13th April 2019 in Addictions Treatment

The Importance Of Having An Expert Do An Intervention

Expert Intervention

An intervention expert is commonly referred to as an ‘intervention specialist’. An intervention specialist is an expert with certification, training and experience in staging a successful intervention to help addicted people break their cycle of denial.

Someone struggling with drug and alcohol abuse or addiction might not see how much their actions affect others. Addiction changes brain chemistry, causing users to put drug abuse above all else. When someone has a substance use disorder it means that they continue to use drugs or drink despite experiencing the negative consequences, which can be as devastating as overdosing or winding up in jail. It is of the utmost important to have an expert intervention to help an addict get the help they need- before it’s too late. We want to prevent the identified patient from going through all the consequences that often times people who are left untreated experience.

It is unfortunately impossible to intellectualize or rationalize someone into treatment for addiction. In order to do this, a concerned loved one has to reach out to a qualified addiction intervention expert. Together with friends and family, a certified interventionist can help trigger a “moment of clarity” by describing ways the addicted person has hurt others.

We believe that an intervention if done with preparation can help an addict to want to make that change in their life, and actually start living in the solution: which means getting help. An expert intervention is likely to bring them out of the denial stage and into the action stage.

What Is An Expert Intervention?


You’ve probably seen interventions portrayed in TV by pop culture as being very dramatic and scary, but that’s not reflective of the reality of a successful expert intervention in our experience. Interventions are undoubtedly challenging, but a good interventionist is there to be the ‘calm the storm’ to help navigate a family creating a loving, calm, even peaceful and productive experience.

Addicts can be very sensitive, and there can be co-occurring issues like depression and anxiety, and almost always some kind of trauma. While nobody can predict or control how a loved one will react when confronted, an Intervention specialist will have the professional experience to deescalate even hostile environments.

When an active addict arrives at an intervention, they’re usually thinking that they’re going to hear angry accusations. Considering that people in the throes of an addiction have enough shame to last them for three lifetimes, they don’t need any more. In fact an expert intervention will likely be initiated almost like a love letter at the beginning. By telling an addict all of the things that you love about them- even if you have to dig way back in the past- you are essentially disarming them from feeling attacked, and reminding them of whom they really truly are; chances are that they have lost sight of this over the years.

It is important to properly plan an intervention strategy in order to maximize chances of success. There’s no one-size-fits-all plan for staging an intervention, but specialists work with intervening parties to address their very specific needs. An expert intervention will consider the following:

Forming Your Intervention Group: Some of the people who might help convince a loved one to start rehab and treatment include family members like parents, siblings, spouses, co-workers, and close friends. People who should not be part of the group are “partners in crime”, anyone who would be harmful or enabling and anyone who could adversely affect the addict’s career. If group members are coming from out of town, the interventionist can make arrangements for the accommodations and travel. Bottom line, you want to orchestrate a meeting of close people of influence in their life, people whom the addict respects, as you are really looking to appeal to their heart.

  • Choice Of Meeting Place & Time: The space where the intervention is held should be familiar and non-threatening, where the person will feel comfortable and safe, such as a home or other private location, not a public space. It’s important to try to schedule a time when the loved one will be sober. Allowing between a half hour to two hours if necessary is a good idea, but there is no mandatory set time period.
  • Learn and Rehearse: An expert intervention specialist is there to educate participating members of the group about addiction and addiction recovery. This knowledge and compassion provide valuable insights. There must be a rehearsal and preparation for the intervention with your intervention specialist, so that everyone’s really relaxed, bonded as a group, and feel confidently united on the same page.
  • The Message: The intervention is an opportunity to open up new, stronger lines of communication and getting your message across. Talk with the addicted person in appropriate and constructive ways, using “I” statements conveying your genuine feelings and fears related to his or her use and illustrate to them how their behaviors have personally impacted you. Remember the message is that you are trying to get them into the appropriate treatment for their addiction and that there are a number of treatment options, settings, and modalities.
  • It’s a Family Disease: A room full of highly emotional family and friends can get quite heated if not monitored and directed by a loving but firm expert. Addiction is called a “family disease” for a reason, and not just because there’s the genetic predisposition; one person’s addiction causes a ripple effect on the whole family that can lead to codependency issues, needs to set boundaries, and guidance through the trauma. An expert intervention also looks at the whole family dynamic and addresses all members of the family, and if necessary, provides them with help for themselves as well.
  • The Worst Case: Prepare for the worst-case scenario; it is always possible that your loved one will continue to deny the problem and refuse requests to seek treatment. Interventions that don’t end in getting the addict into treatment can still be successful because there will be a major shift in the family dynamic and in the person’s life.

After every intervention, regardless of the immediate outcome, an expert will do a debriefing session with everyone who’s there., this will be to regroup, recount take-always and develop a plan on how to move forward collectively. The foundation has been set and its important to never give up hope-  keep up contact, maintain boundaries, and continue to work to get the person the help they need.

Customized Addiction Care With Expert Intervention

Customized addiction care with an expert will mean a tactful, well-planned intervention that is properly orchestrated by a qualified professional, who can help build a solid bridge to recovery for the addict who is struggling… and their loved ones!

As your addiction intervention specialist Dr. Harry can coordinate all of the details to make the intervention as successful as possible. Interventions much like everything in life can be prepared for as best as possible and still not go according to plan. You will want an expert guiding you through such a potentially difficult experience.

Dr. Harry is president and founding director of Harry Haroutunian, MD, a professional corporation delivering addiction treatment services designed to help populations who are not well served by the traditional treatment model. His customized approach to addiction treatment is discreet, focused, intense and confidential. Dr. Harry works with a limited number of patients at any given time so that his attention is focused on the preparation and follow-up required for successful outcomes.

The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) recommends that families and friends seek the support of addiction professionals if their loved ones show these signs:

  • Is consistently depressed or suicidal.
  • Has been taking several mood-altering drugs, including alcohol
  • Has had a history of violence in addition to addictions.
  • Has a history of severe mental health issues in addition to addiction.

If you are feeling helpless or even hopeless about a loved ones addiction, you do not have to go through this process all alone. Call Dr. Harry today at 760-674-0005 or visit our contact page to get started. Speak with an intervention expert today to get the wheels in motion for your loved one’s successful recovery.

Let the healing process begin.