Addiction tears families apart. It erodes trust, ruins relationships and drives a wedge between people who love each other. Even the most well-intentioned and intelligent family members can become swept up in patterns of enabling and conflict.
It’s commonly believed that the purpose of an intervention is to convince an addict to enter a drug and alcohol treatment center. However, this is actually only half of what an intervention is.
The best interventions have two purposes:
- Help the addict get treatment
- Help the family regain control of their lives, which have been hijacked by their loved one’s addiction
The most effective interventions begin with the family. It is important for families to see the unhealthy roles the addiction has created for them, which actually makes it difficult for the addicted loved one to change.
Once family members understand how they can take on healthy roles that will finally allow them to actually get their loved one the help that is so desperately needed, the interventionist can assist with the practical aspects of leading the intervention.
What Does an Addiction Interventionist Do?
While some drug and alcohol interventionists focus only on getting the addict or alcoholic into rehab, our interventionists also help the family:
- Prepare for the intervention
- Stage the intervention
- Understand what to do (and not do) after their loved one leaves rehab
The purpose of an interventionist is to direct the addict to want help and to accept accountability for the addiction by comfortably changing the family dynamic. The interventionist doesn’t just inspire your loved one to change; he or she is primarily there to put the family back in charge with hope and direction.
Your family’s loved one is not going to try to fix the problem until there is a compelling reason to do so. An interventionist provides that reason on the family’s terms, not the addict or alcoholic’s terms.
An interventionist brings all of the personalities of a family together, with all of their diverse opinions, and focuses everyone on a single solution that works on a level comfortable to them.
An Intervention Is Much More Than a Heart-to-Heart
An intervention is more complex than a simple conversation among family members. Professional interventionists have a number of goals to reach with every family with whom they work.
Interventionists like the ones at Addiction Treatment Group will take responsibility for:
- Setting up the intervention – who needs to be there, when and where, and what everyone’s role will be
- Advising the family on treatment center options that would be best suited for the needs of the individual, taking into consideration the family’s budget and insurance coverage
- Reviewing the family’s insurance policy to see which treatment centers will accept their insurance
- Making the logistical arrangements with the treatment center the family chooses
- Family education and counseling before, during and after the intervention
As interventionists, we know how much the family is dealing with. We are here to lift the burden off the family and make change more comfortable for both you and your loved one.
Before the Intervention
The first thing an intervention counselor does is help prepare the family for the intervention itself. It’s commonly believed that an intervention is for the addict or alcoholic, but addressing the family is equally important, and their needs come first in the process.
The interventionist works compassionately with the family to repair the unhealthy dynamics the addiction has created. This is a critical first step because if the substance user is to change at all, then the family must first change their boundaries and enabling behaviors.
The pre-intervention phase also consists of looking at rehab options and choosing the best one for your loved one. Because our interventionists have experience in coordinating with many different treatment centers and understanding their programs and reputations, the advice that families get from a professional interventionist saves a lot of time and energy and makes the decision process easier.
During the Intervention
The professional interventionist will also run the actual intervention, taking the pressure off the family to “make things go right” and allowing each person to focus on their own part in the process. Before the intervention, the interventionist works with the family on what to say and what not to say, making the actual intervention much smoother.
Most of the fears that families have about intervention are minimized or removed by having an interventionist present when talking to a struggling loved one. It is a transcendent and cathartic moment when your loved one accepts help and goes off to treatment willingly.
Considering the agony and heartache of the years, months and days leading up to the intervention, families often wonder why they didn’t host a professional intervention sooner.
After the Intervention
Once your loved one is off to treatment, the family still has work to do in establishing a new normal, free from the influence of addiction. The interventionist educates and guides family members in this process, providing instruction on what to do when your loved one completes treatment, or what to do if they return without completing it.
With new clarity on how to act going forward, family members can feel confident that they know what to do in the future, regardless of what their addicted loved one chooses to do.
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