Drug Intervention

Drug intervention is needed when family and/or friends feel that their loved one or friend has a drug problem. In many cases an drug overdose or addiction-related fatality could have possibly been avoided if family or friends had contacted a professional drug interventionist for help at the start of their loved one's substance abuse. Many times the drug intervention is only thought of after the “last straw” breaks in the relationship between the addict and their family and friends, or even after it's too late and their loved one or friend has already suffered an overdose.

How Do Drug Interventions Work?

A professional drug interventionist who is trained in the mental and behavioral patterns specific to the drug in question will call together the family and close friends of the subject, and initially discuss the best course of action to take regarding what is said, and how best to get the subject to the meeting. A strategy will then be executed to bring the user to the meeting (often under the guise of something else) where the users loved ones and friends will be gathered waiting. The professional drug interventionist explains to the user how their drug addiction has affected their relationship with each person in the room in a negative way. The family and friends will have been coached and prepared on what to say during the drug intervention.

Things to Consider in Drug Intervention

Drug intervention should always be conducted by an experienced and credentialed drug interventionist. Because behavior and personal relationships play such a large role during the drug intervention, it’s important to have someone there that’s ready for any and all defensive reactions. The professional drug interventionist will be detached, guiding and directing the flow of the meeting to minimize defensive emotional behavior. The user will usually be filled with resentment over what they believe is an undeserved sneak attack. The hold the drugs have created in their brain will cause them to be in denial about having a problem while also feeling alienated, singled out, and victimized. The goal of any drug intervention is to get your loved one/friend to accept that they need help for their drug problem and need to start drug rehab treatment immediately after the drug intervention if possible.

Denial as a Key Difficulty in Drug Intervention

The element of surprise is crucial when getting a user to a drug intervention, because they don’t think they have a problem to begin with. They’ll protest, posture and lash out because they feel as though their drug addiction is being blown out of proportion. The best way to counteract the usual protests and denials that the user will employ at their drug intervention is to have loved ones and friends lovingly resolve to clearly illustrate how the individual's substance abuse has damaged their lives. 

The Importance of Willingness in Drug Intervention

The experience and knowledge of a professional drug interventionist is crucial in drug interventions when the user remains in denial even after being confronted by their loved ones and friends. Depending on the severity of the user's drug addiction, special concessions sometimes can be arranged to get your loved one into a drug rehab treatment facility even if they persist in their denial of their drug problem at the close of the drug intervention.

The National Alcohol and Substance Abuse Information Center (NASAIC) maintains a continuously updated national database of drug interventionists in your local area, as well as the leading recommended drug interventionists in the United States. If your loved one is suffering from an addiction to pain medication please visit www.painmedicationaddiction.org for a separate referral database specifically for pain medication drug abuse.

Contact the National Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Information Center (NASAIC) anytime toll-free at (800) 784-6776 or through our online form, and we will recommend the leading drug and alcohol rehab centers for you or your loved one.