Reasons to Call an Interventionist – The very nature of a family intervention usually takes the addict or alcoholic by surprise. For this reason, it’s essential to maintain a sense of control under circumstances that have the potential to become hostile, emotional, and negative. A qualified interventionist will have the necessary training to supervise the intervention.
An interventionist has the experience required to communicate constructively with each group member, including the person for whom the intervention has been staged. In fact, a family intervention can benefit exponentially from the leadership and organization of a specialist who can lead in a manner that is a step removed from the subject yet authoritative. There are many circumstances in which the help of an interventionist is vital, both for the individual suffering from addiction and for the family that’s trying to get them into treatment.
5 Reasons to Call an Interventionist
1. The Person Has a Co-Occurring Mental Health Disorder
Addictions and mental health conditions frequently co-occur, as people with many of the most common conditions are much more likely to have addictions when compared to the general public. These mental illnesses include the following:
- Conduct disorders
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Anxiety and panic disorders
- Major depression or bipolar disorder
- Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder
- Antisocial personality disorder
Although people who experience concurrent issues such as these can get better with the appropriate kind of treatment, they can also be somewhat impulsive and destructive and behave in unpredictable ways when under stress. An interventionist can help the family evolve a deeper understanding of all of the problems that the person is encountering, as well as assist the family in devising discussions that won’t aggravate an already precarious situation.
2. The Person Has a History of Suicidal Threats or Attempts
The brain changes caused by addiction that lead to impulsivity can also lead to aggression or violence toward others, but for some, that violence is internalized and directed at oneself. When confronted with the loss and destruction an addiction can cause, these people may come to believe that death is an appropriate solution. An intervention could be the catalyst that drives these people to make a terrible decision, as this conversation could feel like a personal attack.
People who are suffering from mental illness and addiction tend to be very fragile people with complicated problems, and they may feel as if they are barely holding their lives together from one moment to the next. An interventionist can show the family how to respect the person’s issues and history, and may also be able to assist the family in finding the most appropriate treatment program.
Some interventionists are willing to work as case managers, and escort the person into a post-intervention rehab program and stay involved with the person and family as treatment progresses. This kind of help could be essential for a person having suicidal ideations, as there will be no opportunity for the person to “escape” after the intervention and make an attempt to end their life.
3. The Person Has Been Through Treatment At Least Once and Relapsed
Addictions are often considered chronic conditions or diseases because, similar to diabetes or heart disease, those who have them are required to make changes and stick with those amendments for the rest of their lives. It’s not a difficult concept to understand or discuss, but it can be challenging to put into practice, and many people find that they slip back into bad habits when left to their own devices.
It’s a difficult problem, and although it can be successfully treated, some people require more intense levels of care to treat a reemerging addiction. Those who participated in outpatient care, for example, might need to commit to a more intensive program such as an extended stay in a residential rehab. Relapse is incredibly common, but there are ways to manage it and help people get back on the right path before they sink back down to rock bottom.
An interventionist can examine the approaches the person used in the past and help the family find a different program that could bring about a better outcome. A family interventionist might also help the addicted person to understand the chronic nature of addiction better. An interventionist can also help a recovering person to recognize that relapse is not the end of the world and that they are not a failure – they simply need to try again using another approach.
4. Relationships Within the Family Are Strained
It goes without saying that addiction can be hard on everyone who lives within the family of the sufferer. Some people feel resentful and left out, while others feel discouraged and disheartened. Some family members may be so frustrated with the addicted person’s behavior that they can’t even discuss the problem without flying into a rage.
Addictions and mental health disorders are regularly misunderstood, and these misconceptions can result in harsh judgments. Indeed, many people still view addiction as a self-inflicted choice, perceiving addicts and alcoholics as morally weak, selfish, and lazy. Such opinions might adversely influence the statements of family members, and they could end up saying things that are incorrect and inflammatory.
Holding an intervention in a volatile family environment such as this is a risky endeavor. If a fight ensues, the person with the addiction is likely to become defensive or even belligerent, and intervention will ultimately fail.
Conversely, interventionists are accustomed to serving as referees, if you will, and helping family members to process their feelings before the discussion takes place. When this happens, the family won’t be as angry and cruel as the conversation begins. Very dysfunctional families with a long history of resentment, disappointment, and hurt likely require this kind of help so that any discussion remains loving and supportive, rather than hateful or vengeful.
5. Family Members and Friends Don’t Know What to Say
Some families can’t find the right words that can make the austerity of the addiction seem important enough to convince the person they love to seek treatment. The conversations they’ve had in the past may not have been useful, and they may not have the fortitude or the vocabulary to keep holding the same kind of discussions, over and over again, each time praying for a different result.
Sometimes an interventionist can provide the family with a new perspective, an improved outlook, and a better-informed assortment of words to use. These contributions can make a huge difference for families who have this need.
The whole point of staging an intervention is to encourage the person to admit there is a problem and accept help. Once this occurs, it is vital to get that person into rehab as soon as possible, and many loved ones even make arrangements beforehand to ensure the person is given a safe, immediate transfer into treatment without an interval for relapse or a change of mind.
Harmony Recovery offers a wide range of treatment services including partial hospitalization, outpatient programs with detox, medication-assisted treatment, and more. We employ a comprehensive approach to addiction that includes evidence-based therapies essential to recovery, rendered by caring addiction specialists with compassion and expertise.
If someone you love is addicted to drugs or alcohol, call us and get the help you need today!