When you realize that a loved one has a problem with drugs or alcohol, the next logical step is to speak with close friends and family and stage an intervention. Interventions are face-to-face meetings where loved ones come together to confront an addict about their choices and encourage them to seek help.
Photo Credit: FreeImages.com/ShannonSims
Interventions are Complex
At first glance, it might seem that there’s not much to staging an intervention. However, the reality is that interventions are complex.
Addiction is a very sensitive topic, and you’re not dealing with someone who is thinking rationally. The addict might be in denial and willing to do anything possible to continue feeding their habit.
Aside from the addict, you’re also dealing with others in the group who have their own thoughts and ideas. If not everyone is on the same page, the intervention can be unsuccessful and family relationships further strained.
Since this is about your loved one and getting them to accept help, we always recommend working with an addiction specialist. Let’s take a closer look at what an addiction specialist is and where you can find one.
What is an Addiction Specialist? How Can They Help?
An addiction specialist might be a/an:
- Alcohol and addictions counselor
- Social worker
The role of an addiction specialist is to help organize an effective intervention and stay on task during the meeting. They will help you prepare what you are going to say to your loved one and ensure that everyone puts up a united front. When the intervention is complete, your hope is that your loved one accepts treatment.
Addiction specialists also do an excellent job of approaching each situation in a personalized manner. They take into consideration the particular circumstances surrounding the drug or alcohol abuse, the addict’s personality and the family dynamics in general.
Is an Addiction Specialist Necessary?
While any intervention can benefit from professional guidance, it’s not mandatory in every case. Some interventions do take place without a specialist. However, there are some instances where it’s absolutely necessary, which is the case if your loved one has:
- A mental illness
- A history of violence
- Past suicidal behavior
- Taken mood-altering substances
Where Can I Find a Specialist?
Interventions are not necessary or appropriate for all types of families and circumstances. That’s why it’s recommended to speak with an addiction specialist early on so that you can determine if an intervention is the best step, and if so, how to organize one.
There are a number of resources that can help match you to a professional in your area, such as ASAM.org, AAAP.org or Addiction.com. The benefit to using online directories is that you can read short bios on the specialists and discover their certifications and areas of specialization. You may also call a treatment center for a local recommendation. Other sources include your insurance company, counselor or medical doctor.
If you need a referral at any time for a reputable addiction specialist, please call The River Source.