If you know someone who has a substance use disorder, you are probably aware that one of the most important elements of treatment is helping the person realize that they have a problem.
Many people are unwilling to confront the fact that they have a drug or alcohol abuse problem. However, without this acknowledgment, any treatment is bound to be ineffective.
For loved ones who have tried and failed to convince a family member to seek treatment or are unsure how to address the issue sensitively, an intervention is often the only way forward.
What is a Drug/Alcohol Intervention?
A drug or alcohol intervention is a structured conversation that takes place intending to get the addicted individual to acknowledge that they have a problem. Once they can do so, they are often far more likely to accept treatment.
An intervention involves the friends and family of the person struggling with addiction, as well as the person themselves. However, it can also involve other people, ranging from co-workers and religious leaders to professional interventionists.
How Does an Intervention Take Place?
During the process of an intervention, the people gather to discuss how the addicted individual has been harmed by their addiction. It can also address how the individual’s actions may have caused harm to their loved ones.
The intervention process does not only involve discussion of past harms. During this process, the addicted individual is also presented with educational information that can help guide a recovery plan. Interventions serve as a safe space for the addicted person to discuss their substance abuse disorder and the reasons for the same with their family and loved ones.
If the person suffering from the problem is in denial, they may be unable to recognize the impact of their actions on others and will be resistant to the treatment proposal. However, a skilled interventionist can help overcome such challenges, so ensuring their involvement a must.
Who Helps Guide an Intervention?
When conducting an intervention, many people choose to involve only friends, family, and other loved ones. While this may be beneficial in some situations, an independently planned intervention does not always end with the intended result.
Interventions are often an unpredictable process, and people do not react in ways for which you may have planned. To account for this fact, most professional organizations recommend that you involve a professional who is trained in moderating the situation.
It is this professional to whom you should leave the responsibility of leading and guiding the intervention. Professionals are trained and have experience in such situations and can help you navigate complex relationship dynamics to ensure there are no unplanned negative consequences to the intervention.
There are several types of professionals that you can approach for help. These include:
- Addiction Counsellors
- Trained Interventionists
- Psychiatrists, Psychologists, and Social Workers
Depending on the situation and the person you choose to approach, a religious leader or doctor may also be able to help guide you. However, you should keep in mind that while they have experience in the subject, unlike professionals, they have not been trained in the best way in which to help guide an intervention.
What is the Role of an Interventionist?
An interventionist helps direct the flow of conversation during the intervention. They are trained in helping both the addicted individual and the gathered loved ones communicate with each other without causing further harm.
A professional is not only trained in communication; they also come to an intervention equipped with resources and contingency plans to ensure that any concerns and issues that arise during the intervention are effectively addressed. They do not simply show up to an intervention. Instead, they spend time preparing for the event and planning how to best address each individual situation.
An interventionist can be particularly helpful in severe cases. These include cases in which the person with an addiction:
- Has severe mental illness
- Has a history of violence, or an aggressive nature
- Has expressed suicidal ideation or has attempted suicide
- Is also taking psychoactive drugs
- Has led loved ones to believe that they may react to the intervention by self-harm or violence
Interventionists do not only play a role during the actual intervention itself. Instead, they start the process with the individual’s loved ones early. They will help you set up the intervention and decide on who needs to present during the actual discussion. They will also serve as an advisor to the family, recommending treatment options that may be most beneficial for the individual, while also taking into account budget and insurance limits.
Interventionists will help address the family and loved ones before the actual intervention itself. They will help address any unhealthy relationship dynamics that have been created as a result of the addiction.
Furthermore, they also guide loved ones on the steps that must be taken for the individual once treatment has been completed. This includes providing education on how to react post-treatment, as well as possible options in case the individual is unable to successfully complete treatment.
What Factors Affect the Cost of Holding a Professional Intervention?
Several factors play a role in determining the cost of an intervention. These include:
- The interventionist you wish to use. Costs can vary significantly depending on whether you are approaching a social worker or a professional interventionist, for example. Other factors that play a role include the individual’s credentials, experience, etc.
- The intensity of the addiction the individual is suffering from. For example, intermittent abuse must be addressed differently as compared to chronic, long-term, debilitating addiction.
- The length of the intervention. Some interventions are brief and can last for under 30 minutes. This type of intervention is common for individuals in the early stages of addiction or those who have not yet developed an addiction but are displaying worrying signs of the same. For individuals with more severe addictions, however, interventions can last for as long as two days. This is because the interventionist will spend the first day consulting with the gathered loved ones before actually conducting the intervention. A shorter intervention will cost less than a longer one.
- Whether or not you would like the interventionist’s help to support the person’s transition to a treatment facility. Should you want the interventionist’s help, additional fees usually apply.
Before starting with the intervention process, an interventionist will first assess your situation thoroughly and provide you with a cost estimate. This will allow you to decide whether or not you want to continue with them.
Are Interventions Covered by Insurance?
Generally, interventions are not covered by insurance providers. However, depending on your provider and your level of coverage, it may be possible to offset a portion of your costs through insurance.
For more information, you should contact your provider. They will be able to provide you with a clearer idea of what role, if any, your insurance will play when arranging for professional intervention.
