If you know someone who is suffering from an addiction, you have an idea of how hard it is to get them to open up about their problems. Encouraging them to seek treatment is even more of a challenge. The addict would often dismiss the topic entirely every time you try to bring it up. Worse is they may even distance themselves from you and avoid interacting.
Don’t let that make you lose hope, though. You can still help him. What you need is a process known as an intervention.
According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD), an intervention is a professionally directed education process resulting in a face-to-face meeting of family members, friends, and/or employer with the person in trouble with alcohol or drugs. Take note of the words “professionally directed”. This is important, as most interventions need to be supervised by an intervention specialist to succeed.
The goal of the procedure is to make the addict realize that he has a problem that needs to be addressed. Also, another goal is to convince him to seek treatment as soon as possible.
Now, you may be wondering what an intervention entails and exactly how much it might cost.
Why is an intervention necessary?
In the long term, drug or alcohol addiction costs a whole lot. Your addicted loved one’s brain and body suffer, and taking care of his health can get quite expensive over time. If you include the other ways that addiction impacts his life, the financial burden of addiction is definitely huge.
Because of drugs or alcohol, the addict may lose his job, accumulate hospital bills, legal fees, and even child support, if a divorce happens as a result of the addiction.
While you may initially think that an intervention is too costly to be worth it, consider this. The intervention may cost a lot upfront, but it may actually save the addict and his family a significant amount of money in the long run.
But do remember that interventions are “last resort” methods. It is not the first thing to do. You should only stage an intervention when you’ve exhausted all effort to try to talk to the addict. If he always dismisses your conversations or just refuses to talk about his addiction each time you try, that would be the time for an intervention.
Why do I need the help of a professional?
You may think that an intervention can be staged by just friends and family members. This is possible, but it is not recommended. Yes, family and friends must be present in an intervention. But if they’re the only people present, they could be side-tracked by intense emotions or other unpredictable behavior.
A professional, though, has the necessary skills and experience to deal with these situations. So, you can better ensure that your addicted loved one responds well. Most importantly, he would more likely seek treatment as soon as he can.
Speaking of which, the intervention specialist also has much knowledge of the best evidence-based treatments available. This should make it easier for the addict to get treatment if ever he decides to.
In addition, if a person has certain conditions, then all the more reason to ask for help from a professional. Based on guidelines from the NCADD, these conditions warrant professional help:
- Previously showing violence or aggression
- Severe mental illness
- Displayed either suicidal tendencies or actual suicide attempts
- Has been taking mood-altering substances
- Possibility of harming oneself or becoming violent during the intervention
Will an intervention cost a lot?
Because you’ll need the help of a professional, an intervention has a cost associated with it. The price depends on the professional you partner with, how much time he takes to plan the intervention, and how much time the actual intervention takes. Not all intervention specialists charge the same.
Some interventions may be free of charge if performed by pastors, priests, or other members of religious institutions. Otherwise, professional help comes at a price.
Intervention specialists charge either flat fees or hourly rates, which range from about $2,000 to $10,000. Most professionals require a significant downpayment too before starting. Sometimes, you may even have to pay for his transportation if he’s in a different state. Also, the treatment itself is a different cost.
Will insurance cover these costs?
Most insurance providers do not cover the cost of an intervention specialist. However, some of them do offer financing options and sliding fee scales.
It costs so much. Can I just skip the intervention?
Not everyone can afford interventionists, especially when facing other financial concerns. You yourself may have already lost a lot of money because of your addicted loved one’s habits. With these in mind, you could be seriously considering a much cheaper approach.
Despite these financial hurdles, try to look beyond the present. If you don’t arrange an intervention for your addicted loved one, imagine how much more it will cost you in the long term. The addict may continue to abuse substances, which can damage their health even more. Hospital bills would accumulate, and you would incur much greater expenses. All the more if you’re responsible for the addict’s medical care.
Also, consider the price of staging an intervention by yourself, and let’s suppose it doesn’t work. Then, your loved one would continue abusing substances. Also, if tensions run high in the intervention, you could strain your relationship with your addicted loved one. In turn, he would be more likely to abuse, and it could be even worse.
Remember that having supportive relationships is key to recovery. If the addict loses his good relationship with you, he would lose an important lifeline to a sober life.
With all of that in mind, think of an intervention as an investment. It could offer priceless returns in the form of a better life for your loved one. He would let go of the damaging lifestyle and live a more fulfilling, drug-free life.