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What is an intervention specialist?

Interventions

Intervention specialist definition

A drug or alcohol intervention is a process in which a group of people gather together to try to convince a mutual loved one to get help for their addiction. An intervention specialist, also sometimes referred to as an interventionist, is a mental health professional that specializes in planning and executing these interventions. Intervention specialists are often present during addiction interventions as well. This helps keep the process on track and the group focused on the goal of the intervention.

Intervention specialist goals

There are different substance addiction intervention strategies. And an intervention specialist often has a few very important goals. Intervention specialist goals must be met before, during, and after an intervention in order for it to be successful. Some common intervention specialist goals include the following:

  • arrange for or recommend suitable substance abuse treatment
  • assist loved ones with making an addict realize that they need help
  • educate loved ones and addicts on substance abuse and addiction
  • keep interventions on track and focused
  • prepare loved ones for interventions

What happens during an intervention?

STAGE 1: Preparation

An intervention should be planned meticulously before it actually takes place, typically with the help of an intervention specialist. The intervention specialist will usually help the group decide on a time and place for the intervention, as well as help them prepare what to say. Interventionists bring experience and knowledge of best practices, as well as objective help, to an intervention. But what happens during an intervention?

STAGE 2: The Day of the Intervention

When an addict arrives at the intervention location, they will be informed of what is taking place. The intervention specialist, along with the rest of the group, may need to persuade the addict to simply sit and listen.Once an addict has agreed to stay and listen, the intervention specialist will then typically explain to the addict that the members of the group care for him or her and are worried about their substance abuse. Each member of the group will then usually take turns confronting the addict with specific examples of their substance abuse and how it affects them.

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What happens after an intervention?

After an intervention, an addict must make a choice to either seek help for his or her addiction or face the consequences. If an addict chooses to seek treatment, an intervention specialist will usually be able to help find a suitable treatment program to meet their individual needs. This can include intensive individual and family counseling, as well as addiction education or a stay in a residential rehab setting.

If an addict does not agree to addiction treatment, the group must be ready to enact some tough love. This usually involves putting an end to enabling behavior, such as financially supporting the addict or helping the addict out of troubles caused by their substance abuse. Some families may even go as far as to exclude an addict from any family activities or keep them from seeing their children until they seek treatment.

Interventionist questions

Do you have some questions for an interventionist? Are you ready to start planning an intervention for a loved one? If you still need some help, please ask us below. We’ll do our best to respond to you personally or refer you in the right direction.

Reference Sources: KingCounty: Prevention-Intervention-Treatment-Aftercare (P-I-T-A)
Thrive CHS:Wellness
Drug Addiction Treatment: Should You Hire an Addiction Intervention Specialist?
AIS: Why a Board Registered Interventionist?
Rushford Center: What is an interventionist?

Leave a Reply

2 Responses to “What is an intervention specialist?
Edward
6:50 pm August 29th, 2017

I have a 45 year old son who is totally addicted to alcohol. He started at 16 and hasn’t stopped. He has had physical fights with his 19 year old son (who is also drinking) and his wife. He also has a 10 year old daughter (my granddaughter). Because of his alcohol problem, I am the one who picks her up from school everyday. I have seen him passed out many times. Once he was choking on his own vomit. I took him with me on a business trip, hoping the time together would help some. After 2 days without alcohol he had a seizure in the hallway outside my meeting room.
I took him to the hospital and they said he had liver damage. This conclusion from the doctor had no effect on him after returning home. He still refuses to admit that he has an alcohol problem. It’s affecting my home life and his. Is there anything that I can do to force him into a program?

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
6:26 pm September 5th, 2017

Hi Edward. I suggest that you look into the CRAFT model for families and interventions. One NGO called Allies in Recovery has some online reading that can help: http://alliesinrecovery.net/about-craft/
Call a toll-free Alcohol Helpline on 1-888-675-1820 to find a high-quality alcohol addiction treatment program.

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