Provide a plan for treatment and a clear path for your loved one’s recovery.
  • Explain clear consequences if your loved one does not seek and accept help.
“An experienced and qualified interventionist will offer support at every stage of the recovery journey.”

5 Reasons to Hire an Interventionist

There are many reasons it is beneficial to have a professional interventionist guide the intervention process. Interventionists have a specialized skill set and several traits that make them uniquely qualified to help your loved one find the road to recovery. These are some examples.

1. Interventionists Have Mediation Training

Due to the sensitive nature of the addiction and other co-occurring conditions experienced by individuals who are battling substance abuse, interventionists must deal with anger and conflict on a regular basis. It is essential to secure an interventionist experienced with crisis intervention to mediate these high intensity situations. [3]Wang, D., Gupta, V. (2021) Crisis Intervention. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing. Retrieved April 30, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK559081/ It is not easy for a family member or friend to de-escalate these situations and an interventionist is specially trained to handle these issues.

A professional interventionist should be able to spot these high-intensity situations before they create a disturbance and derail the intervention. This is an essential aspect of intervention, because all present must stay calm and positively communicate their points to the individual struggling. [4]Richmond, J. S., Berlin, J. S., Fishkind, A. B., Holloman, G. H., Jr, Zeller, S. L., Wilson, M. P., Rifai, M. A., & Ng, A. T. (2012). Verbal De-escalation of the Agitated Patient: Consensus … Continue reading In my experience, interventions can quickly go wrong for family members and friends who lack mediation techniques. An interventionist can help keep everyone involved safe in situations that can very easily get out of hand.

2. Interventionists Can Schedule Treatment for Your Loved One

The goal of an intervention is to secure professional treatment for the individual struggling with substance abuse, to ensure they remain safe and can begin their journey to healing. Unfortunately, family members often are not sure where to get their loved one the treatment and care they need, and a lot of guesswork is involved. Drug and alcohol interventionists are experienced in getting individuals the mental help they need.

An experienced interventionist has the resources and experiences necessary to match your loved one with the best possible option that will assist in guiding them to recovery. Specific facilities will be taken into consideration to make sure your loved one gets the best possible care for their addiction. With an interventionist at your side, your family can trust that your loved one will have access to the type of SUD and mental health treatment they need.

Interventionists Are Qualified to Address Individuals With Mental Health Conditions and Addiction

3. Interventionists Are Qualified to Address Individuals With Mental Health Conditions and Addiction

Profound mental health and addiction knowledge is a key benefit of using an interventionist. Interventionists must go through extensive schooling and practicum hours to earn their certification. This experience has taught interventionists to deal with a delicate balance of mental health and addiction issues and suggest treatment that addresses these dual diagnoses. Having an interventionist with this knowledge can assist in keeping your loved one at the intervention and on the road to recovery.

When considering the services of a professional interventionist, it is important to find one who has the proper training and experience. Review their credentials and get referrals from other families who have used an interventionist successfully. Once you find someone who meets your qualifications, you can trust that they will consider your loved one’s mental health conditions and guide your family in approaching the situation for the best possible outcome.

4. Interventionists Provide Guidance Throughout the Intervention Process

Interventions can be tedious and exhausting. Often, an individual struggling with substance abuse doesn’t realize or believe they need treatment. Preparing to approach your loved one with an intervention requires a great deal of forethought, planning, and consideration of many variables. Interventionists handle the entire process, including helping family members with:

  • Planning the intervention
  • Creating a support team of family members and friends for the individual
  • Choosing a treatment center
  • Helping the support system know what to say and what not to say
  • Mediating communication during the intervention
  • De-escalating conflict during the intervention

5. Interventionists Provide Leadership for Beginning the Recovery Journey

When families finally plan an intervention and succeed in getting their loved ones the treatment they need, it can be difficult for them to understand their role in their loved one’s recovery journey. An experienced addiction interventionist can assist you in knowing how you can best support your loved one on their recovery journey. Being an asset on their journey is an essential part of your loved one’s successful recovery process.

5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Wait to Hire an Interventionist

Of course, for an intervention to be successful, it must not only be planned well, but also take place at the optimal time in the individual’s addiction journey. However, active addiction is a dangerous set of circumstances—so how do you know when it’s time to hire an interventionist? Don’t ignore these three signs an interventionist may become necessary sooner rather than later.

1. Your Loved One Is at Risk of Harming Themselves or Others

If your loved one is struggling with addiction and is becoming violent or harmful to themselves or others, it is important to act quickly. The more dependent on a substance someone is, the more their judgment can be clouded, and unwanted harmful situations will eventually arise. With the help of an interventionist, you can take steps to ensure that your loved one gets the treatment they need before any harm comes to them or those around them.