How Much Does A Drug and Alcohol Intervention Cost?
When confronted with a loved one who is suffering from an addiction disorder, a professional interventionist is strongly recommended. Though it is the most expensive option, it is also the option that will allow you the best chance of helping your loved one.
However, this may depend on the severity of the addiction. A brief intervention can be beneficial for individuals who have not yet developed an addiction disorder but show signs of doing so.
A brief intervention lasts about 30 minutes. It often takes place in the offices of a medical practitioner or another professional. In such a situation, the cost borne is dependent on the prices set by their office. This makes brief interventions a far more budget-friendly option.
Despite this, brief interventions are not for everyone. For individuals with serious addiction problems, longer intervention is necessary. In such a situation, one of the main questions that many friends and family ask is ‘what is the cost of an intervention?’
The costs of professional intervention vary by the service provider. However, out of pocket expenses can range from anywhere between $1800 on the lower end of the spectrum to $18,000 on the higher end of the spectrum.
However, this price range does not take into account possible additional costs. You should take into account that not all cities offer professional intervention services. If your city is among them, any interventionist you hire will have to travel to your city of residence. In such a case, travel and lodging costs must be considered.
Some intervention providers have the cost of such additional services built into their costs. However, this is not the case for all providers, so make sure to check before making a decision.
Basic interventions are usually on the lower end of the scale and can cost between $1800-$2000. Not all situations can be addressed appropriately with a basic intervention, however. In such a case, a more detailed intervention is required.
For those looking for more detailed interventions, the price can vary significantly, as mentioned. However, on average, most interventions cost under $6000, before taking into account any additional expenses.
One high additional cost that may be relevant is whether you are looking for an interventionist to accompany your loved one to a treatment facility. In such a situation, you may be faced with two types of costs – transportation costs for the interventionist and the addicted individual, especially in the case of the treatment facility being in a different city, as well as an additional fee.
As with the overall cost of the intervention, this fee varies depending on the intervention provider. However, on average, the fee is about $400.
Depending on the person, interventionists can charge either a flat rate or an hourly rate. Some interventionists also offer a sliding fee or financing options in order to make the cost more affordable. Make sure to check whether the interventionist you are approaching offers the same before making a decision.
Putting the Cost into Perspective
Many people may be intimated by the cost of staging a professional intervention. It is definitely not a cost that is easily absorbed by most people.
However, professional intervention can be far more cost-effective in the long run.
Consider, firstly, the financial costs of an addiction disorder. This cost includes the amount spent on the substance, as well as the potential for professional setbacks and legal fees. Furthermore, an addiction disorder affects not only the individual’s finances, but also their physical, mental, and emotional state, as well as their relationship with others.
Secondly, consider the necessity of professional intervention. It is possible to hold an independent intervention or one led by a religious leader. In such a case, there is often little or no price tag associated with the intervention.
However, in such cases, you will lack the skill of a professional interventionist. The intervention may fail to convince the person that they have an addiction or that they must seek help. In such a case, if the intervention does not work, your loved one may continue with their addiction, or the addiction may become more severe.
Furthermore, an intervention often brings to the forefront many emotions and relationship tensions. If not properly guided, these may cause damage to the relationship between the parties.
Also, a qualified interventionist can help guide you on the next steps that you should take. Many people choose treatment facilities based on Google searches such as ‘inpatient alcohol rehab for men in Texas’ and ‘best rehab center for women in Texas.’ A professional will instead be qualified to guide you to make the best decision for your loved one’s particular situation.
In essence, investing in a professional intervention can be seen as investing in your loved one’s future, as well as the future of your relationship with them.
How Do You Find an Interventionist?
Many people can be unsure of how to go about finding a trained interventionist. One of the best ways to do so is to reach out to addiction treatment centers near you for suggestions. They will help guide you on how to seek out a dependable professional.
Another resource you can make use of is the Association of Intervention Specialists. This is a network of professional, board-certified interventionists across the country.
If you are in a peer or support group for loved ones of addicts, the people in your group may also have experience with professional interventionists. If so, they will be able to guide you on how to find the right professional for your needs.
When choosing an interventionist, make sure to consider whether you need someone who is specialized. For example, if your loved one has previously expressed suicidal ideation, it would be preferable to find someone who has expertise in that area.
As of 2017, nearly 20 million Americans over the age of 12 suffered from a substance use disorder. Given the frequency of the issue, finding a way to help is important for loved ones.
Intervention is one such option, especially in cases where the addicted individual is unwilling to admit their addiction or is unwilling to seek treatment. While it is not actual treatment, it is the first step to recovery.
A professional interventionist can help increase the likelihood of an intervention succeeding. Furthermore, they can help guide each participant’s communication and can serve as an impartial party who can minimize any potentially tense situations that might arise.
John Eckelbarger is a Business Development Representative for Stonegate Center. With a BSA in Chemistry from the University of Texas at Austin, he has an interest in the neurobiology of addiction as well as the pharmacology of drugs. He hopes to bolster Stonegate Center’s status at the forefront of addiction medicine through bold, innovative content creation. He is currently pursuing his MBA in Finance from Texas Christian University.