Last updated: 05/1/2019
Author: Addictions.com Medical Review
Reading Time: 3 minutes
Drug addiction impacts all areas of a person’s life as well as the people he or she interacts with on a regular basis. Watching the effects of addiction destroy a loved one’s or friend’s life can be heart-breaking to the point where it’s time to take some form of action.
Drug intervention meetings offer an effective way to help the addict confront addiction’s damaging effects and take responsibility for his or her actions. While effective in approach, certain scenarios may warrant the help of a drug intervention specialist to ensure the safety and well-being of all involved.
Knowing what types of situations warrant a drug intervention specialists also offers the best chance of a successful outcome in terms of getting the addict to deal with his or her addiction problem.
What Does a Drug Intervention Specialist Do?
The overall goal of a drug intervention meeting works to help the addict see the impact addiction has in his life and in the life of others. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, a drug intervention specialist carries out the following tasks to prepare for and conduct an intervention meeting:
- Helps decide who will participate (e.g. friends, family, coworkers)
- Helps determine what will be said by each participant, also known as scripting the meeting
- Determines what steps will be taken in the event the addict refuses treatment
- Reserves a spot in a program in the event the addict agrees to enter treatment
While pretty straightforward, a drug intervention can quickly turn into a hostile or even violent situation when the addiction problem is severe. Drug intervention specialists have the type of expertise needed to maintain a safe environment while guiding the meeting towards the best possible outcome.
Situations that Require a Drug Intervention Specialist
Severe Drug Addiction
Addicts struggling with severe addiction problems have essentially developed new belief systems, morals and priorities, all of which center around getting and using the drug. These changes result from the damaging effects of drug abuse on brain functioning.
A drug intervention specialist has the expertise needed to break through the “addiction mindset” by helping meeting participants present their feelings and concerns in clear and effective ways.
A drug intervention meeting will likely bring out the very worst in the addict in terms of hostility and verbal attacks. Addicts who’ve already demonstrated a tendency towards aggression and violence may well become a danger to themselves and/or others within the context of a drug intervention meeting.
Under these conditions, a drug intervention specialist is trained to minimize the potential for acting out behaviors, and take whatever steps are necessary in the event of a violent display.
Mental Health Problems
Chronic drug abuse not only warps a person’s thinking and behaviors, but can also breed full-blown psychological disorders along the way, according to the Journal of Addiction Science & Clinical Practice. When addiction and mental illness coexist, both conditions worsen in intensity and severity.
Since enabling the addict’s awareness of addiction’s damaging effects is the goal of an intervention, organizing and conducting the meeting in a way that the addict can actually understand what’s at stake becomes the role of the drug intervention specialist.
Conducting an intervention can be difficult under the best of circumstances, let alone when other factors impair the addict’s ability to confront an addiction problem.