Co-Occurring Mental Illness

2. Your Loved One Has a Co-Occurring Mental Illness

Mental illness is often associated with addiction as a co-occurring disorder. If your loved one is struggling with addiction and you suspect they may have an underlying mental illness, it is important to seek professional help. An interventionist can assess your loved one’s mental state and get them the help they need for any underlying mental health conditions. Some of the most common mental conditions that are concurrent with addiction: [5]NIDA (2021) Common Comorbidities with Substance Use Disorders Research Report. National Institute on Drug Abuse Report. Retrieved April 20, 2022, from … Continue reading

  • Emotional dysregulation
  • Antisocial personality issues
  • Conduct disorders
  • Anxiety disorders

Although it may seem simpler to help your loved one with their addiction on your own, a mental health professional is experienced in caring for those with addiction. Mental health issues can make active addiction even more complex and difficult to deal with on your own, and trained professionals can be much more effective in ensuring your loved one gets the various types of help they need. An experienced interventionist can help you create a plan for your loved one that not only considers their mental health condition, but ensures it is properly addressed moving forward.

3. Your Loved One Recently Experienced a Relapse

Addiction is a lifelong disease. This means there is always the threat of relapse. After a relapse, an interventionist can help your loved one recommit to a recovery plan. They can also be a support to your loved ones on their difficult recovery journey. Overcoming addiction, especially after a relapse, can seem overwhelming to an individual, but it is an interventionist’s job to make sure that the individual receives the treatment plan they need to thrive on their recovery journey.

4. You May Be Enabling Your Loved One

Families can often feel like they must provide care for their loved one when they cannot care for themselves due to their addiction. This can create a vicious cycle of enabling, because with the help of their family, the individual can then continue to use substances without experiencing the consequences of addiction.

It can be hard for family members to say no or set boundaries, because they don’t want their loved one to end up in an unsafe situation. An interventionist can help family members break out of the enabling behavior before the cycle begins once again. There are ways to help your loved one without enabling their behavior and scheduling an intervention with a professional interventionist is a first step.

5. The Addiction Is a Source of Continuous Conflicts

When a loved one becomes dependent on a substance, it can often lead to continued conflicts in their family life or their social circle. Life with someone in active addiction can become an increasingly dangerous cycle of these conflicts, and a professional interventionist can help you put a halt to it. Interventionists create a plan to address the individual’s behavior and mediate the conflict involved, so your loved one can take steps toward finding the care they need for their addiction.

Scheduling the Intervention

Scheduling and InterventionAn interventionist will help to plan and execute the entire intervention process from start to finish. This is important because it ensures the intervention goes smoothly. If one of your loved ones is struggling with substance abuse, or if you need professional care for yourself while you care for your loved one, seek an interventionist today.

An experienced and qualified interventionist will offer support at every stage of the recovery journey. Whether it’s navigating difficult communication during an intervention, helping choose a treatment center, or supporting your loved ones on their recovery journey, an interventionist can guide you through the process and help you get the mental health treatment you need.

If you or a loved one is experiencing any of the above, reach out to me today. It is my pleasure to offer support, guidance, and expertise, doing what I can to help guide you toward lasting recovery.

Stay strong.

Jim

References

References
1 Cadet, J. L., Bisagno, V., & Milroy, C. M. (2014). Neuropathology of substance use disorders. Acta neuropathologica, 127(1), 91–107. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00401-013-1221-7
2 Conner, K. R., Bridge, J. A., Davidson, D. J., Pilcher, C., & Brent, D. A. (2019). Meta analysis of Mood and Substance Use Disorders in Proximal Risk for Suicide Deaths. Suicide & life-threatening behavior, 49(1), 278–292. https://doi.org/10.1111/sltb.12422
3 Wang, D., Gupta, V. (2021) Crisis Intervention. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing. Retrieved April 30, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK559081/
4 Richmond, J. S., Berlin, J. S., Fishkind, A. B., Holloman, G. H., Jr, Zeller, S. L., Wilson, M. P., Rifai, M. A., & Ng, A. T. (2012). Verbal De-escalation of the Agitated Patient: Consensus Statement of the American Association for Emergency Psychiatry Project BETA De-escalation Workgroup. The western journal of emergency medicine, 13(1), 17–25. https://doi.org/10.5811/westjem.2011.9.6864
5 NIDA (2021) Common Comorbidities with Substance Use Disorders Research Report. National Institute on Drug Abuse Report. Retrieved April 20, 2022, from https://nida.nih.gov/publications/research-reports/common-comorbidities-substance-use-disorders/introduction
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James Haggerty
JAMES HAGGERTY

Welcome to my ongoing journey… Join me as we continue our path to sobriety and balance. Thanks for reading. Stay strong.

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