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According to the American Psychiatric Association, addiction is a mental disorder that is characterized by compulsively abusing drugs and/ or alcohol without regard for the ensuing negative consequences. Due to its complex nature, it can be difficult for an individual to come to the personal realization that he or she may be in need of substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment. Furthermore, it can be challenging to help an individual realize that they are in need of treatment in a respectful, empowering, and effective way. This is where the help of an interventionist can come into play.

A drug intervention specialist, commonly referred to as an interventionist, is a professional that helps facilitate and carryout an intervention. The purpose of holding an intervention is to persuade the individual in need to accept help and get treatment for his or her substance abuse and/ or addiction. While interventionists have a variety of specialties, trained interventionists are generally highly educated on detox processes and recovery from substance abuse and have significant experience in facilitating interventions. 

What To Look For

Drug addiction not only affects the individual abusing drugs but also can negatively affect many of his or her loved ones (i.e. family members, friends…etc.). Interventions are personal and emotionally intimate experiences. Take the time to interview interventionists before deciding whom to select. There are certain tips that one should consider prior to hiring an interventionist. These can include specific things to be on the look out for when conducting an interview such as:

  • Experience: make sure to ask a potential interventionist about his or her experience in addition to his or her success rate. Ask questions like:
    • How many interventions have you completed?
    • What has been your success rate? 
    • What do you consider to be a successful intervention? 
  • Credentials: make sure the potential interventionist has the appropriate credentials (i.e. Certified Intervention Professional). Holding the proper credentials assures the interventionist has met the national requirements needed to obtain and maintain his or her credential. 
  • Family involvement: every situation is different, as are the styles of each interventionist. Some interventionist may place great emphasis on family involvement, while others may not. It is best to find an interventionist that aligns with the overall comfort level regarding family participation. 
  • Specializations: there are certain situations where a specialized interventionist may be most helpful (i.e. an individual struggling with substance abuse in addition to an eating disorder). Make sure the interventionist has prior experience with cases that may require additional knowledge and/ or tangential expertise. 
  • Location: while some interventionist may offer their services all over the country, some will be less inclined to travel. It is imperative to make sure the interventionist is able to be physically present at the intervention. Specific to Los Angeles, California the Association of Intervention Specialists (AIS) serves as an excellent resource to locate a local interventionist. 
  • Availability: interventions are time sensitive. Therefore even in situations where the perfect interventionist has been identified, if he or she is unavailable during the timeframe he or she is needed to facilitate the intervention, it is best to move on and hire an interventionist that is available. 

When deciding to hire as an interventionist it is essential to do proper due diligence and make sure he or she will aligns with one’s needs. A good interventionist will create a safe emotional environment that allows for the most effective intervention to take place, facilitating it in a manner that enables it to be carried out as smoothly and comfortably as possible. 

For Information and Support 

If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one in regards to substance abuse and/ or addiction we recommend reaching out for help as soon as possible. If left untreated, substance abuse can result in long lasting and potentially life-threatening consequences. Keep in mind: you are not alone! There is an entire network of professionals that are available to help and support you and your loved one throughout the recovery process. The earlier you seek support, the sooner your loved one can return to a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life.

Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions regarding our specific program at Haven House Addiction Treatment and/ or general substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment related information. Our highly trained staff is readily available to discuss how we might best be able to help you and your loved one.